More Insanity From The Left

May 3, 2007 at 5:34 pm (christianity, clinton, conservative, conyers, edwards, Feinstein, global jihad, hillary, islamo fascist, kucinich, liberal, matsui, McDermott, murtha, pelosi, politics, religion, sanchez, sanders, Uncategorized, war on terror, waters, waxman, woolsey)

GANESH UEIKE, secretary of the West Bastar Divisional Committee of the Communist Party of India (Maoist), seems a gentle, rather academic, man, who does not suit his green combat fatigues or clenched-fist “red salute”. He shuffles dog-eared bits of paper from a shabby file in his knapsack and writes down the questions he is asked. He answers them in slogans that he gives every appearance of believing. He wants to “liberate India from the clutches of feudalism and imperialism”.

The rare interview took place last month, in a thatched shelter in a clearing in the Bastar forest in southern Chhattisgarh. The spot was some seven hours’ walk from the nearest road, and there had been a day-and-a-half’s wait for such a “big leader” to emerge from a hideout even deeper in the jungle. His party, he said, was facing renewed suppression, because “the resources of finance capitalism are facing sluggishness in their development, and are looking for new routes,” such as the mineral riches of this forest.

Mr Ueike did not mention that, just a few hours beforehand, at the edge of the forest, in a place called Errabore, his comrades had fought back. Several hundred had mounted a co-ordinated attack on a police station, a paramilitary base and a relief camp for displaced people. They killed more than 30 of the camp’s residents, mostly by hacking them to death with axes. The scholarly Mr Ueike did boast that his army relied on “low-tech weapons”.
 

This was the latest battle in a year-long civil war in Dantewada district, in which more than 350 people have been killed, and nearly 50,000 moved into camps such as the one at Errabore. It is a remote, sparsely populated, under-developed region bordering three neighbouring states, and nine hours’ drive from Chhattisgarh’s capital, Raipur. It is here that India’s widespread Maoist rebellion is most intense.

On August 15th, in his National Day speech in Delhi, India’s prime minister, Manmohan Singh, linked Naxalism with terrorism (Islamic) as the two big threats to India’s internal security.

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Dirty Dianne

May 2, 2007 at 2:45 pm (christianity, clinton, conservative, conyers, edwards, Feinstein, global jihad, hillary, islamo fascist, kucinich, liberal, matsui, McDermott, murtha, pelosi, politics, religion, sanchez, sanders, Uncategorized, war on terror, waters, waxman, woolsey)

Anyone who knows much about real power in Congress knows that almost every member of the House and Senate lusts after a seat on the Appropriations Committee and hopes one day to achieve the status of Cardinal. The Cardinals, of course, are the folks who chair the various Appropriations Committee subcommittees and literally control the billions of dollars that pass through their hands.

California Sen.  Dianne Feinstein (D) chairs the Senate Rules Committee, but she’s also a Cardinal. She is currently chairwoman of the Interior, Environment and Related Agencies subcommittee, but until last year was for six years the top Democrat on the Military Construction, Veterans Affairs, and Related Agencies (or “Milcon”) sub-committee, where she may have directed more than $1 billion to companies controlled by her husband.

She may be on the way to morphing from a respected senior Democrat into another poster child for congressional corruption.

The problems stem from her subcommittee activities from 2001 to late 2005, when she quit. During that period the public record suggests she knowingly took part in decisions that eventually put millions of dollars into her husband’s pocket — the classic conflict of interest that exploited her position and power to channel money to her husband’s companies.

In other words, it appears Sen. Feinstein was up to her ears in the same sort of shenanigans that landed California Rep. Randy “Duke” Cunningham (R) in the slammer. Indeed, it may be that the primary difference between the two is basically that Cunningham was a minor leaguer and a lot dumber than his state’s senior senator.

Melanie Sloan, the executive director of Citizens for Responsible Ethics in Washington, or CREW, usually focuses on the ethical lapses of Republicans and conservatives, but even she is appalled at the way Sen. Feinstein has abused her position. Sloan told a California reporter earlier this month that while”there are a number of members of Congress with conflicts of interest … because of the amount of money involved, Feinstein’s conflict of interest is an order of magnitude greater than those conflicts.”

And the director of the Project on Government Oversight who examined the evidence of wrongdoing assembled by California writer Peter Byrne told him that “the paper trail showing Senator Feinstein’s conflict of interest is irrefutable.”

It may be irrefutable, but she almost got away without anyone even knowing what she was up to. Her colleagues on the subcommittee, for example, had no reason even to suspect that she knew what companies might benefit from her decisions because that information is routinely withheld to avoid favoritism. What they didn’t know was that her chief legal adviser, who also happened to be a business partner of her husband’s and the vice chairman of one of the companies involved, was secretly forwarding her lists of projects and appropriation requests that were coming before the committee and in which she and her husband had an interest — information that has only come to light recently as a result of the efforts of several California investigative reporters.

This adviser insists — apparently with a straight face — that he provided the information to Feinstein’s chief of staff so that she could recuse herself in cases where there might be a conflict. He says that he assumes she did so. The public record, however, indicates that she went right ahead and fought for these same projects.

During this period the two companies, URS of San Francisco and the Perini Corporation of Framingham, Mass., were controlled by Feinstein’s husband, Richard C. Blum, and were awarded a combined total of over $1.5 billion in government business thanks in large measure to her subcommittee. That’s a lot of money even here in Washington.
Interestingly, she left the subcommittee in late 2005 at about the same time her husband sold his stake in both companies. Their combined net worth increased that year with the sale of the two companies by some 25 percent, to more than $40 million.

In spite of the blatant appearance of corruption, no major publication has picked up on the story, the Senate Ethics Committee has reportedly let her slip by, and she is now chairing the Senate Rules Committee, which puts her in charge of making sure her colleagues act ethically and avoid the sorts of conflicts of interest with which she is personally and so obviously familiar.

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