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MCCAIN REALITY CHECK

BUSH

Supported Bush 100% in Senate votes in 2008 and 95% in 2007 according to CQ

CHILDREN

MCCAIN RATED WORST SENATOR FOR CHILDREN

CITIES

Asked what he would do to fight crime the cities, McCain said, "Some of those tactics - you mention the war in Iraq - are like that we use in the military. You go into neighborhoods, you clamp down, you provide a secure environment for the people that live there, and you make sure that the known criminals are kept under control. And you provide them with a stable environment and then they cooperate with law enforcement, etc, etc."

CONSISTENCY

MCCAIN FLIP FLOPS TEN TIMES IN TWO WEEKS

WHICH JOHN MCCAIN DO YOU AGREE WITH?

MCCAIN DOUBLE TALKS ON TORTURE

CONSTITUTION

MCCAIN AIDE SAYS CANDIDATE SUPPORTS WARRANTLESS WIRETAPS

MCCAIN HELPED PASS UNCONSTITUTIONAL MILITARY COMMISSIONS ACT; OBAMA OPPOSED IT

CORRUPTION

MCCAIN AND THE KEATING FIVE

ECONOMY

TOP MCCAIN ADVISOR INSULTS AMERICANS AS 'WHINERS

ENERGY

Opposes incentives for wind and solar energy.

GAYS

Oppose a November ballot measure that would ban same-sex marriage in California.

GENERAL

TEN THINGS TO KNOW ABOUT JOHN MCCAIN

FIND THE REAL MCCAIN

WHAT MCCAIN AND BUSH HAVE IN COMMON

HEALTH

MCCAIN WAS BORN WITH A SILVER THERMOMETER IN HIS MOUTH

MCCAIN'S HEALTH PLAN: FOLLOW THE BOUNCING SEMANTICS

WHY MCCAIN'S HEALTH CARE PLAN WON'T WORK

IRAQ

Supported the invasion of Iraq and continues to support our occupation.

3 YEARS AGO MCCAIN WAS READY TO DUMP IRAQ

ISRAEL

Told AIPAC he would incrase military fundingn for Israel

KEATING 5

MCCAIN & THE KEATING FIVE SCANDAL

NUCLEAR POWER

MCCAIN CALLS FOR 45 MORE NUCLEAR POWER SITES

OIL

MCCAIN WOULD END OIL DRILLING MORATORIUM

PERSONAL

MCCAIN IS AN ADDICTIVE GAMBLER

CHECKING OUT MCCAIN'S TEMPER

PORK

MCCAIN AGAINST PORK, EXCEPT THE KIND HE LIKES

SOCIAL SECURRITY

MCCAIN CALLS SOCIAL SECURITY A "DISGRACE"

STAFF

Hired Michael Goldfarb, as deputy communications director for his campaign. Goldfarb has stated that the country's founders "sought an energetic executive with near dictatorial power in pursuing foreign policy and war. So no, the Constitution does not put Congress on an equal footing with the executive in matters of national security."

SUPREME COURT

McCain would nominate far more reactionary justices than Obama, a critical issue given the age of the sitting bench.

TAXES

THE DIFFERENCE IN THE MCCAIN & OBAMA TAX PLANS

Would make the Bush tax cuts for high income citizen permanent. According to data supplies by the Washington Post, the McCain tax plan would lower taxes on the top one percent of taxpayers by an average of $269,000 while Obama's plan would raise their taxes by $701,000. At the other end, the bottom 60% of taxpayers would see cuts of $19-$319 under the McCain plan and $567-$1042 under Obama.

Would cut corporate tax rates.

Would double the personal exemption for dependents to $7000.

TORTURE

MCCAIN VOTES AGAINST WATERBOARDING BAN

VETERANS

MCCAIN WOULD SLASH VETERANS' HEALTHCARE

 

 

 

JOHN McCAIN

 

2013

WAYNE MADSEN REPORT

NOVEMBER 2008

MCCAIN LIES ABOUT SPREADING THE WEALTH

MCCAIN SAT DOWN WITH PINOCHET "WITHOUT PRECONDITIONS"

HOW THE GOP AND MEDIA MISLED PUBLIC ABOUT ACORN & SUBPRIME LOANS

THE REPUBLICAN LIE ABOUT SUBPRIME LOANS

OCTOBER 2008

CINDY MCCAIN EARNS 105 TIMES MORE THAN JOE THE PLUMBER

MCCAIN ISN'T A MAVERICK; HE'S A MUGWUMP

MCCAIN'S VIOLENT PAL G GORDON LIDDY

A LETTER TO JOE THE PLUMBER

VERIZON, ATT IN SWEETHEART DEAL FOR MCCAIN

MCCAIN'S CLASS ACT

An apparently contented McCain at an event co-sponsored by ACORN

MCCAIN PUSH POLLS SPREAD LIES ABOUT OBAMA

SCIENCE FOR AGED PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATES

MCCAIN'S ECONOMIC DOUBLESPEAK

THE MEANING OF MCCAIN'S TONGUE JUT

AT THE TABLE WITH AN ANGRY MCCAIN

Michael Kinsley, Daily Beast - Until recently this [McCain] anger business didn't bother me much. There is a lot to be angry about. Furthermore, I was not confident that McCain's anger passed the whose-ox-is-gored test: As an Obama supporter, would I be equally alarmed if my preferred candidate had anger issues? (Which some folks say he does, by the way.) Then I heard the following story.

It comes in an email from my friend Jeff Dearth, a media investment banker and former publisher of The New Republic. We also went to junior high and high school together in Michigan. He would not make this up. In 2005, Jeff attended a magazine industry conference at a casino hotel in Puerto Rico. The guest speaker was McCain. . .

McCain's game is craps. So is Jeff Dearth's. Jeff was at the table when McCain showed up and happily made room for him. Apparently there is some kind of rule or tradition in craps that everyone's hands are supposed to be above the table when the dice are about to be thrown. McCain-"very likely distracted by one of the many people who approached him that evening," Jeff says charitably-apparently was violating this rule. A small middle-aged woman at the table, apparently a "regular," reached out and pulled McCain's arm away. I'll let Jeff take over the story:

"McCain immediately turned to the woman and said between clenched teeth: 'DON'T TOUCH ME.' The woman started to explain...McCain interrupted her: 'DON'T TOUCH ME,' he repeated viciously. The woman again tried to explain. 'DO YOU KNOW WHO I AM? DO YOU KNOW WHO YOU'RE TALKING TO?' McCain continued, his voice rising and his hands now raised in the 'bring it on' position. He was red-faced. By this time all the action at the table had stopped. I was completely shocked. McCain had totally lost it, and in the space of about ten seconds. 'Sir, you must be courteous to the other players at the table,' the pit boss said to McCain. "DO YOU KNOW WHO I AM? ASK ANYBODY AROUND HERE WHO I AM."

This being Puerto Rico, the pit boss might not have known McCain. But the senator continued in full fury-"DO YOU KNOW WHO YOU'RE TALKING TO? DO YOU KNOW WHO I AM?"-and crisis was avoided only when Jeff offered to change places and stand between McCain and the woman who had touched his arm.
ANGRY MCCAIN

DID MCCAIN FUDGE HIS INCOME TAX RETURN?

Martha Miller, Huffington Post - I am a tax attorney, so a tax return means more to me than it would to most. I reviewed McCain's tax returns as a basic check on the candidates. You can look at McCain's 2006 and 2007 tax returns for yourself. The tax returns are below a lot of verbiage about his charitable activities.

According to a New York Times article of September 27, 2008 "For McCain and Team, a Host of Ties to Gambling," reported by Jo Becker and Don VanNatta Jr., McCain gambled at the MGM Grand in May 2007. Apparently McCain is a habitual gambler; he usually plays craps. He even says, "I am a gambling man."

Gambling has tax implications. According to IRS Publication 17, "Your Federal Income Tax", 2007 edition, page 89 "Gambling Winnings. You must include your gambling winnings in income on Form 1040, line 21. If you itemize your deductions on Schedule A (Form 1040), you can deduct gambling losses you had during the year, but only up to the amount of your winnings." In other words, you can't subtract your losses from your winnings and just not report. You have to report the winnings, and then claim the losses.

But McCain's tax returns say nothing about gambling winnings or losses.

As a casino gambler, McCain is likely to have lost more than he won. But by not reporting his winnings, the different percentage calculations built into the tax calculation are thrown off, and if he gambled much at all, he has underpaid his tax. The amount of understatement of tax may be minimal, but that's not the point.

The real purpose of preparing his tax return and omitting the gambling winnings is so that people would not know how much he gambled. If he won $200,000 playing craps in Las Vegas, it would make a difference in the way voters viewed his suitability as a presidential candidate.

There are circumstances under which the tax returns could be correct, such as McCain gambled once in 2007, not at all in 2006, and lost everything the one time he gambled. Such an explanation is unlikely in light of McCain's alleged long history of gambling.

Stephen Rose, Huffington Post - McCain is a documented craps player. He has been known to play craps on impulse for 14 hours at a stretch. . .

Connie Bruck puts it like this: "The moment the car stopped at McCain's hotel in downtown New Orleans, he set out at his usual fast clip for Harrah's, across the street. McCain is an avid gambler. Wes Gullett, a close friend who worked for McCain for years, told me that they used to play craps in Las Vegas in fourteen-hour stints, standing at the tables from 10 a.m. to midnight. 'Craps is addictive,' McCain remarked, and he headed for the fifteen-dollar-minimum-bet tables."

Michael Scherer and Michael Weisskopf say: "Over time he gave up the drinking bouts, but he never quite kicked the periodic yen for dice. In the past decade, he has played on Mississippi riverboats, on Indian land, in Caribbean craps pits and along the length of the Las Vegas Strip. Back in 2005 he joined a group of journalists at a magazine-industry conference in Puerto Rico, offering betting strategy on request. 'Enjoying craps opens up a window on a central thread constant in John's life,' says John Weaver, McCain's former chief strategist, who followed him to many a casino. 'Taking a chance, playing against the odds.' Aides say McCain tends to play for a few thousand dollars at a time and avoids taking markers, or loans, from the casinos, which he has helped regulate in Congress. 'He never, ever plays on the house,' says Mark Salter, a McCain adviser. The goal, say several people familiar with his habit, is never financial. He loves the thrill of winning and the camaraderie at the table.

