Saturday, July 14, 2012

CALIFORNIA - A STATE IN MELTDOWN - AMERICA'S GREECE? OR A COLONY OF MEXICO?


California Demon

A state fast becoming America's version of Greece.
THE LATEST UNEMPLOYMENT NUMBERS show the economic recovery stalling. But as weak as the national economy is, it’s nothing compared to the condition of some states whose policies are guaranteed to scare away jobs and investment.
Call it the European Disease: Run up spending and debt, raise taxes in the name of balancing the budget, and then watch as jobs flee, deficits rise, and credit ratings fall.
Chief Executive magazine has just come out with a survey of 650 corporate CEOs on the business climate in their states. They ranked local conditions on a range of issues, including regulations, tax policies, work force quality, educational resources, quality of living, and infrastructure.
It won’t surprise anyone who has followed the annual survey to learn which state finished in the back of the pack, and which finished first. California was dead last in attractiveness to business for the eighth year in a row, while Texas came in first for the eighth consecutive time.
“CEOs tell us that California seems to be doing everything possible to drive business from the state. Texas, by contrast, has been welcoming companies and entrepreneurs, particularly in the high-tech arena,” J.P. Donlon, editor of Chief Executive, said in May during the survey’s release.
Indeed, with its malfunctioning economy, California is fast becoming an American version of Greece. It has an unemployment rate of 10.9 percent, the highest of all states save Rhode Island and Nevada. (April figures, the most recent available at press time.) Because of its generous benefit structures for the poor, California has a third of all welfare recipients in the country, even though it’s home to less than an eighth of the U.S. population. The Golden State’s environmental extremism results in electricity rates 50 percent higher than the national average.
Then there are taxes. Even middle-class families earning $48,000 a year pay a state tax rate of 9.3 percent, a higher rate than millionaires pay in 47 other states. A ballot measure backed by liberal legislators will ask state voters this fall if they want to raise the top rate on high earners to a staggering 13.3 percent.
Naturally, this economic version of Dante’s circles of hell has driven jobs from the state at an increasing pace. One relocation firm calculates that last year, a total of 254 California companies moved some of their work and jobs out of state—a number that is 26 percent higher than that of 2010 and five times higher than 2009.
Andy Puzder, the CEO of CKE Restaurants, the parent company behind Hardee’s and Carl's Jr., is just one of the many corporate leaders who have been traumatized by California’s hostile business climate.
He tells me it takes six months to two years to secure permits to build a new Carl’s Jr. Restaurant in the Golden State, versus the six weeks it takes in Texas.
California is one of only three states that demand employers pay overtime after an eight-hour day, rather than after a 40-hour week. Such rules wreak havoc on flexible work schedules based on actual need. If there’s a line out the door at a Carl’s Jr. while employees are seen resting, it’s because they aren’t allowed to help: Break time is mandatory.
“You can’t build in California, you can’t manage in California, and you are taxed to death,” says Puzder. *
Rather than raise taxes, Texas has contained them. It prides itself on having no state income or capital gains tax at all.
“Texas’ economy is far less volatile due to its having neither a progressive income tax system nor a large tax burden,” concludes “Rich States, Poor States,” a study by the American Legislative Exchange Council. Less volatility also allows the state to keep expenditures in check. Texas’s overall spending burden re mains below what it was in 1987—a remarkable feat.
The most dramatic reform California could make would be to change its boom-and-bust tax system so it doesn’t depend on a small number of wealthy residents who can flee the state. The idea would be to broaden the income tax base and lower the state’s high rates. The strategy is working today in seven states ranging from Colorado to Massachusetts.
Even California Governor Jerry Brown recognizes that the state’s tax system leads to up-anddown revenue cycles that hurt its economy. Its steep progressive tax system means that the top 1 percent of income earners pay between one-third and half of all state income tax revenues. Brown acknowledges that depending on the rich to pay the bills causes “more volatility” in revenue collections and thus “a more or less constant state” of deficits. Nonetheless, Brown is supporting the tax increase on upper earners on this November’s ballot.
CALIFORNIA'S AGONIES are likely to continue. But the Chief Executive survey contains good news for states that have the courage to implement real reform. For years, Louisiana’s policies were hostile to business and caused the state to lose population every year. But GOP Governor Bobby Jindal has aggressively moved to change that. In 2006, in the wake of Hurricane Katrina, the Chief Executive survey ranked Louisiana 47th in business climate—on the same level as Massachusetts. Now the state has moved up to 13th place, rising from last year’s 27th place—an astonishing turnaround.
Wisconsin, one of the most unionized states in the country, is also showing how just a few common- sense reforms can dramatically change business perceptions. Republican Governor Scott Walker has trimmed regulations and wiped out a budget deficit by reforming collective-bargaining laws so local governments can save money in contract negotiations with their public employees. The result is that the state’s business climate is now in the top 20—the first time that’s ever happened.
Asked by Chief Executive exactly why he thinks it so important to reduce business costs in his state, Governor Walker replied: “I’ve never seen a store get more customers by raising its prices, but I’ve seen customers knock down the doors when they cut prices.”
Of course, Governor Walker’s policies are still controversial—he faced a June 5 recall effort heavily promoted by public employee unions. The reason his victory is so important is that it sends a message to other governors that reform is not only possible, but that it will be validated by voters. Had he lost, far too many governors and other leaders would have concluded that the best political course is not to shake things up and leave the biggest problems for their successors.

