Notes aug 24 2008
August 24, 2008 § Leave a comment
According to conservative commentator and former presidential candidate Pat Buchanan, Sen. John McCain’s chief foreign policy adviser Randy Scheunemann is a ‘dual loyalist,’ ‘neocon warmonger’ involved in activities that ‘none dare call treason.’
Scheunemann’s former employer, Orion Strategies, is a lobbying firm with strong ties to Mikheil Saakashvili’s administration in Georgia.
Since Georgia attempted to retake South Ossetia by force, triggering a sharp, violent rebuke by Russian forces, Sen. McCain has been by far the most strident advocate of US support for the former Soviet state. And his top adviser, says Buchanan, may well be the next Henry Kissinger or Zbigniew Brzezinski.
“He is a dual loyalist, a foreign agent whose assignment is to get America committed to spilling the blood of her sons for client regimes who have made this moral mercenary a rich man,” he wrote.
In his recent history, Scheunemann was a key member of the Project for a New American Century (PNAC), which lobbied President Clinton for war with Iraq for years before the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001. He was also a signatory on a letter to President George W. Bush, just days after the terrorist attacks, demanding an invasion of Iraq and threatening political consequences if the president did not comply.
In addition, Scheunemann served as executive director of Ahmad Chalabi’s group, “The Committee for Liberation of Iraq,” a pro-war organization formed in 2002. Chalabi, once dubbed the “George Washington of Iraq,” has since been accused of providing false information to US authorities and is currently under investigation.
“Most important, Scheunemann’s former lobbying firm, Orion Strategies, received at lest $800,000 from the government of Georgia between 2004 and May 15, 2008, when Scheunemann finally severed his ties — officially, at least — to the firm,” notes The Nation. “Before that, between January 1, 2007, and May 15, 2008, Scheunemann was officially on the payroll as both Georgia’s lobbyist and McCain’s top adviser, during which time Georgia paid Orion and $290,000 and McCain paid him $70,000.”
and from Washington Monthly
LIFE IMITATING ART…. With Joe Biden joining the Democratic ticket, the race is on … for the perfect analogy. The media seems to have settled on Biden taking on a role similar to that of the current vice president. “Is Biden the new Cheney?” seems to be a very common question this morning.
But as silly as this may sound, the first name that came to my mind wasn’t Cheney, it was McGarry. As in Leo McGarry.
Everyone remembers the seventh season of “The West Wing,” right? A young, charismatic, relatively inexperienced member of Congress, who happens to be part of a minority group, endures through a lengthy and contentious Democratic primary season, and defies the odds against a better known and better tested party favorite to win the nomination. Waiting for him is an older Republican senator from out west, who’s occasionally rankled various constituencies in his own party.
Ring a bell?
And what, pray tell, does the captivating Democratic candidate do when it comes time to pick a running mate? He chooses an older member of the party establishment, with a background in foreign policy, who helps bring heft to the ticket.
Sure, the parallels are far from exact, but am I the only one who thought of this?
Describing his approach as “macroprudential regulation,” Mr. Bernanke said the effort “would involve an attempt by regulators to develop a more fully integrated overview of the entire financial system.”
A quote from Bloomberg: Freddie, Fannie Failure Could Be World `Catastrophe,’ Yu Says
“If the U.S. government allows Fannie and Freddie to fail and international investors are not compensated adequately, the consequences will be catastrophic,” [Yu Yongding, a former adviser to China’s central bank] said in e-mailed answers to questions yesterday. “If it is not the end of the world, it is the end of the current international financial system.’
And from the WaPo: Treasury’s Vigil On Fannie, Freddie
A top concern of Treasury Secretary Henry M. Paulson Jr. as he ponders whether to pull the trigger on a rescue plan for mortgage financiers Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac is the fate of its “preferred” shareholders, which include regional and community banks across the nation and central banks around the world, according to private analysts who closely follow the department.
Treasury officials are worried that a sell-off of these [preferred] shares poses serious risks to the broader financial system, the analysts said.