"Only recently have McCain's aides urged him to pull back from the pastime. In the heat of the G.O.P. primary fight last spring, he announced on a visit to the Vegas Strip that he was going to the casino floor. When his aides stopped him, fearing a public relations disaster, McCain suggested that they ask the casino to take a craps table to a private room, a high-roller privilege McCain had indulged in before. His aides, with alarm bells ringing, refused again, according to two accounts of the discussion. He clearly knows that this is on the borderline of what is acceptable for him to be doing," says a Republican who has watched McCain play. 'And he just sort of revels in it.'

MEET THE MCCAIN ECONOMIC COUNCIL

SEPTEMBER 2008

STUPID JOHN MCCAIN TRICKS

MCCAIN WOULD NAME SUBPRIME BOOSTER CUOMO TO SEC SPOT

MEET THE MCCAIN ECONOMIC COUNCIL

Progress Report - Looking at the members of McCain's "economic council those who advise the campaign on economic issues -- it becomes clear why he is so divorced from the bad economy. Some of his economic advisers helped create the housing crisis, some abused corporate loopholes to hide billions in corporate profits, and some simply refuse to admit that there is anything seriously wrong with the economy. A look at some of McCain's economic gurus:

Former senator Phil Gramm is known as McCain's "Econ Brain." Recently, he has called America "a nation of whiners" who are in a "mental recession." While in the Senate, he was behind the Commodity Futures Modernization Act and the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act. The former made legal "the mortgage swaps distancing the originator of the loan from the ultimate collector," while the latter "destroyed the Depression-era barrier to the merger of stockbrokers, banks and insurance companies." As The Nation wrote, "those two acts effectively ended significant regulation of the financial community." After leaving Congress, Gramm worked for the Swiss bank UBS. Politico reported that while at UBS, "Gramm lobbied Congress, the Federal Reserve and the Treasury Department about banking and mortgage issues in 2005 and 2006. During those years, the mortgage industry pressed Congress to roll back strong state rules that sought to stem the rise of predatory tactics used by lenders and brokers to place homeowners in high-cost mortgages." McCain has also voted against discouraging predatory lending practices.

As CEO of Hewlett-Packard, Carly Fiorina exploited a corporate loophole to hold more than $14 billion in profits overseas, a loophole that McCain is against closing. She was forced out of HP after a merger with Compaq failed to bring Hewlett the profits that Ms. Fiorina had forecast, resulting in tumbling shares. She is also a defender of outsourcing, which she calls "right-shoring," and has said that "there is no job that is America's God-given right anymore." While McCain has recently condemned "golden parachutes" -- excessive compensation for exiting CEOs - by saying, "CEOs that led us into this mess are walking away with over $20 million, and we're not going to let that happen as president…They deserve nothing," Fiorina walked away from HP with a $21 million severance package, which, with another $21 million in options, brought her $42 million. In a 2007 interview with Fortune, Fiorina said that "what we ought not to do is regulate or legislate CEO compensation."

Rick Davis: After the bailout of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, McCain and his running mate, Gov. Sarah Palin (R-AK), published an op-ed in the Wall Street Journal that called lobbyists "primary contributors" to the crisis. One of these lobbyists though, is McCain's own campaign manager, Rick Davis, who " served as president of an advocacy group led by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac that defended the two companies against increased regulation." Davis challenged even the smallest reform measures intended to make sure that Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac were being held more accountable for their actions. This helped the mortgage giants, "consistently [beat] back congressional efforts to increase oversight, even after a major accounting scandal in 2003 resulted in a $400 million fine for Fannie.

McCain, Donald Luskin believes that "things today just aren't that bad," and everyone should "quit doling out that bad-economy line." In a Washington Post op-ed last Sunday, he wrote that "we have surely become a nation of exaggerators" regarding the economy, despite agreeing that "the foreclosure rate is the worst since the Great Depression." Luskin claimed that "unemployment is up a bit," when it is at a five-year high of 6.1 percent. He also asserted that the housing crisis is "over."

THE DIFFERENCE IN THE MCCAIN & OBAMA TAX PLANS

MCCAIN WAS BORN WITH A SILVER THERMOMETER IN HIS MOUTH

HEALTHCARE BLOG - Sen. John McCain (Ariz.) emphasizes freedom, personal choice and responsibility when promoting his plan to reform America's health care system. He's not calling for an incremental approach but "nothing short of a complete reform of the culture of our health system and the way we pay for it will suffice.". . .

The man who wants to reduce state-regulated health insurance and hard-won consumer protections has never spent a day of his life outside the cozy blankets of publicy-sponsored government health coverage.

John Sidney McCain III was born in the Panama Canal Zone on Aug. 29, 1936 while his father was a Navy admiral. From this birth and throughout his childhood, Navy physicians cared for McCain.

After high school, McCain enrolled in the U.S. Military Academy, where the naval health care continued until he retired from the Navy in 1981. . .

After his naval retirement, he went straight to the U.S. House of Representatives after winning the 1982 election for Arizona's 1st congressional district. After serving two terms, he was elected to the Senate in 1986, where he has been ever since. Throughout that time, he qualified for the generous Federal Employees Health Benefits Program. On his 65th birthday in 2001, McCain qualified for Medicare.

MCCAIN AND THE POLITICS OF MORTALITY

CINDY MCCAIN'S HALF-SISTER: "I'M VOTING FOR BARACK OBAMA"

THE STORY THE AMERICA MEDIA WON'T TELL: THE WIFE JOHN MCCAIN LEFT BEHIND

Sharon Churcher, Daily Mail, UK - McCain likes to illustrate his moral fiber by referring to his five years as a prisoner-of-war in Vietnam. And to demonstrate his commitment to family values, the 71-year-old former US Navy pilot pays warm tribute to his beautiful blonde wife, Cindy, with whom he has four children.

But there is another Mrs. McCain who casts a ghostly shadow over the Senator's presidential campaign. She is seldom seen and rarely written about, despite being mother to McCain's three eldest children. And yet, had events turned out differently, it would be she, rather than Cindy, who would be vying to be First Lady. She is McCain's first wife, Carol, who was a famous beauty and a successful swimwear model when they married in 1965. She was the woman McCain dreamed of during his long incarceration and torture in Vietnam's infamous 'Hanoi Hilton' prison and the woman who faithfully stayed at home looking after the children and waiting anxiously for news.

CHECKING OUT MCCAIN'S TEMPER

David Lightman and Matt Stearns, McClatchy Newspapers - John McCain made a quick stop at the Capitol one day last spring to sit in on Senate negotiations on the big immigration bill, and John Cornyn was not pleased. Cornyn, a mild-mannered Texas Republican, saw a loophole in the bill that he thought would allow felons to pursue a path to citizenship. McCain called Cornyn's claim "chicken-s---," according to people familiar with the meeting, and charged that the Texan was looking for an excuse to scuttle the bill. Cornyn grimly told McCain he had a lot of nerve to suddenly show up and inject himself into the sensitive negotiations. "F--- you," McCain told Cornyn, in front of about 40 witnesses. . .

There's a lengthy list of similar outbursts through the years: McCain pushing a woman in a wheelchair, trying to get an Arizona Republican aide fired from three different jobs, berating a young GOP activist on the night of his own 1986 Senate election and many more.

MCCAIN AND THE POLITICS OF MORTALITY

Alexander Burns, Politico - Since John McCain announced that first-term Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin would be his running mate, Democrats have been quick to point out that the 44-year-old governor could soon be just "a heartbeat away from the presidency." The veiled reference to McCain's advanced age is hard to miss.

It's a macabre point to raise on the night when Palin will speak to the convention here - but a look at the actuarial tables insurance companies use to evaluate customers shows that it's not an irrelevant one. According to these statistics, there is a roughly 1 in 3 chance that a 72-year-old man will not reach the age of 80, which is how old McCain would be at the end of a second presidential term. And that doesn't factor in individual medical history, such as McCain's battles with potentially lethal skin cancer. . .

The odds of a 72-year-old man living four more years, or one full White House term, are better. But for a man who has lived 72 years and 67 days (McCain's age on Election Day this year), there is between a 14.2 and 15.1 percent chance of dying before Inauguration Day 2013, according to the Social Security Administration's 2004 actuarial tables and the authoritative 2001 mortality statistics assembled by the National Association of Insurance Commissioners.

Going by the Social Security Administration's tables, that's nearly ten times the likelihood that a man aged 47 years and 92 days (Barack Obama's age on Election Day this year) will die before Jan. 20, 2013.

Using the NAIC tables instead, which factor in the fact that Obama has been a smoker for most of his adult life, a non-smoker McCain's age is still six times as likely to die in the next four years as a smoker Obama's age.. . .

Actuaries are quick to point out that mortality statistics describe broad population trends. They insist the models can't necessarily be applied to individual people. . .

McCain has acknowledged in the past that his advanced age would be a factor in the presidential campaign, particularly when it came to choosing a running mate.

In April, the Arizona senator told radio host Don Imus: "I'm aware of [the] enhanced importance of this issue given my age."

AUGUST 2008

MCCAIN CAN'T REMEMBER HOW MANY HOUSES HE OWNS

MCCAIN WOULD SLASH VETERANS' HEALTHCARE

THE MCCAIN STORY THE MEDIA HASN'T TOLD YOU

Phoenix News Times 2000 - [Senator McCain's] wife and -- more important -- his father-in-law, James Willis Hensley, are very wealthy people. Like his father and grandfather before him, McCain was a career Navy officer. His earning power and his inheritance were modest. At its peak, his pay as a captain was about $45,000.

But he retired from the military in 1980, divorced his first wife, wed Arizona native Cindy Lou Hensley and moved here to plunge into the world of politics. His first job in Arizona was as a public affairs agent for Hensley & Company, one of the nation's largest beer distributors. He was paid $50,000 in 1982 to travel the state, touting the company's wares. But he was promoting himself as much as he was Budweiser beer. A better job description might have been "candidate."