* A quotation from the CEO of CKE Restaurants, which owns Hardee's and Carl's Jr. brands, originally overstated the company's growth in Texas. CKE plans to have 350 restaurants open in the Lonestar State by the end of the decade.

About the Author

John H. Fund is a senior editor of The American Spectator and author of the Stealing Elections (Encounter Books).
http://spectator.org/archives/2012/07/11/california-demon


California spending annually $22 billion to support illegals

Going To the Top!

By Susan Tully


I've been at the immigration reform and enforcement table for about 20 years. I've worked with activists during all those years. But last week, in Los Angeles, I had a first-time-ever experience at an activist brain storming session.

Gathered for an update on Stop AB131, the petition drive to gather signatures to force a ballot initiative as to whether the California taxpayers should fund college grants to illegal aliens, I asked the top activist leaders from Southern California how the signature drive was going.

They started updating me with the positive response from California residents who signed the petitions, but then admitted about 500,000 more signatures were still needed. When I said there was only a little more than three weeks to go to meet the January 5th deadline, suddenly their faces dropped at once, and the room went completely silent.

It was easy to read on each of their faces; the task was nearly impossible! Without big money to pay signature gatherers or a tsunami of petitions flooding in, the taxpayers of California will be forced to give grant money to illegal aliens for college, on top of the $22 billion they are spending annually in California to support the illegal alien population.

While all of our minds were racing and searching for suggestions as to how to accomplish this daunting task of gathering signatures, Lupe Moreno, long time Hispanic leader from Santa Ana, said "Can we have a prayer?" Everyone agreed to pray.

As the prayer went around the table, people expressed their sorrow for the lack of leadership in the State of California and in the nation to protect the interest of American citizens, and asked for divine guidance in helping them understand the harm their policies are inflicting on millions of innocent people in the state. In all the years I have worked on this issue, I had not witnessed the sort of sincere emotion that was expressed in that room.

(THE FASTEST GROWING POLITICAL PARTY IN AMERICA IS THE MEXICAN FASCIST PARTY of LA RAZA! AND WE ARE FORCED TO FUND IT!)

You see, the politicians in California are happy to give money the state doesn't have to illegal aliens to attend college, while they cut the budgets and slash programs for public safety, right and left. The American citizen's interests and safety are simply collateral damage for seeking and appealing to the illegal alien lobby.

These activists in California have already learned what the rest of the nation is about to learn. We the people. . . are the only ones looking out for the best interest of American citizens. With few exceptions, we have no national leadership on the issue of stopping the illegal migration flow into our nation.

American citizenship or the benefits thereof have become a commodity for politicians to pander and barter away. They will grant de facto citizenship through sanctuary policies, in-state tuition, non-compliance with Secure Communities, grants for college, etc., etc., etc. President Obama and most the Republican presidential hopefuls are peddling various versions of amnesty proposals if they are elected next year.

