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The F Word: Empty Calls for Accountability

Accountability, accountability, accountability. It’s amazing the word doesn’t stick in the candidates’ craws. Responding to the Wall Street crash on Monday, John McCain declared that, “The McCain-Palin administration will bring transparency and accountability to Wall Street, we will bring transparency and accountability and we will reform the regulatory bodies of government." 

It’s not only Wall Street that needs some accountability. If there’s one person McCain could rightly hold responsible for loosening the restraints on Wall Street, it’s his own economic advisor, Phil Gramm, — the man who called Americans worried about the economy "Whiners." As chair of the Senate banking committee, Gramm’s responsible for slipping into a banking bill the ok for a new credit default insurance policy or credit swap, that gave large financial institutions the incentive to give out ever riskier loans because those loans could be turned into securities and sold. The market in so called swaps — utterly unregulated — is at the heart of what took Lehman Brothers down.

McCain’s still praising Gramm at fundraisers — and Ron Paul says Gramm called him recently seeking his endorsement of McCain. No accountability there.

Nor on the Palin front. McCain’s running mate was also out there preaching transparency and accountability yesterday — at the very same time that her campaign was telling the press that the Governor won’t, after all, be cooperating with her own State’s investigation into what looks like a politically motivated firing of the pubic safety commissioner. Having said she’d cooperate, Palin’s now saying she won’t.

Forgive me if I’m missing something here, but isn’t this the Party that preaches  Personal Responsibility? I guess they’re all for personal responsibility — but only for other persons. 

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Laura Flanders

Laura Flanders

Laura Flanders, author, and host of RadioNation on Air America Radio, has built a reputation for courageous investigative journalism coupled with compassion and a sense of humor. In writing her last book, Blue Grit, she traveled the country reporting on grassroots success stories and broadcast live to over 150 radio stations from community centers in places including Helena, Salt Lake City, New Orleans, Miami, Las Vegas, and Milwaukee. In her television appearances (Lou Dobbs, Larry King Live,) on radio and in her many books (including Bushwomen: Tales of a Cynical Species) and articles (The Nation and others,) Flanders calls for a new politics of fairness, equality and citizen action. Articulating the human dimension of American communities in trouble, her programs have become destinations for those seeking the skills and the will to make a difference. Flanders is a regular contributor to the Nation Magazine and CNN. Before joining Air America, where she was part of the original lineup, and hosted “The Laura Flanders Show” for three years, Flanders was the founding host of the award-winning “Your Call” weekday mornings on public radio, KALW in the Bay Area and CounterSpin, the radio show of the mediawatch group, FAIR.