In 1982, Cindy drew more than $700,000 in salary and bonuses from Hensley-related enterprises as her husband was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives in his first political campaign. . .

From Day 1, Hensley money has enabled McCain to be a full-time politician, free from financial concerns. . .

John McCain's political allegiances to liquor purveyors and his father-in-law's interests are subtle. That narrative is marked by a pattern of patronage.

The Hensley saga, meanwhile, swirls with bygone accounts of illicit booze, gambling, horse racing, deceit and crime. James Hensley embarked on his road to riches as a bootlegger.

It was December 6, 1945. World War II had ended a few months earlier.

Joseph F. Ratliff was just about to wrap up another day as office manager at United Distributors Company when two of his bosses, Eugene and James Hensley, paid a visit to Ratliff at the company's Tucson liquor distribution warehouse around 5 p.m.

The Hensley brothers were partners with a powerful Phoenix businessman named Kemper Marley, who had cornered a large share of Arizona's wholesale liquor business after Prohibition was lifted in 1933.

Ratliff had gone to work for United Distributors in September 1944. His job was to oversee shipments of whiskey into and out of the United Distributors' warehouse by keeping track of invoices, filing tax and sales reports with the federal government and monitoring cash flow.

During and after World War II, the sale of whiskey was tightly regulated by the federal government. Demand for whiskey was high, particularly on the black market, where prices were more than double the regulated market price.

"'Well,' Gene Hensley says, 'It is five o'clock, why don't you go home? It is time to close,'" Ratliff told Assistant United States Attorney E.R. Thurman in sworn testimony in March 1948.

Ratliff went home.

Upon his return to the warehouse the next morning, Ratliff found a disturbing sight.

"When the warehouse man came down and opened the warehouse, I started out through the warehouse to go to the men's room, and I noticed there was two rows of whiskey there the night before that wasn't on the floor that morning. So I went back to the office. I thought we had been robbed."

In his office, Ratliff found another surprise.

"There was a bunch of invoices in my desk that had been made out after I had left the office, apparently," Ratliff testified.

The invoices appeared to be related to the whiskey -- about 50 cases -- that had disappeared from the warehouse overnight.

Ratliff went outside to empty some trash and noticed "a pile of empty whiskey cases out there." Tangled up in the pile of boxes were federal tax serial labels that were supposed to remain with the liquor when sold to a retailer.

Ratliff recognized the handwriting on the invoices as belonging to then-25-year-old James Hensley, who had become general manager of the Tucson operation in June 1945 after a three-year stint in the military. James Hensley had served as a bombardier on a B-17 and was shot down over the English Channel on his 13th mission.

Ratliff wasn't sure what was going on until later that day, when James Hensley returned to his office.

"He came in and paid me for those invoices," Ratliff testified. "Cash sales."

Ratliff dutifully marked the invoices as paid.

The seven invoices prepared by James Hensley -- after the warehouse was closed -- indicated the liquor had been sold and delivered to seven establishments in southern Arizona. . .

In fact, none of the liquor went to the retailers named in the invoices prepared by James Hensley. Nobody but James Hensley knows where it really went, and he never told authorities. He declined repeated requests to be interviewed for this story.

What is certain is that what occurred that December day was standard operating procedure for the Hensley brothers between April 1945 and January 1947. During this period, a 1948 federal criminal indictment charged, the Hensleys made approximately 1,284 false entries related to the sale of thousands of cases of liquor by their two companies -- United Sales Company in Phoenix and United Distributors in Tucson.

Ratliff's testimony eventually led to James and Eugene Hensley's conviction on federal conspiracy charges "with the intent and design to hide and conceal from the United States of America, the names and addresses of the person or persons to whom the said distilled spirits were sent, and the prices obtained from the sale thereof."

A federal jury in U.S. District Court of Arizona in March 1948 convicted James Hensley on seven counts of filing false liquor records in addition to the conspiracy charge. Eugene was convicted on 23 counts of filing false statements and the conspiracy count. Eugene was sentenced to one year in prison, and James to six months. Neither brother testified during the trial, relying instead on their lawyers, who included Louis B. Whitney, a prominent attorney who served as mayor of Phoenix from 1923 through 1925.

After a two-week stint in the Maricopa County jail, the men were released on bond on May 17, 1948, pending an appeal to the U.S. 9th Circuit. The appeals court affirmed the conviction on February 8, 1949.

Two weeks later, a judge sentenced Eugene to one year in a federal prison camp near Tucson, but suspended James' sentence, placing him on probation instead. Both men were fined $2,000. United Sales and United Distributors were also convicted and fined $2,000.

The criminal convictions had little immediate impact on the brothers' fortunes.

James Hensley profited handsomely from his association with liquor magnate Kemper Marley, a man police suspect ordered the 1976 murder of Arizona Republic reporter Don Bolles, who had written about Marley's business and political dealings. The man convicted of placing a bomb beneath Bolles' car testified that Marley also wanted former Arizona governor and then-attorney general Bruce Babbitt murdered because Babbitt had filed an antitrust lawsuit against the liquor industry in 1975. (Marley, who died in 1990, was never charged in the Bolles case. Babbitt is now U.S. Secretary of the Interior.)

By 1955, James Hensley had launched a Budweiser distributorship in Phoenix, a franchise reportedly bestowed upon him by Marley, who was never indicted in the 1948 federal liquor-law-violation case -- or a subsequent one -- despite his controlling financial role in the liquor distribution businesses.

James Hensley's conviction didn't deter the State of Arizona from granting him a wholesale liquor license in the mid-1950s. The Arizona Department of Liquor Licenses and Control turned a blind eye to repeated liquor-law violations at the company. State liquor regulators did nothing when James Hensley failed to disclose his federal felony conviction on a sworn 1988 disclosure statement to the department and the City of Phoenix.

Today, Phoenix-based Hensley & Company is the nation's fifth-largest beer wholesaler -- a privately held business that 80-year-old James Hensley still controls. He built the Budweiser distributorship into at least a $200 million-a-year business, with annual sales of more than 20 million cases of beer.

James Hensley owns nearly all of the voting stock, and most of the rest of the closely held securities are in trusts for his grandchildren or owned by his daughter, 45-year-old Cindy Hensley McCain -- wife of U.S. Senator and presidential hopeful John McCain. . .

Although Hensley wealth has helped propel McCain's political career, the senator will never get his hands directly on the Hensley fortune because of an ante-nuptial agreement he signed before his 1980 marriage.

A centerpiece in McCain's remarkable and sudden rise to national prominence is his promise of campaign-finance reform.

Yet McCain has relied heavily on the financial contributions from big corporate donors -- with the liquor and beer industry near the top of the list. McCain won -- one could say bought -- his first election to the House of Representatives in 1982 with lavish sums of Hensley beer money. . .

Since 1982, Hensley & Company employees have donated almost $200,000 to federal political candidates and campaigns. . .

Liquor spirited from the Hensley brothers' warehouses helped fuel a lively nightlife at some of the Valley's most exclusive clubs in the mid-1940s. The Green Gables, the Silver Spur and the Cowman's Club were recipients of black-market shipments, according to testimony presented at the 1948 federal trial of the Hensleys and their two companies, United Sales Company in Phoenix and United Distributors in Tucson.

Jack Baldwin, a salesman and supervisor at United Sales, testified at the 1948 federal trial that Eugene Hensley regularly instructed him to draw up false invoices, transfer scores of cases of liquor offsite and deliver premium whiskeys to selected black-market clients.

Baldwin testified he was ordered by Eugene Hensley in September 1946 to kick in a door at the United Sales' warehouse on North 19th Avenue and take five cases of scotch for a black-market sale to the Green Gables.

In other instances, Baldwin testified that he took as many as 50 cases of whiskey from the United Sales warehouse and stashed them on the back porch of his central Phoenix home for later delivery to black-market buyers.

"I can name you 20 deals like that," Baldwin testified. . .

"Why would you make invoices that did not show the true fact situation?" Assistant U.S. Attorney Thurman asked.

"The liquor went someplace else," Baldwin stated.

"Under whose direction did you make these invoices?"

"Gene Hensley," Baldwin replied.

"After these were made out, these particular invoices, what did you do with them?"

"I took them home, burned them usually," Baldwin stated. . .

Sometimes the Hensleys sold liquor to unlicensed individuals who would transport up to 55 cases at a time to states including Oklahoma and Utah. Carl "Kid" Carter from Ogden, Utah, purchased dozens of cases of whiskey at a time, loaded them into a late-1930s sedan, covering the illicit cargo with a blanket before heading home, 600 miles north. . .

While the bootlegging operation was in full swing, the Hensleys and Marley dissolved their partnerships and created two corporations in September 1946 -- United Sales Incorporated in Phoenix, and United Distributors Incorporated in Tucson. At the time of incorporation, Eugene Hensley, 32, was president of the companies, while James Hensley, 25, served as secretary. Kemper Marley, 39, was listed as vice president of both companies.

Despite Marley's title, federal prosecutors stated that Marley had purchased control of the companies in January 1946.

Over the years, Marley built the companies, which became United Liquors, into Arizona's largest wholesale liquor distributorship. Along with his vast land holdings, political, gambling and prostitution ties, Marley built a fortune worth more than $39.2 million by 1980.

On February 26, 1953, James Hensley once again found himself charged with federal liquor crimes. This time, the government alleged that James Hensley and other officers of United Liquor Company and United Liquor Supply Company falsified records to reduce the company's tax bill.

On the opening day of the trial in federal court in Tucson, Judge James A. Walsh granted a motion by Hensley's attorney -- former Maricopa County Attorney Lynn Laney -- to dismiss all charges against Hensley and other individuals. The case continued against the two companies.

The government alleged the companies falsely stated that about 400 cases of whiskey were transferred from Tucson to Phoenix on December 30, 1950, and December 30, 1951, to avoid paying higher liquor taxes levied in Pima County, where Tucson is located. The government charged that the liquor never left the Tucson warehouses.

On the third day of the four-day trial, Kemper Marley -- owner of United Liquor and United Liquor Supply -- unexpectedly took the stand as a defense witness. Prosecutors successfully halted his testimony, claiming it was immaterial and irrelevant.