What do these politicians want in return? They are hoping to leverage enough votes in key states to put them over the top in 2012, no matter what it costs the American people. This is futures betting: The politicians are gambling the nation's future in hopes of winning the next election.

So while the state can't afford to pay its bills or provide decent services to citizens, these California activists watch their elected leaders lavish still more benefits for people who don't have a legal right to be in the country. And while their child might have to pay out-of-state tuition to go to college in another state, thousands of illegal aliens are going to college at in-state tuition rates in California that they are subsidizing.

In addition they know that millions of other illegal alien parents are receiving food stamps, Medicaid, housing assistance and dozens of other state and local benefits for their American-born children, while they have to decide which bills will be paid this month and which will have to wait.

It's not hard to understand why the activist of California need all the help they can get. Please go to www.stopAB131.com and lend a hand to our friends and family and the people of California to do what needs to be done for the good of our children first.
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LA RAZA DEMS BUILD THE “DREAM ACT” LIFE FOR LA RAZA OFF THE AMERICANS BACK! NOT ONE AMERICAN VOTED FOR ONE DREAM ACT HANDOUT!


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CA HAS THE MOST EXPENSIVE PRISON SYSTEM IN THE COUNTRY. HALF THE INMATES ARE MEXICANS.
ACCORDING TO CA ATTORNEY GENERAL KAMALA HARRIS NEARLY HALF OF THE MURDERS IN CA ARE BY MEXICAN GANGS!
OF HER OWN TOP MOST WANTED CRIMINALS, ALL ARE MEXICANS!
OF THE TOP 200 MOST WANTED CRIMINALS IN LOS ANGELES, 176 ARE MEXICANS. MOST OF THE REMAINING ARE RUSSIANS!
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206 Most wanted criminals in Los Angeles. Out of 206 criminals--183 are hispanic---171 of those are wanted for Murder.

Why do Americans still protect the illegals??

http://www.dailybreeze.com/ci_11255121?appSession=934140935651450&RecordID=&PageID=2&PrevPageID=&cpipage=1&CPISortType=&CPIorderBy=

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TEN MOST WANTED CRIMINALS IN CALIFORNIA ARE MEXICANS!

Officials call for California to withdraw from controversial illegal immigration enforcement program
By Paloma Esquivel
Los Angeles Times Staff Writer
11:55 AM PDT, June 10, 2011
Seven Democratic members of California's Congressional Delegation called on Gov. Jerry Brown Friday to suspend California's participation in the Secure Communities immigration enforcement program.

In recent weeks, governors in Illinois, New York and Massachusetts sought to suspend or declined to enter into Secure Communities participation agreements. Earlier this week, the Los Angeles City Council voted nearly unanimously to support legislation allowing communities to opt out of the program.

Gov. Brown "should side with both the officers who patrol our communities and the people they protect and end Secure Communities in California," said Rep. Lucille Roybal-Allard (D-Los Angeles).

Under the program, the fingerprints of all arrestees booked into local jails are forwarded to Immigration and Customs Enforcement for screening. It was touted as a way to target serious criminals for deportation but has generated controversy because many of those detained are either not convicted of crimes or are low-level offenders.

A California bill that seeks to modify Secure Communities and allow counties to opt out is making its way through the Legislature but whether states and counties can legally decline to participate is not clear.

In addition to Roybal-Allard, Reps. Judy Chu (D-Monterey Park), Maxine Waters (D-Los Angeles), Linda Sanchez (D-Lakewood), Grace Napolitano (D-Norwalk) and Karen Bass (D-Los Angeles) signed the letter. It was organized by Rep. Xavier Becerra (D-Los Angeles).

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HALF OF ALL MURDERS IN CA ARE BY MEXICAN GANGS!



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WE ARE MEXICO’S WELFARE SYSTEM!
AND IT COSTS US BILLIONS!

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The Mexican consul in Los Angeles proudly announced that nearly 300,000 Mexicans in the area have benefited from his government's health referral program, which he says actually saves the county money by encouraging immigrants to seek preventive care rather than waiting for more expensive emergency treatment.

