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Hypocrisy in action

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  • scotpeden@cruzio.com
    The Democratic and Neo Con Daddy Warbucks, Feinstein and Cheney. Scott ... * Senator Feinstein s War Profiteering * by Joshua Frank February 28, 2006
    Message 1 of 1 , Nov 30 11:56 AM
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      The Democratic and Neo Con Daddy Warbucks, Feinstein and Cheney.



      Senator Feinstein's War Profiteering
      by Joshua Frank
      February 28, 2006

      It happens all the time. If the antiwar movement takes on the Democrats for
      their bitter shortcomings, a few liberals are bound to criticize us for not
      hounding Bush instead. It doesn't even have to be an election year to get
      the progressives fired up. They just don't seem to get it. "How can you
      attack the Democrats when we have such a bulletproof administration ruling
      the roost in Washington?" somebody recently e-mailed me. "Don't you have
      something better to do than write this trash?!"
      Well, not really. It's too cold in upstate New York right now to do
      anything other than fume over the liberal villains in Washington. "Why do I
      write about the putrid Democratic Party?" I responded, "I'll tell you,
      there's a reason this Republican administration is so damn bulletproof –
      nobody from the opposition party is taking aim and pulling the trigger."
      And that's why the Dems are just as culpable in all that has transpired
      since Bush took office in 2000. They aren't just a part of the problem –
      the Democrats are the problem.
      I mean, who is really all that surprised Bush and his boys wanted to
      conquer the Middle East? Not me. That's just what unreasonable neocons do:
      they stomp out the little guy, kill off the weak, and suffocate the
      voiceless. They only care about the girth of their wallets and the number
      of scalps they can tack above their mantles.
      The Democrats aren't just letting the Republicans get away with murder,
      however: some of them are also reaping the benefits of the Bush wars. We
      constantly hear about Dick Cheney's ties to Halliburton and how his
      ex-company is making bundles off U.S. contracts in Iraq. But what we don't
      hear about is how Democratic Sen. Dianne Feinstein and her husband are also
      making tons of money off the "war on terror."
      The wishy-washy senator now claims Bush misled her prior to the invasion of
      Iraq. I don't think she's being honest with us, though. There may have been
      other reasons she helped sell Bush's lies. According to the Center for
      Public Integrity, Feinstein's husband Richard Blum has racked in millions
      of dollars from Perini, a civil infrastructure construction company, of
      which the billionaire investor wields a 75 percent voting share.
      In April 2003, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers gave $500 million to Perini
      to provide services for Iraq's Central Command. A month earlier in March
      2003, Perini was awarded $25 million to design and construct a facility to
      support the Afghan National Army near Kabul. And in March 2004, Perini was
      awarded a hefty contract worth up to $500 million for "electrical power
      distribution and transmission" in southern Iraq.
      Feinstein, who sits on the Senate Appropriations Committee as well as the
      Select Committee on Intelligence, is reaping the benefits of her husband's
      investments. The Democratic royal family recently purchased a $16.5 million
      mansion in the flush Pacific Heights neighborhood of San Francisco. It's a
      disgusting display of war profiteering, and just like Cheney, the leading
      Democrat should be called out for her offense.
      And that's exactly why the Bush administration is so darn bulletproof. The
      Democratic leadership in Washington is just as crooked and just as callous.
      March 1, 2006
      The Democrats' Daddy Warbucks
      Feinstein family war profits, part II
      by Joshua Frank

      Sen. Dianne Feinstein's husband, Richard Blum, could well be called the
      Democrats' Daddy Warbucks. He's scored bundles from war contracts. He has
      recently purchased a $16.5 million crib in San Francisco and along with his
      wife has handed hundreds of thousands of dollars over to fellow Democrats.
      Since the 2000 election cycle, Blum has contributed over $75,000 to the
      Democratic Senatorial Committee, and thousands more to individual
      Democrats, including John Kerry, Robert Byrd, Joe Lieberman, Ted Kennedy,
      and Barbara Boxer.
      Richard Blum's history as an entrepreneur began at the ripe age of 23 when
      he began to work for the San Francisco brokerage firm Sutro & Company. Blum
      quickly climbed the ranks and became a partner by the age of 30. According
      the San Francisco Chronicle, "Blum proved that he had an eye for
      fixer-upper properties when he led a partnership that acquired the
      struggling Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus for $8 million – then
      sold it to Mattel Inc. four years later for $40 million."
      In 1975, Blum went out on his own and formed a brokerage agency. Today,
      Blum's lofty firm, Blum Capital, holds positions in more than 20 companies,
      including real estate giants, credit bureaus, and yes, even military
      Blum sees himself as an altruistic capitalist, claims one of his
      ex-employees: "He likes to go after companies that are down and out, and
      bring their stock back to life. He thinks he's doing good." Blum shares a
      large stake in Perini, a civil construction company that is happily
      employed in Iraq and Afghanistan. But not all of Blum's war profits come
      from Perini. In 1975, his venture capital firm went after fledging
      construction and design company URS when the business was about to be
      bought out by another corporation.
      Since then, Blum has increased his stock in URS, capitalizing on its recent
      military contracts. Unlike Blum's dabbling with Barnum & Bailey, his
      current profits aren't so safe for child consumption.
      Here are the basics to date: Blum currently holds over 111,000 shares of
      stock in URS Corporation, which is now one of the top defense contractors
      in the United States. Blum is an acting director of URS, which bought EG&G,
      a leading provider of technical services and management to the U.S.
      military, from The Carlyle Group in 2002. Carlyle's trusty advisers, past
      and present, include former President George H.W. Bush, James Baker, and
      ex-SEC Commissioner Arthur Levitt, among other prominent neoconservatives
      and Washington power brokers.
      URS and Blum have since banked on the Iraq war, scoring a phat $600 million
      contract through EG&G. As a result, URS has seen its stock price more than
      triple since the war began in March 2003. Blum has cashed in over $2
      million on this venture alone and another $100 million for his investment
      "As part of EG&G's sale price," reports the San Francisco Chronicle,
      "Carlyle acquired a 21.74 percent stake in URS – second only to the 23.7
      percent of shares controlled by Blum Capital."
      The Carlyle Group has long been accused of exploiting its political
      connections to turn a profit. And if Carlyle can come under the microscope
      for its government ties and war profiteering, as it did in Michael Moore's
      Fahrenheit 9/11, than surely Blum's URS ought to be subject to the same
      Owen Blicksilver, Blum's spokesman, claims his boss and Sen. Feinstein have
      never talked shop at home in their gated mansion: "Mr. Blum and Sen.
      Feinstein have never had any discussions about outsourcing, government
      contracts, or URS."
      If this were a Republican senator's spouse scoring bundles off the spoils
      of war and passing it along to fellow Republicans, the liberals would be up
      in arms. But since Dianne Feinstein is a leading Democrat, mum's the word.
      Partisanship trumps ethics.

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