Defense attorneys argued that although the liquor was never transferred to Maricopa County, all taxes were nevertheless paid to Maricopa County, therefore nothing further was owed. Defense attorney Joseph Jenckes said the companies were simply trying to meet their tax obligations in the most practical way, according to an October 17, 1953, story in the Arizona Daily Star.

The next day, a jury acquitted the two companies on all 11 counts.

In December 1952, James Hensley joined his brother Eugene in the purchase of Ruidoso Racing Association in south central New Mexico. Prior to the purchase, Eugene Hensley operated a couple of nightclubs in Phoenix, including Hensley's Horseshoe Bar on Van Buren Street, with his first wife, Billy.

The New Mexico venture proved to be more trouble for the Hensley brothers, who became embroiled in a controversy with the New Mexico Racing Commission over hidden ownership.

The commission was concerned about the Hensley brothers' ties to Phoenix gambler Clarence E. "Teak" Baldwin (no relation to Jack Baldwin). The commission asked the New Mexico State Police to investigate in 1953.

According to a March 26, 1977, article in the Albuquerque Journal, the 1953 New Mexico State Police report stated that Teak Baldwin was a "bookmaker for leading tracks." According to the Journal article, the police report stated that the Hensleys' Arizona liquor business partner, Kemper Marley, "is reputed to be the financial backer for the bookies. . . ."

The Journal story appeared shortly after a group known as Investigative Reporters & Editors -- spurred to action by the murder of Don Bolles -- unleashed a series of 23 stories on organized crime, land fraud and political corruption in Arizona.

The Journal reported that the 1953 New Mexico State Police investigation stated that Marley "owned a wire service formerly operated in connection with bookmaking of the Al Capone gang."

The Journal also reported that the state police report included a transcript of a phone conversation between an officer in Santa Fe and a Phoenix police officer who said, "... Our confidential files built up on Baldwin (and others) was loaned to some officials and never returned. We've never been able to locate them."

With the police report in hand, the New Mexico Racing Commission grilled the Hensley brothers in May 1953 about their ties to Baldwin. While the brothers were forthright in disclosing their liquor business ties with Marley and their subsequent federal felony convictions, they told the commission that Teak Baldwin had nothing to do with the track.

Eugene Hensley told the commission in May 1953 that Baldwin steered him to look at the track as a possible investment. Former commission chairman Tom Closson told the Hensleys "the commission would not have Baldwin connected in any way, shape or form down there [Ruidoso Downs]," the Journal reported.

The Hensleys denied that Baldwin had any interest in the track, the Journal reported.

But two years later, according to the Journal, records indicated that Baldwin actually had a one-third stock interest in the track with the Hensleys. . .

In April 1955, James Hensley sold his interest in Ruidoso Downs, for which he was listed as secretary-treasurer, and had no apparent connection to the track thereafter.

Eugene Hensley's problems at Ruidoso Downs were just beginning. In 1963, Eugene Hensley was sued by minority partners for $415,000. The partners alleged Eugene Hensley used track money to make improvements to his Scottsdale home, used the track's airplane for personal pleasure and built and operated a guest house for his personal use. The lawsuit was settled the same year after Eugene Hensley agreed to return 1,000 shares of Ruidoso Racing Association stock that was by then worth $350,000.

The civil suit was prelude to an eight-count federal criminal indictment filed against Eugene Hensley in 1966, alleging income tax evasion. Eugene Hensley was convicted on all counts in a scandalous trial that revealed he had purchased several automobiles using track money and given them to his wife and a girlfriend.

Despite his 1966 conviction and subsequent five-year prison sentence, Eugene Hensley remained free on bond and continued to control operations at Ruidoso Downs until the New Mexico Racing Commission banned him from the track in 1968. After his criminal appeals were denied, Eugene Hensley entered a federal prison in La Tuna, Texas, in 1969.

That same year, Eugene Hensley sold his remaining interest in the track to NewCo Industries Incorporated, which immediately signed a 20-year concession contract with Emprise Corporation of Buffalo, New York.

Emprise had documented ties to organized crime, and was the concessionaire at Arizona dog tracks. One of the company's strongest Arizona supporters reportedly was the Hensleys' old business partner -- Kemper Marley.

In the early 1970s, Arizona racing officials began to clamp down on Emprise after the company was convicted and fined $10,000 in U.S. District Court in Los Angeles for its hidden ownership in the Frontier Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas. The IRE series reported that as a defendant in that case, Emprise was linked to several prominent organized crime figures.

Emprise reorganized in Arizona as Ramcorp and was allowed to keep its lucrative concession contracts while its Los Angeles conviction was appealed. But all the company's proceeds from dog tracks were funneled through a trustee, former Mesa rancher and farmer Dwight Patterson.

Patterson, according to the IRE, urged then-Arizona governor Raul Castro to appoint Kemper Marley to the three-member Arizona Racing Commission, a position Marley reportedly was eager to get. Marley would replace Robert Kieckhefer, who had been an opponent of Emprise.

Castro received more than $19,000 during his 1974 gubernatorial campaign from Marley, and another $5,000 from Marley's daughter -- colossal sums at the time for an Arizona political campaign. Castro appointed Marley to the racing commission in 1976.

Arizona Republic reporter Don Bolles wrote a series of stories documenting Marley's questionable performance in appointive posts he'd previously held. Bolles' stories doomed Marley's appointment, forcing him to resign soon after being named to the Racing Commission.

On June 2, 1976, Bolles was mortally wounded by a car bomb. Before lapsing into unconsciousness, Bolles uttered the words, "Adamson, Emprise, Mafia." He died 11 days later.

John Harvey Adamson confessed to luring Bolles to a Phoenix hotel parking lot and placing a bomb beneath the reporter's car. The bomb, Adamson testified, was detonated by James Robison, a Chandler plumber. Adamson testified he was hired to kill Bolles by Max Dunlap, a Phoenix contractor and close associate of Marley's. Marley had extended a $1 million loan to Dunlap, which had not been repaid. Adamson said Dunlap hired him to kill Bolles because Marley was upset over Bolles' stories.

Adamson served a 20-year prison sentence and has since been released. Dunlap was convicted of first-degree murder and sentenced in 1994 to life in prison. Robison was convicted, but his case was later overturned on appeal and he was acquitted in a 1993 retrial.

In 1981, Marley filed a libel suit against IRE for a 1977 story that linked Marley to organized crime and the Bolles murder. Marley sought a "six-figure" award for compensatory damages and a "seven-figure" punitive award. A jury ruled that Marley had not been libeled by the stories. However, the jury ruled that IRE had inflicted "emotional distress" on Marley. The jury awarded Marley $15,000 in punitive damages, a fraction of the damages he was seeking.

Marley died in 1990 at age 83.

He was never charged in the Bolles case and denied any involvement.

After selling his interest in Ruidoso Racing Association, James Hensley turned his attention to a wholesale beer distributorship he reportedly founded in 1955 in Phoenix with 12 employees. . .

Some liquor industry observers say Hensley was given the Budweiser distributorship by his old business associate Kemper Marley, but a search of public records has not confirmed this theory. What the records do show is five decades of steady growth for Hensley's enterprise under the lax supervision of the Arizona Department of Liquor Licenses and Control. . .

One can only speculate how a convicted felon who falsified federal liquor records managed to obtain a state and federal wholesale liquor license within a few years of his 1949 conviction and 1953 indictment. But apparently, Hensley did. . .

However, it is extremely unlikely that a person with a similar conviction today would get a federal liquor license, says Allison Stevens, ATF Phoenix Area supervisor. . .

State records show James Hensley applied for another liquor license in 1988. This time, Hensley did not disclose his federal conviction when asked specifically on the form whether he had ever been convicted of a felony. James Hensley signed the sworn and notarized statement that warned false information "could result in criminal prosecution.". . .

Hensley & Company is reported to be the 12th largest privately owned company in Arizona, with nearly 500 employees and a sales and delivery fleet of more than 300 vehicles, according to a September 1999 article in the trade journal Beverage World. . .

Company records show that as of January 1996 James Hensley controlled through a trust 2,110 shares of stock, of which at least 1,655 shares were voting stock. Cindy McCain owned the largest block of stock with 7,436 shares, but only 177 shares were voting.

Her three children, John, James and Meghan, each had 1,370 shares -- including 336 voting shares each -- held in trust. An adopted child, Bridget, had 600 non-voting shares.

The company placed a value for tax purposes of $1,467 per share on the stock in 1996, making Cindy McCain's stake in the company worth $11 million. The trusts for the four children are worth about $7 million. Delgado, meanwhile, controlled 4,572 shares of non-voting stock worth $6.7 million.

The Hensley & Company stock is only part of the McCain clan's wealth. According to Senator McCain's financial disclosure statement for calendar year 1998, Cindy McCain controls more than $1 million worth of Anheuser-Busch stock that generated between $15,000 and $50,000 in dividends. Cindy McCain and her children also report owning real estate in Mesa, Sedona and Yuma worth more than $2.5 million. . .

Senator McCain's personal wealth is tied completely to his wife.

Tom Fitzpatrick, Phoenix New Times, 1992 - McCain is the perfect example of evil masquerading as good. He made an advantageous marriage to the daughter of state beer baron Jim Hensley, the Budweiser distributor. This made him an instant millionaire.

Hensley is a man who understands loyalty. In his earlier days, he and his brother took falls for his then-boss Kemper Marley. Hensley and his brother were convicted. Their rewards were exclusive distributor territories in Phoenix and Tucson. Since then they have become inordinately wealthy.

Marley, now deceased, was one of the state's richest men. His name surfaced as the power behind the 1976 car-bomb murder of Arizona Republic reporter Don Bolles.

At Marley's funeral, Frank Sinatra's signature tune "My Way" was played by the organist over the objections of the church's pastor. The man responsible for this unusual tribute was Max Dunlap, whose trial for Bolles' murder is scheduled to begin next month.

It is no longer fashionable in local journalistic circles to mention McCain's close friendship with Charlie Keating. It's a shame they had a falling out. They seemed to have so much in common and enjoyed each other's company so much.