CALIFORNIA HOSPITALS LEGALLY FORCED TO HAND OUT “FREE” MEDICAL TO MEXICO!


JUDICIAL WATCH.org …. Get on their email list!
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Illegal Aliens Bump U.S. Citizens For Mental Healthcare
Last Updated: Mon, 03/08/2010 - 3:20pm
In the latest outrage involving illegal immigration, mentally ill U.S. citizens in Florida are being placed on waiting lists for treatment because public facilities are overcrowded with illegal aliens.
As if this weren’t disturbing enough, state officials want to turn the illegal immigrants over to federal authorities but patient confidentiality laws forbid it because it would violate the illegal aliens’ privacy. The baffling information was revealed this week by a northern Florida newspaper that says the crisis puts the state at the forefront of a national debate over whether illegal immigrants should enjoy the same rights to public health care as legal residents.  
SUNSHINE STATE ANNUALLY SPENDS $165 MILLION FOR HEALTHCARE FOR ILLEGAL IMMIGRANTS
The Sunshine State annually spends about $165 million on healthcare for illegal immigrants. A chunk of that, nearly $20 million, was spent to provide mental health care at public institutions for at least 86 illegal aliens, according to a November survey quoted in the piece. The cost is likely much higher, authorities say, because there are probably more unidentified undocumented immigrants in custody.
This has presented a huge burden on the state’s mental health resources and created a waiting list of 60 beds for those legal U.S. residents and citizens who need care. State lawmakers who oppose the current system have spoken out against it but failed to take action. The Republican who chairs Florida’s healthcare policy committee points out that it would be more appropriate for the illegal immigrants to “go back to their countries and get treatment there,” but so far has done nothing to remedy the situation.

U.S TAXPAYERS SPEND TENS OF BILLIONS TO PROVIDE “FREE” MEDICAL CARE FOR ILLEGALS. MEXICO IS PUSHING TO EXPAND THIS SIGNIFICANTLY. SO IS OBAMA, PELOSI, FEINSTEIN, BOXER, REID!

U.S. taxpayers spend tens of billions of dollars annually to provide free medical care for illegal immigrants nationwide with states that border Mexico taking the biggest hit. The expense has become so unbearable in California—long an illegal alien sanctuary—that several municipalities eliminated the perk last year to save tens of millions of dollars in the midst of the state’s dire financial crisis.
MEXICO OPERATES LA RAZA MEDIA TO PROMOTE EXPANSION OF THE MEXICAN WELFARE STATE.

Adding to the problem is the fact that Mexico, the country that provides the largest amount of illegal immigrants in the U.S., has long promoted America’s generous public health centers. It even operates a Spanish-language program (Ventanillas de Salud, Health Windows) in about a dozen U.S. cities that refers its nationals—living in the country illegally—to clinics where they can get free medical care without being turned over to immigration authorities.
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For some, a struggle WHO THINKS ABOUT THE STRUGGLE OF THE AMERICANS?


Some illegal immigrants have used stolen Social Security numbers to qualify for health programs -- a form of medical identity theft increasingly on hospital radars. Many more scramble to pay for their medicine and doctors visits in cash, a challenge in an economy where day-laborer work has dried up.

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LA RAZA, THE RACIST MEXICAN SUPREMACIST FASCIST PART  FOR “THE RACE” DEMANDS EVEN MORE GRINGO WELFARE.

FAIR Legislative Update - June 22, 2009

La Raza Demands Obama's Health Reform Plan Cover Illegal Aliens

On Monday, June 15, the National Council of La Raza (La Raza), an open borders advocacy group, issued a statement calling upon Congress to ensure that illegal aliens are given health benefits if and when Congress considers health care reform.

La Raza's statement "strongly urge[d] President Obama and Congress to make every effort to ensure that health care reform reaches all communities" in the United States, and stressed that "one out of every three uninsured persons and roughly 40% of all uninsured children [in the United States] are Latino," and demanded "health care reform that makes coverage affordable and accessible for everyone — all families and all children."