They met in 1981 when McCain moved to Arizona. Keating was a World War II pilot. McCain made nine vacation trips to Keating's home in the Bahamas from 1984 to 1986. The trips were made free of charge on jets provided by Keating.

Because the ethical violation was so obvious, McCain was eventually forced to pay $13,433 for the flights to Keating's company, American Continental Corporation.

He escaped ethical censure because the trips were made while he was a member of the House of Representatives and the trips didn't come to light until he was a member of the Senate, which conveniently declared it had no jurisdiction.

The House couldn't act, either, for the same reason. Keating contributed $112,000 to McCain's 1982 and 1984 House campaigns and his 1986 Senate run. McCain's father-in-law and his wife also took advantage of the chance to make a lucrative shopping-center investment with Keating.

NY Times, 2000 - In his rise to political influence, Mr. McCain, who had no ties to Arizona until he married Cindy Hensley and moved here in 1981, also won the critical blessing of the city's business establishment through his close friendship with another of the state's power brokers, Darrow Tully, the publisher then of the state's dominant newspaper, The Arizona Republic. ''Duke'' Tully led an ad hoc group of business executives and self-appointed political kingmakers known as the Phoenix 40, whose backing helped Mr. McCain in that first Congressional race and assured his Senate victory four years later. . .

Mr. Tully was a far different patron from Mr. Hensley. A swaggering, fun-loving 6-foot-4, he was comfortable with business executives and politicians alike. Mr. Tully, an accomplished pilot, loved to regale people with tales of his exploits flying jet fighters in the Korean and Vietnam wars. His house and office were filled with photographs of him alongside all manner of military aircraft.

''He'd point to his teeth and say, 'See these? They're steel. I lost the others when I crashed,' '' recalled Pat Murphy, a former columnist and editor at The Republic. . .

The Phoenix 40 was an unofficial group made up of the city's leading businessmen -- bankers, partners from the largest law firms, chief executives and, of course, executives of newspapers. The group was created in the early 1970's by Eugene C. Pulliam, the conservative founder of Central Newspapers and grandfather of former Vice President Dan Quayle.

The goal was to promote policies that its members felt were good for the city and state as Arizona expanded from a quiet rural state to a Sun Belt powerhouse.

It was also the closest thing to a political machine in Phoenix, and anointment by the Phoenix 40 almost invariably translated into victory at the polls.

Mr. Merrill, the Arizona State professor and political observer, said the power was exercised quietly and effectively.

''When you control the major newspaper, the TV stations and the people who make most of the political contributions,'' Mr. Merrill said, ''you have enormous influence''

Mr. Tully harnessed that influence to Mr. McCain's political career from the outset, leapfrogging him over Republicans who had waited patiently for a shot at Mr. Rhodes's seat in 1982.

''There was a lot of resentment among Mesa Republicans, none of whom had ever heard of John McCain until he was suddenly the designated hitter,'' said Terry Goddard, a Democrat and former mayor of Phoenix. . .

But the newspaper publisher who had helped so much was not there to savor the victory. The day after Christmas 1985, after rumors began to circulate that Mr. Tully was not all he claimed, he acknowledged that he had never served in the military, and he resigned from the newspaper and left Arizona. But the war hero for whom he had done so much was well launched on his political career.

The Arizona Republic, 1989 - Sen. John McCain had more than a constituent relationship with Charles H. Keating, Jr. prior to 1987 . . . The McCains - sometimes with their daughter and baby sitter - made at least nine trips at Keating's expense from August 1984 to August 1986 aboard either Keating's American Continental Corporation's jet or chartered planes and helicopters owned by Resorts International. Three of the trips were for vacations at Keating's luxurious retreat in the Bahamas."

MCCAIN WASN'T TORTURED; JUST ASK BUSH & CHENEY

DOUGLAS BRINKLEY KNOWS TEDDY ROOSEVELT AND JOHN MCCAIN IS NO TEDDY ROOSEVELT

JOHN MCCAIN SAYS HE'LL CONSULT JOHN LEWIS IF ELECTED; WHY HAS HE WAITED 22 YEARS?

MCCAIN'S POPULARITY RIDES ON PUBLIC NOT BEING TOLD ABOUT HIM

MCCAIN'S SON BAILS FROM BANK BOARD HE JOINED IN FEBRUARY

MCCAIN IS AN ADDICTIVE GAMBLER

Stephen Rose, Huffington Post - McCain is a documented craps player. He has been known to play craps on impulse for 14 hours at a stretch. Of the game of craps, Anthony Holden comments, "We poker players don't call poker gambling. It is a game of skill. Craps is an absurd game of luck. You may have thrilling short term wins but only madmen play craps." . . . How serious is the gambling urge for McCain? What does the love of craps say about his "realism" regarding actual battles and conflicts? Would McCain be willing to gamble with human lives?

Connie Bruck puts it like this: "The moment the car stopped at McCain's hotel in downtown New Orleans, he set out at his usual fast clip for Harrah's, across the street. McCain is an avid gambler. Wes Gullett, a close friend who worked for McCain for years, told me that they used to play craps in Las Vegas in fourteen-hour stints, standing at the tables from 10 a.m. to midnight. 'Craps is addictive,' McCain remarked, and he headed for the fifteen-dollar-minimum-bet tables."

Michael Scherer and Michael Weisskopf say: "Over time he gave up the drinking bouts, but he never quite kicked the periodic yen for dice. In the past decade, he has played on Mississippi riverboats, on Indian land, in Caribbean craps pits and along the length of the Las Vegas Strip. Back in 2005 he joined a group of journalists at a magazine-industry conference in Puerto Rico, offering betting strategy on request. 'Enjoying craps opens up a window on a central thread constant in John's life,' says John Weaver, McCain's former chief strategist, who followed him to many a casino. 'Taking a chance, playing against the odds.' Aides say McCain tends to play for a few thousand dollars at a time and avoids taking markers, or loans, from the casinos, which he has helped regulate in Congress. 'He never, ever plays on the house,' says Mark Salter, a McCain adviser. The goal, say several people familiar with his habit, is never financial. He loves the thrill of winning and the camaraderie at the table.

"Only recently have McCain's aides urged him to pull back from the pastime. In the heat of the G.O.P. primary fight last spring, he announced on a visit to the Vegas Strip that he was going to the casino floor. When his aides stopped him, fearing a public relations disaster, McCain suggested that they ask the casino to take a craps table to a private room, a high-roller privilege McCain had indulged in before. His aides, with alarm bells ringing, refused again, according to two accounts of the discussion. He clearly knows that this is on the borderline of what is acceptable for him to be doing," says a Republican who has watched McCain play. 'And he just sort of revels in it.'

MCCAIN WASN'T TORTURED; JUST ASK BUSH & CHENEY

Daily Kos - From Andrew Sullivan's The Daily Dish: "In all the discussion of John McCain's recently recovered memory of a religious epiphany in Vietnam, one thing has been missing. The torture that was deployed against McCain emerges in all the various accounts. It involved sleep deprivation, the withholding of medical treatment, stress positions, long-time standing, and beating. Sound familiar?

"According to the Bush administration's definition of torture, McCain was therefore not tortured. Cheney denies that McCain was tortured; as does Bush. So do John Yoo and David Addington and George Tenet. In the one indisputably authentic version of the story of a Vietnamese guard showing compassion, McCain talks of the agony of long-time standing. A quarter century later, Don Rumsfeld was putting his signature to memos lengthening the agony of "long-time standing" that victims of Bush's torture regime would have to endure. These torture techniques are, according to the president of the United States, merely "enhanced interrogation."

Sullivan's coup de grace: "In the Military Commissions Act, McCain acquiesced to the use of these techniques against terror suspects by the CIA. And so the tortured became the enabler of torture. Someone somewhere cried out in pain for the same reasons McCain once did. And McCain let it continue."

RECOVERED HISTORY: MCCAIN & THE KEATING FIVE SCANDAL

OBAMA & MCCAIN: LIFE WITHOUT FATHER

MCCAIN: SAYING ONE THING, DOING ANOTHER

JULY 2008

McCAIN KNOWS WHAT MALIKI WANTS BETTER THAN MALIKI DOES

RUMSFELD REFUSES TO ENDORSE MCCAIN

ANOTHER PROBLEM FRIEND OF MCCAIN

WHY MCCAIN'S HEALTH CARE PLAN WON'T WORK

MCCAIN CALLS SOCIAL SECURITY A "DISGRACE"

WHAT JOHN MCCAIN THINKS IS FUNNY

Wonkette John McCain's always had a hearty arsenal of "cocktail party jokes," including several about killing Iranian civilians with either bombs or exported American cancer, and another about Chelsea Clinton being ugly because her father is Janet Reno's penis. These jokes, however, can't shake a stick at the latest gem someone has unearthed from a 1986 copy of the Tucson Citizen, one that got him in a tit-bit of trouble at the time"

"Did you hear the one about the woman who is attacked on the street by a gorilla, beaten senseless, raped repeatedly and left to die? When she finally regains consciousness and tries to speak, her doctor leans over to hear her sigh contently and to feebly ask, 'Where is that marvelous ape?'"

TOP MCCAIN CAMPAIGN ADVISOR CALLS AMERICA "A NATION OF WHINERS"

Progress Report In an interview with the Washington Times, former Sen. Phil Gramm, the so-called "econ brain" of presidential candidate Sen. John McCain, remarked that the United States has "sort of become a nation of whiners." "Thank God the economy is not as bad as you read in the newspaper every day." "You've heard of mental depression; this is a mental recession," he said.

McCain said that Gramm "does not speak for me," despite the fact that Gramm's comments mirror what McCain said in April: "A lot of our problems today, as you know, are psychological."

Gramm played a key roll in gutting many of the institutions designed to keep the economy sound. Serving Chairman of the Senate Banking Committee between 1999 and 2001, he "routinely turned down Securities and Exchange Commission Chairman Arthur Levitt's requests for more money to police Wall Street." Later, he "pushed to end oversight" of energy futures trading for a key campaign contributor and his wife's onetime employer, Enron. Around the same time, "Gramm pushed through a historic banking deregulation bill that decimated Depression-era firewalls between commercial banks, investment banks, insurance companies, and securities firms." The financial maneuvers enabled by Gramm's legislative measures would become the heart of the subprime meltdown.

More recently, it was revealed that Gramm was "being paid by a Swiss bank to lobby Congress about the U.S. mortgage crisis at the same time he was advising McCain about his economic policy."

SENATOR MCCAIN CALLS SOCIAL SECURITY A "DISGRACE"

Dean Baker, Prospect - At a forum day, after wrongly claiming that Social Security won't be there when young workers retire, McCain went on to say: "Americans have got to understand that we are paying present-day retirees with the taxes paid by young workers in America today. And that's a disgrace. It's an absolute disgrace, and it's got to be fixed."

Of course present-day retirees have always been paid their benefits from the taxes paid by current workers. That has been true from Social Security's inception. Some folks might have thought Senator McCain's description of Social Security as a "disgrace" was worth a mention somewhere in the media, but the NYT, Washington Post, WSJ, and USA Today don't seem to have noticed.

WHY MCCAIN'S HEALTH CARE PLAN WON'T WORK

NY Times In late April, Mr. McCain, Republican of Arizona, announced that if elected president he would seek to insure people . . . by vastly expanding federal support for state high-risk pools like Maryland's, or by creating a structure modeled after them. . .

Though high-risk pools have existed for three decades, they cover only 207,000 people in a country with 47 million uninsured, according to the National Association of State Comprehensive Health Insurance Plans. Premiums typically are high, as much as twice the standard rate in some states, but are still not nearly enough to pay claims. That has left states to cover about 40 percent of the cost, usually through assessments on insurance premiums that are often passed on to consumers.

Health economists say it could take untold billions to transform the patchwork of programs into a viable federal safety net. The McCain campaign has made only a rough calculation of how many billions would be needed and has not identified a source for the financing beyond savings from existing programs. Finding the money will only get more difficult now that Mr. McCain has pledged to balance the federal budget by 2013, which already requires a significant reduction in the growth of spending.

Mr. McCain's proposal stands in sharp relief to that of his Democratic rival, Senator Barack Obama of Illinois, who wants to require insurers to accept all applicants, regardless of their health. That is now the law in five states, including New York and New Jersey.

MCCAIN'S HEALTH PLAN WOULD COST WOMEN MORE

MCCAIN LIE OF THE WEEK

Think Progress This week, Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) is traveling through Colombia, making a push for a free-trade agreement. In an interview with ABC from Cartagena, McCain was asked about his now infamous statement that he doesn't understand economics well. McCain quickly interrupted the interviewer, denying he ever said this:

Q: You have admitted that you're not exactly an expert when it comes to the economy and many have said -

McCAIN: I have not. I have not. Actually, I have not. I said that I am stronger on national security issues because of all the time I spent in the military. I'm very strong on the economy. I understand it. I have a lot more experience than my opponent.

In fact, McCain and his advisers have repeatedly admitted that he is weak on economic issues:

- "The issue of economics is not something I've understood as well as I should," McCain said. "I've got Greenspan's book." [December 2007]

- Seeking to explain his shift on economic issues, McCain claimed: "I didn't pay nearly the attention to those issues in the past. I was probably a 'supply-sider' based on the fact that I really didn't jump into the issue." [January 2000]

- Carly Fiorina, a top McCain adviser, acknowledged that McCain has said he knows little about the economy, noting that "he did say it one time, no question, maybe twice." [6/10/08]

The McCain campaign has conjured up a variety of dodges on the topic. Last January, when Tim Russert asked him about his "I still need to be educated" claim, McCain said, "I don't know where you got that quote." Adviser Douglas Holtz-Eakin said McCain's admitted lack of economics knowledge was an example of his "wonderful self-deprecating sense of humor." Last month, McCain said the media took the comments "out of context."

JUNE 2008

MCCAIN CALLS FOR 45 MORE NUCLEAR POWER SITES, OBAMA WAFFLES

MCCAIN FLIP FLOPS TEN TIMES IN TWO WEEKS

MAY 2008

MCCAIN HAS CO-CHAIR TIED TO FIRM IN TROUBLE FOR ROLE IN TAX HAVENS

MCCAIN WOULD END OIL DRILLING MORATORIUM

MCCAIN HELPED PASS UNCONSTITUTIONAL MILITARY COMMISSIONS ACT; OBAMA OPPOSED IT

THREE BOOKS ON MCCAIN

MCCAIN'S NEW STAFFER THINKS PRESIDENTS SHOULD HAVE 'NEAR DICTATORIAL' POWERS OVER FOREIGN POLICY

GLENN GREENWALD, SALON Bill Kristol proudly announces that one of his Weekly Standard staff members, Michael Goldfarb, was just named the Deputy Communications Director of the McCain campaign. Last April, this newest McCain official participated in a conference call with former Senator George Mitchell, during which Mitchell advocated a timetable for withdrawal from Iraq. Afterwards, this is what Goldfarb wrote about what he thinks are the powers the President possesses in our country:

"Mitchell's less than persuasive answer [to whether withdrawal timetables 'somehow infringe on the president's powers as commander in chief?']: 'Congress is a coequal branch of government...the framers did not want to have one branch in charge of the government.'

"True enough, but they sought an energetic executive with near dictatorial power in pursuing foreign policy and war. So no, the Constitution does not put Congress on an equal footing with the executive in matters of national security."

MCCAIN GETS THE WMD ISSUE DEAD WRONG

THINK PROGRESS In his new book, former White House press secretary Scott McClellan charges that the Bush administration manipulated information in a "propaganda" campaign before the Iraq war, making the faulty claim that Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction.

Asked about the book today, Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) defended the administration's actions in the run-up to the war, suggesting there was no manipulation involved. McCain claimed, "I have not seen the book or the comments. But I know why I supported it [the war] because I believed Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction as did every intelligence agency in the world and every assessment. "

McCain's statement is wildly off the mark. The Bush administration did set up its own intelligence shops to disseminate faulty intelligence about Iraq's alleged WMD. But "every" agency in the "world" did not buy the spin - several U.S. agencies were highly skeptical:

State Department's Bureau of Intelligence and Research: Concluded that the "activities we have detected do not add up to a compelling case that Iraq is currently pursuing what [the INR] would consider to be an integrated and comprehensive approach to acquire nuclear weapons."

Department of Energy: Concluded aluminum tubes said to be used for nuclear centrifuges were "likely intended for small artillery rockets."

International Atomic Energy Agency: On March 7, 2003, IAEA chief Mohamed El-Baradei reported there was "no evidence that Saddam Hussein had any nuclear weapons or was in the process of acquiring them."

Hans Blix, chief U.N. weapon's inspector: In Jan. 2003, Blix told the U.N. Security Council that his inspection teams had not found any "smoking guns" after visiting some 125 Iraqi sites.

HOW MCCAIN HAS SUPPORTED BUSH

SOURCE: CQ

IS JOHN MCCAIN A HUMANOID CYLON?

AARON RUTKOFF - Could Battlestar Galactica character Saul Tigh possibly be based on the life of John McCain? Naval aviator? Check. Member of a military family? Check. Held in captivity by the enemy? Check. Tortured? Physically disfigured by the ordeal? Double check. Favors hawkish military policies? Check. * Reputation as a carouser, rabble rouser and ladies' man? Check. Married to a blonde? Check. Married to a blonde with ties to alcohol? Check. Also - this is the clincher - Tigh has a secretary named Kennedy, and McCain has a secretary named Lincoln.

MCCAIN GOT SWEETHEART DEAL FOR BIG BACKER

GREAT THOUGHTS OF JOHN MCCAIN'S PREACHER PAL

BEN SMITH, POLITICO When Sen. John McCain was forced to distance himself from Pastor John Hagee earlier this year, he denounced the pastor's attacks on Catholicism. But asked why he wouldn't "repudiate" Hagee's endorsement of him, McCain found something to praise. "I'm grateful for his commitment to the support of the state of Israel, and I'm very grateful for many of his commitments around the world, including to the independence and freedom of the state of Israel," he told CNN's Campbell Brown on April 29. . .

Hagee, who leads the evangelical group Christians United for Israel, is a proponent of U.S. aid and support for Israel, and he is a major ally of Israeli conservatives who reject any "land for peace" formula in dealing with the Palestinians. But Hagee is viewed with distrust by some Jews and Israelis because his brand of Christian Zionism closely links support for Israel to the end of the world and the conversion of the Jews to Christianity.

Hagee's predictions are very clear. Armageddon, the final battle, could begin, he wrote in his 2007 book "Jerusalem Countdown," "before this book gets published." The Antichrist "will be the head of the European Union," he writes.

Using geographical calculations based on the Book of Revelation, he writes that Israel will be covered in "a sea of human blood" in the final battle. The Jews, however, will survive the battle, Hagee says, long enough to have "the opportunity to receive Messiah, who is a rabbi known to the world as Jesus of Nazareth."

"They will be blessed beyond their wildest imagination," he writes.

A spokesman for McCain, Brian Rogers, said, "John McCain's commitment to the state of Israel is clear, and he respects Pastor Hagee's commitment as well.

John McCain's lifetime voting record, as measured by the League of Conservation Voters, reveals a senator who did not vote consistently for the measures supported by environmental groups. His lifetime score is 24%, compared with 86% for either Barack Obama or Hillary Clinton. In 2007, he scored a zero, out of a possible 100, primarily because he missed votes on failing measures that might have passed if he had been on the Senate floor and not out campaigning. This year, he's championed a gas tax holiday that major economists, environmentalists and think-tank analysts have derided, in part because it will encourage more oil consumption at a time when the nation needs to find a way to reduce its dependence on oil. Daily Green

THE MINISTER THE MEDIA IS HIDING FROM YOU

FORGET ABOUT JEREMIAH WRIGHT, MCCAIN'S PREACHER PAL JOHN HAGEE IS FAR MORE INTERESTING

TEN THINGS TO KNOW ABOUT JOHN MCCAIN

THE SORT OF APPOINTEES YOU CAN EXPECT IF MCCAIN WINS

MCCAIN'S HEALTH PLAN: FOLLOW THE BOUNCING SEMANTICS

ANOTHER REASON OBAMA & MCCAIN ARE WRONG TO OPPOSE SINGLE PAYER

MR CLEAN COMES UP WITH DIRTY TRICK OF THE MONTH

FIND THE REAL MCCAIN

GREAT THOUGHTS OF MCCAIN'S PREACHER PAL

3 YEARS AGO MCCAIN WAS READY TO DUMP IRAQ

MCCAIN BAWLS OUT NY TIMES REPORTER FOR ASKING GOOD QUESTION

RENZI IS SECOND MCCAIN OFFICIAL TO FACE FEDERAL CHARGES

REPUBLICANS HIRE EXPERTS ON HOW TO HANDLE BI-ETHNIC OR WOMAN CANDIDATE

MCCAIN SURROUNDED BY LOBBYISTS

NY TIMES STORY ON MCCAIN AND HIS LOBBYIST FRIEND

NY TIMES STORY ON MCCAIN AND HIS LOBBYIST FRIEND

DID BUSH ORDER KANGAROO COURT TRIAL TO HELP MCCAIN?