SINCE WHEN HAVE THE MEXICAN FLAG WAVERS EVER “ACCEPTED THEIR RESPONSIBILITY”  FOR ANYTHING? THEY’RE HERE TO PILLAGE ONLY.

La Raza President and CEO Janet Murguía used the statement to emphasize that "everyone in the U.S. should contribute to a new health system," and that "Latinos [would] accept their responsibility" to contribute to a new health care system and "will pay their fair share for the health coverage they need." While the statement does not reference illegal immigration specifically, or distinguish between legal and illegal aliens, it does express concern that adding new, expensive verification and documentation procedures for immigrants would "severely restrict access to health care coverage." (La Raza Press Release, June 15, 2009).

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CNN RECENTLY REPORTED THAT THE NUMBER OF MEX GANG MEMBERS EXCEEDS ONE MILLION!

Lou Dobbs Tonight    
And there are some 800,000 gang members in this country: That’s more than the combined number of troops in our Army and Marine Corps. These gangs have become one of the principle ways to import and distribute drugs in the United States. Congressman David Reichert joins Lou to tell us why those gangs are growing larger and stronger, and why he’s introduced legislation to eliminate the top three international drug gangs.
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“What we're seeing is our Congress and national leadership dismantling our laws by not enforcing them. Lawlessness becomes the norm, just like Third World corruption. Illegal aliens now have more rights and privileges than Americans. If you are an illegal alien, you can drive a car without a driver's license or insurance. You may obtain medical care without paying. You may work without paying taxes. Your children enjoy free education at the expense of taxpaying Americans.”
206 Most wanted criminals in Los Angeles. Out of 206 criminals--183 are hispanic---171 of those are wanted for Murder.

Why do Americans still protect the illegals??

http://www.dailybreeze.com/ci_11255121?appSession=934140935651450&RecordID=&PageID=2&PrevPageID=&cpipage=1&CPISortType=&CPIorderBy=

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TEN MOST WANTED CRIMINALS IN CALIFORNIA ARE MEXICANS!
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“In Mexico, a recent Zogby poll declared that the vast majority of Mexican citizens hate Americans. [22.2] Mexico is a country saturated with racism, yet in denial, having never endured the social development of a Civil Rights movement like in the US--Blacks are harshly treated while foreign Whites are often seen as the enemy. [22.3] In fact, racism as workplace discrimination can be seen across the US anywhere the illegal alien Latino works--the vast majority of the workforce is usually strictly Latino, excluding Blacks, Whites, Asians, and others.”


MEXICO’S SUPREMACY OVER OUR OPEN AND UNDEFENDED BORDERS

NEW YORK (CNN) -- Mexican President Felipe Calderon Sunday demanded the United States surrender its sovereignty, abandon the rule of law and accede to Mexico's inherent supremacy.
Lou Dobbs says Mexican President Felipe Calderon is showing "blatant hypocrisy" on
immigration.
In his state of the union address to the Mexican nation, Calderon established his imperialistic imperatives: "I have said that Mexico does not stop at its border, that wherever there is a Mexican, there is Mexico. And, for this reason, the government action on behalf of our countrymen is guided by principles, for the defense and protection of their rights."
Calderon protested the U.S. government's increased raids on illegal employers of illegal alien employees and work site enforcement. In what is little more than a faint nod to the Bush administration's responsibility to enforce U.S. immigration law, the Department of Homeland Security had planned to send out notices to employers from the Social Security Administration informing them of non-matching records between an employee's name and Social Security number. These employers would then be forced to resolve any discrepancy within 90 days or be required to dismiss the employee or face up to $10,000 in fines for knowingly hiring illegal immigrants.
But then, ethnocentric advocacy groups and some labor unions, trying to bolster their membership, sued to stop the crackdown on hiring illegal alien workers. A federal judge in California last week issued a temporary restraining order blocking the plan, giving a victory to the AFL-CIO, the American Civil Liberties Union and the National Immigration Law Center, all of which brought the suit alleging DHS exceeded its authority in making the rule.
That U.S. District Court judge ruled as if she were an employee of the Mexican government, rather than the U.S. government. Homeland Security was simply enforcing existing immigration laws. Are we not a nation that follows the rule of law? If not, we're no country at all.