MCCAIN VOTES AGAINST WATERBOARDING BAN

MCCAIN DOESN'T KNOW WHETHER CONDOMS HELP STOP THE SPREAD OF HIV BUT WILL GET BACK TO YOU WHEN HE FINDS OUT

MCCAIN AND THE KEATING FIVE

MEET THE REAL JOHN MCCAIN

RECOVERED HISTORY: REMEMBERING THE REAL MCCAIN

MCCAIN BAWLS OUT AIDES FOR MAKING HIM WEAR 'GAY SWEATERS'

MCCAIN HIRES NIXON'S JEW HUNTER

SUNDAY TALK SHOWS HAVE STRONG CONSERVATIVE BIAS

MCCAIN: WE LOSE WAR AND 'THEY WILL FOLLOW US HOME'

APRIL 2008

QUESTIONS FOR JOHN MCCAIN THAT WON'T GET ASKED

From Perspectives

Do you agree with Pastor John Hagee that war with Iran is the fulfillment of biblical prophecy?

Doesn't your legendary temper make you too dangerous to be trusted with the presidency of the United States?

Doesn't your confusion regarding basic facts about the war in Iraq, including repeatedly citing a nonexistent Al Qaeda-Iran alliance, make you unfit for command?

What is your religion, really? . . . In June 2007, McClatchy reported, "McCain still calls himself an Episcopalian." In August 2007, as ABC reported, your campaign staff identified you as "Episcopalian" in a questionnaire prepared for ABC News' August 5 debate. But as the primary in evangelical-rich South Carolina neared, in September 2007 you said of your religious faith, "It plays a role in my life. By the way, I'm not Episcopalian. I'm Baptist." But in March 2008, Pastor Dan Yeary of your North Phoenix Baptist Church refused to comment on why you have refused to finally undergo a baptism ceremony. Congressional directories still list you as an Episcopalian.

Why did you flip-flop on the Bush tax cuts you twice opposed?

With the economy tanking, shouldn't Americans be concerned over your past statements that "the issue of economics is not something I've understood as well as I should?"

America Blog: ABC's George Stephanopoulos is arguing that he brought up the issues during last night's debate that Obama will likely face in the fall campaign. . . Okay, I'm game. McCain is going on Stephanopoulos' show this Sunday, so I'm hoping Stephanopoulos will be pushing McCain hard on the following issues. . . Adultery. McCain reportedly was seeing his second wife while still married to his first wife. And, then we have the issue of the blond lobbyist who looks like McCain's second wife. America deserves answers. . . Does John McCain require his mistresses to wear a flag pin?. . .I hope we'll be seeing some hard hitting questions about McCain being simply too old. . . McCain had skin cancer a few years ago. He now has some enormous thing on the side of his face that no one is talking about. I want to know why we shouldn't be worried that John McCain is going to get sick and die in office. . . Cindy McCain's drug addiction. What message does it send to America's children to have a drug addict, who actually stole drugs, as first lady?

MCCAIN AGAINST PORK, EXCEPT THE KIND HE LIKES

PROGRESS REPORT Sen. John McCain has repeatedly made a major campaign promise to veto any bill that comes to his desk as president if it contains earmarks. "I'll veto every bill that has a pork-barrel project on it," he has said.. McCain has failed to note, however, that earmarks have paid for projects that he supports, such as U.S. aid to Israel. Confronted with this reality this week, McCain's campaign quickly granted an exception for Israel. McCain "will ensure America remains committed to the security of Israel, including maintaining America's assistance levels," a spokesperson said.

It is surprising then that McCain was unaware that his earmark plan would obliterate U.S. funding assistance for Israel. McCain's chief economic adviser Douglas Holtz-Eakin has said that McCain embraces the Congressional Research Service's definition of the term "earmarks." All told, $14.4 billion, or two thirds of all foreign assistance, would be eliminated if McCain stuck with this proposal."

U.S. assistance to Israel is not the only casualty in McCain's anti-earmark pledge. CRS's earmark definition also includes funding for military family housing. What's more, tens of millions in military housing are directed to McCain's home state of Arizona. Will McCain now grant another exception for much-needed military housing, further eroding his promise to veto "every bill that has a pork barrel project?" Or will he deride it as "outrageous" Washington spending?

McCain's earmark numbers simply do not add up, leaving two-thirds of his tax proposal unfunded.

MEET THE OTHER JOHN MCCAIN

MICHAEL KRANISH, BOSTON GLOBE, JAN 27 Senator Thad Cochran of Mississippi, who has known Senator John McCain for more than three decades, on Wednesday endorsed Mitt Romney for president. Cochran said his choice was prompted partly by his fear of how McCain might behave in the Oval Office.

"The thought of his being president sends a cold chill down my spine," Cochran said about McCain by phone. "He is erratic. He is hotheaded. He loses his temper and he worries me."

McCain's run-ins with other Republican senators are legendary. Senator Charles Grassley of Iowa said in an interview that he was so upset by a McCain tirade that he didn't speak to him for two years. Grassley, who said he will make no endorsement, nonetheless says McCain is the most qualified among the five GOP candidates to be president. . .

McCain supporters say the senator more recently has tamed his temper as well as his political style. For example, they note that while McCain in 2000 said some religious conservative leaders were "agents of intolerance," the senator made a point of courting some of the same leaders in this campaign. . .

RON KESSLER, 2006 Back in 1999, McCain allowed reporters from the Arizona Republic, New York Times, and The Associated Press to review 1,500 pages of his medical and psychiatric records from his service in the military. McCain would not allow reporters to copy the records. Only a few papers ran details relating to his temper.

The documents, which include the results of annual psychiatric exams after he was released from a North Vietnamese prison in 1973, indicate McCain was not diagnosed with any psychiatric disorder and had adjusted well to his ordeal. McCain's imprisonment began in October 1967 when he was shot down over Hanoi. However, in response to the question, "What traits do you have that others object to?" McCain answered, "Quick temper.". . .

A July 5 NewsMax article quoted former Sen. Bob Smith, a New Hampshire Republican who served with McCain on the Senate Armed Services Committee, as saying, "I have witnessed incidents where he has used profanity at colleagues and exploded at colleagues . . . He would disagree about something and then explode. It was incidents of irrational behavior. We've all had incidents where we have gotten angry, but I've never seen anyone act like that."

McCain's outbursts often erupted when other members rebuffed his requests for support during his bid in 2000 for the Republican nomination for president, the story said. "People who disagree with him get the f*** you,'" said former Rep. John LeBoutillier, a New York Republican who had an encounter with McCain when he was on a POW task force in the House.

"He had very few friends in the Senate," said former Sen. Smith, who dealt with McCain almost daily. "He has a lot of support around the country, but I don't think he has a lot of support from people who know him well.". . .

At other times, McCain is simply nasty, those who know him say. Last February, McCain sent Sen. Barack Obama, D-Ill., a mocking letter, saying he wanted to "apologize" for "assuming" Obama's private assurances of working together were sincere.

"I'm embarrassed to admit that after all these years in politics, I failed to interpret your previous assurances as typical rhetorical gloss routinely used in politics to make self-interested partisan posturing appear more noble," McCain said sarcastically. "Again, sorry for the confusion, but please be assured I won't make the same mistake again.". . .

Democrat Paul Johnson, the former mayor of Phoenix, saw McCain's temper up close. "His volatility borders in the area of being unstable," Johnson has said. "Before I let this guy put his finger on the button, I would have to give considerable pause."

"I think he is mentally unstable and not fit to be president," former congressman LeBoutillier said.

Many have thought that McCain might have developed his out-of-control temper while a POW. But as described in his military records, McCain's anger pre-dated his captivity.

Only a few news outlets, like the Phoenix New Times in Arizona and the National Journal have run an Associated Press story reporting McCain's 1998 joke suggesting that Chelsea Clinton was ugly and that Janet Reno and Hillary Clinton were lesbians. "Why is Chelsea Clinton so ugly?" McCain said at a GOP fund-raiser in Washington. "Because Janet Reno is her father."

In a major exception to what it called the "fawning" treatment the national media give McCain, the Arizona Republic, in a front page article and separate editorial in October 1999, said it wanted the nation to know about the "volcanic" temper McCain had unleashed on top state officials. "McCain often insults people and flies off the handle," the editorial said. Moreover, he is often "sarcastic and condescending." The paper said that it was "time the rest of the nation learned about the John McCain we know in Arizona." The editorial said there is reason to "seriously question" whether McCain has the "temperament" to be president.

WONKETTE - In 1995, at the Capitol, McCain had a "scuffle" with 92-year-old Republican Senator Strom Thurmond. That's right, McCain tried to beat up the one person who was even older than McCain himself.
. . . When two Arizona medical doctors met with McCain to discuss a local endangered squirrel, "He slammed his fists on his desk, scattering papers across the room . . . He jumped up and down, screaming obscenities at us for at least 10 minutes. He shook his fists as if he was going to slug us."

MARCH 2008

MCCAIN'S CO-CHAIR HELPED CAUSE FISCAL CRISIS

POLITICO The general co-chairman of John McCain's presidential campaign, former Sen. Phil Gramm (R-Texas), led the charge in 1999 to repeal a Depression-era banking regulation law that Democrat Barack Obama claimed contributed significantly to today's economic turmoil.

"A regulatory structure set up for banks in the 1930s needed to change because the nature of business had changed," the Illinois senator running for president said in a New York economic speech. "But by the time [it] was repealed in 1999, the $300 million lobbying effort that drove deregulation was more about facilitating mergers than creating an efficient regulatory framework."

Gramm's role in the swift and dramatic recent restructuring of the nation's investment houses and practices didn't stop there.

A year after the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act repealed the old regulations, Swiss Bank UBS gobbled up brokerage house Paine Weber. Two years later, Gramm settled in as a vice chairman of UBS's new investment banking arm.

Later, he became a major player in its government affairs operation. According to federal lobbying disclosure records, Gramm lobbied Congress, the Federal Reserve and Treasury Department about banking and mortgage issues in 2005 and 2006.

During those years, the mortgage industry pressed Congress to roll back strong state rules that sought to stem the rise of predatory tactics used by lenders and brokers to place homeowners in high-cost mortgages.

For his work, Gramm and two other lobbyists collected $750,000 in fees from UBS's American subsidiary. In the past year, UBS has written down more then $18 billion in exposure to subprime loans and other risky securities and is considering cutting as many as 8,000 jobs.

FEBRUARY 2008

MCCAIN WELCOMES SUPPORT FROM EXTREMIST PREACHER

THINK PROGRESS - Hard-line conservative Pastor John Hagee, founder of Christians United for Israel, endorsed John McCain. Hagee said that McCain "is a man of principle, [who] does not stand boldly on both sides of any issue." McCain, who had been courting the endorsement for over a year, said that he was "very honored by Pastor John Hagee's endorsement.". . . McCain's acceptance of Hagee's endorsement was condemned today by conservative William Donohue, president of the Catholic League. Calling Hagee a "bigot," Donahue said the right-wing pastor has waged "an unrelenting war against the Catholic Church" by "calling it 'The Great Whore,' an 'apostate church,' the 'anti-Christ,' and a 'false cult system.'"

Hagee holds many other radical beliefs. In a 2006 address to CUFI, Hagee declared: "The United States must join Israel in a pre-emptive military strike against Iran to fulfill God's plan for both Israel and the West… a biblically prophesied end-time confrontation with Iran, which will lead to the Rapture, Tribulation, and Second Coming of Christ.

Speaking to the 2007 AIPAC conference, Hagee compared supporters of a two-state solution in the Middle East to Nazis. Hagee also echoed right-wing Israeli politician Binyamin Netanyahu, telling the audience that "Iran is Germany and Ahmadinejad is the new Hitler."

http://thinkprogress.org/2008/02/28/hagee-mccain-endorsement/

MCCAIN GETS HIS OWN 'YES WE CAN' VIDEO'

THE DANGEROUS MYTH OF JOHN McCAIN

JOHANN HARI, SEATTLE POST INTELLIGENCER - A lazy, hazy myth has arisen out of the mists of New Hampshire and South Carolina. Across the pan-Atlantic press, the grizzled 71-year-old Vietnam vet, John McCain, is being billed as the Republican liberals can live with. He is "a bipartisan progressive," "a principled hard liberal," "a decent man" -- in the words of liberal newspapers. His fragile new frontrunner status as we go into Super Tuesday is being seen as something to cautiously welcome, a kick to the rotten Republican establishment.

But the truth is that McCain is the candidate we should most fear. Not only is he to the right of Bush on a whole range of subjects, he is also the Republican candidate most likely to dispense with Hillary Clinton or Barack Obama. . .
Rage seems to be at the core of his personality: describing his own childhood, McCain has written: "At the smallest provocation I would go off into a mad frenzy, and then suddenly crash to the floor unconscious. When I got angry I held my breath until I blacked out." But he claims he was transformed by his experiences in Vietnam -- a war he still defends as "noble" and "winnable," if only it had been fought harder. . .

MCCAIN AND THE KEATING FIVE

WIKIPEDIA - McCain's upwards political trajectory was jolted when he became enmeshed in the Keating Five scandal of the 1980s. In the context of the Savings and Loan crisis of that decade, Charles Keating Jr.'s Lincoln Savings and Loan Association, a subsidiary of his American Continental Corporation, was insolvent due to some bad loans. In order to regain solvency, Lincoln sold investment in a real estate venture as a FDIC insured savings account. This caught the eye of federal regulators who were looking to shut it down.
It is alleged that Keating contacted five senators to whom he made contributions. McCain was one of those senators and he met at least twice in 1987 with Ed Gray, chairman of the Federal Home Loan Bank Board, seeking to prevent the government's seizure of Lincoln. Between 1982 and 1987, McCain received approximately $112,000 in political contributions from Keating and his associates. In addition, McCain's wife and her father had invested $359,100 in a Keating shopping center in April 1986, a year before McCain met with the regulators. McCain, his family and baby-sitter made at least nine trips at Keating's expense, sometimes aboard the American Continental jet. After learning Keating was in trouble over Lincoln, McCain paid for the air trips totaling $13,433.

Eventually the real estate venture failed, leaving many broke. Federal regulators ultimately filed a $1.1 billion civil racketeering and fraud suit against Keating, accusing him of siphoning Lincoln's deposits to his family and into political campaigns. The five senators came under investigation for attempting to influence the regulators. In the end, none of the senators were convicted of any crime, although McCain was rebuked by the Senate Ethics Committee for exercising "poor judgment" for intervening with the federal regulators on behalf of Keating.

On his Keating Five experience, McCain said: "The appearance of it was wrong. It's a wrong appearance when a group of senators appear in a meeting with a group of regulators, because it conveys the impression of undue and improper influence. And it was the wrong thing to do."

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_McCain

MEET THE REAL JOHN MCCAIN

JOSHUA HOLLAND, ALTERNET - McCain's political colleagues know another side of the action hero -- a volatile man with a hair-trigger temper, who shouted at Sen. Ted Kennedy on the Senate floor to "shut up," called his fellow Republican senators "shithead," "fucking jerk," "asshole," and joked in 1998 at a Republican fundraiser about the teenage daughter of President Clinton, "Do you know why Chelsea Clinton is so ugly? Because Janet Reno is her father." [In 2006], McCain suddenly rushed up to a friend of mine, a prominent Washington attorney, at a social event, and threatened to beat him up because he represented a client McCain happened to dislike, and then, just as suddenly, profusely and tearfully apologized.

And McCain's problems run far deeper than his irascibility and some gaffes on the stump. His real challenge is that his popularity -- his viability -- rests almost entirely on two narratives that have absolutely no connection with reality: his reputation as a straight-talking "maverick" and a moderate, and his "brave" support for Bush's troop escalation, a policy that's led to the widely-embraced but wholly false idea that "the surge is working.". . .

The reality is that John McCain is the antithesis of the principled straight-talker. When he was asked in a recent debate whether, as president, he would sign into law the comprehensive immigration reform bill that he's championed for the past three years, he responded: "No, I would not, because we know what the situation is today." Yes, the situation today is that he's running for the Republican nomination.

As journalist and blogger Steve Benen noted, that's only one of a number of measures that McCain has worked hard to pass and is now saying he'd oppose:

- McCain used to champion the Law of the Sea convention, even volunteering to testify on the treaty's behalf before a Senate committee. Now, if the treaty comes to the Senate floor, he's vowed to vote against it.

- McCain was a co-sponsor of the DREAM Act, which would grant legal status to illegal immigrants' kids who graduate from high school. In 2007, to make the far-right base happy, he voted against the bill he had taken the lead on.

- In 2006, McCain sponsored legislation to require grassroots lobbying coalitions to reveal their financial donors. In 2007, after receiving "feedback" on the proposal, McCain told far-right activist groups that he now opposes the measure he'd backed.

- McCain used to support major campaign-finance reform measures that bore his name. In June 2006, McCain announced his opposition to a major McCain-Feingold provision.

http://www.alternet.org/election08/75845/?page-entire

JANUARY 2007

MCCAIN HIRES HAROLD FORD BASHER

JACK MCENANY, LOST NATION - Sen. John McCain ? (R-AZ) has tapped GOP consultant Terry "Call me, Harold" Nelson as his national campaign manager. Wal-Mart found Nelson's anti-Harold Ford ad so objectionable they canned him from his consulting contract. Nelson has a reputation as a win-at-any-cost kind of guy. Nelson is also named, but not charged, in Tom Delay's money-laundering debacle that drove him from Congress. Nelson was Deputy Chief of Staff at the RNC at the time, and reportedly played a role in the scheme. So much for McCain the campaign finance reformer, the guy who'll bring us all together.

JUNE 2006

THE REAL JOHN MCCAIN

Things John McCain has done this sesson:

Opposed raising minimum wage
Supported any-consumer bankruptcy act
Supported cuts in Social Security
Supported cuts in Amtrak
Supported Alaskan oil drilling
Supported nominations of Negroponte, Gonzalez, Chertoff and Hayden
Supported Roberts and Alioto nomination to the Supreme Court
Supported Patriot Act
Supported Mexican boarder fence

APRIL 2006

THE MCCAIN ILLUSION

THINK PROGRESS - In 2004, Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) said he opposed a constitutional ban on same-sex marriage: Republican Sen. John McCain of Arizona broke forcefully with President Bush and the Senate GOP leadership Tuesday evening over the issue of same-sex marriage, taking to the Senate floor to call a constitutional amendment that would effectively ban the practice unnecessary - and un-Republican. "The constitutional amendment we're debating today strikes me as antithetical in every way to the core philosophy of Republicans," McCain said. But yesterday, ABC reported that McCain confided to Jerry Falwell that he would support such an amendment: "McCain 'reconfirmed' to Falwell that he would support a federal constitutional amendment defining marriage as the union of one man and one woman if a federal court were to strike down state constitutional bans on gay marriage.

In 2000, McCain called Falwell one of America's "agents of intolerance;" now he has agreed to give the commencement address at Falwell's Liberty University on May 13.

http://thinkprogress.org/2006/03/29/mccain-gay-marriage