Calderon must have been delighted by the judge's decision. Calderon, like his predecessors, Carlos Salinas and Vicente Fox, has failed miserably to establish policies that would create jobs for the Mexican people and to eliminate shameful, unchecked corruption and incompetence in the Mexican government.


Daily Presidential Tracking Poll - Rasmussen Reports™ MUSLIM DICTATORS WANT MORE OF OBAMA!

Daily Presidential Tracking Poll - Rasmussen Reports™




BARACK OBAMA IS NOTHING BUT BUSH’S THIRD TERM ON STEROIDS!
WAR, WAR, WAR, ENDLESS WAR TO PROTECT THE BORDERS OF MUSLIM DICTATORS WHILE OUR OWN BORDERS ARE LEFT WIDE OPEN TO THE NARCOMEX DRUG CARTELS AND MEXICAN INVADERS!
CA ALONE PUTS OUT $22 BILLION PER YEAR IN WELFARE TO ILLEGALS!
WHAT WOULD $51 BILLION HAVE DONE IF SPEND ON EDUCATION GRANTS TO LEGALS IN OUR BORDERS???????
WHO BENEFITS FROM THE OBAMA WAR MACHINE?
TRY OBAMA DONOR, SEN. DIANNE FEINSTEIN! ONE OF THE MOST CORRUPT POLITICIANS IN HISTORY! AS BUSH’S WAR PROFITEER SHE RAKED IN MILLIONS AND WENT OUT AND BOUGHT HERSELF ANOTHER MANSION, HER $16 MILLION S.F. PLACE ONLY MILES FROM HER S.F. HOTEL WHERE SHE HIRES ILLEGALS BECAUSE THEY WORK “CHEAP” COMPARED TO A LEGAL!
WE CAN’T FIX OUR NATION UNTIL WE RID OURSELVES OF THESE CORRUPT POLITICIANS!
Auditors say billions likely wasted in Iraq work
by ROBERT BURNS | Associated Press – 6 hrs ago
WASHINGTON (AP) — After years of following the paper trail of $51 billion in U.S. taxpayer dollars provided to rebuild a broken Iraq, the U.S. government can say with certainty that too much was wasted. But it can't say how much.
In what it called its final audit report, the Office of the Special Inspector General for Iraq Reconstruction Funds on Friday spelled out a range of accounting weaknesses that put "billions of American taxpayer dollars at risk of waste and misappropriation" in the largest reconstruction project of its kind in U.S. history.
"The precise amount lost to fraud and waste can never be known," the report said.
The auditors found huge problems accounting for the huge sums, but one small example of failure stood out: A contractor got away with charging $80 for a pipe fitting that its competitor was selling for $1.41. Why? The company's billing documents were reviewed sloppily by U.S. contracting officers or were not reviewed at all.
With dry understatement, the inspector general said that while he couldn't pinpoint the amount wasted, it "could be substantial."
Asked why the exact amount squandered can never be determined, the inspector general's office referred The Associated Press to a report it did in February 2009 titled "Hard Lessons," in which it said the auditors — much like the reconstruction managers themselves — faced personnel shortages and other hazards.
"Given the vicissitudes of the reconstruction effort — which was dogged from the start by persistent violence, shifting goals, constantly changing contracting practices and undermined by a lack of unity of effort — a complete accounting of all reconstruction expenditures is impossible to achieve," the report concluded.
In that same report, the inspector general, Stuart Bowen, recalled what then-Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld asked when they met shortly after Bowen started in January 2004: "Why did you take this job? It's an impossible task."
By law, Bowen's office reports to both the secretary of defense and the secretary of state. It goes out of business in 2013.
Bowen's office has spent more than $200 million tracking the reconstruction funds, and in addition to producing numerous reports, his office has investigated criminal fraud that has resulted in 87 indictments, 71 convictions and $176 million in fines and other penalties. These include civilians and military members accused of kickbacks, bribery, bid-rigging, fraud, embezzlement and outright theft of government property and funds.
Much, however, apparently got overlooked. Example: A $35 million Pentagon project was started in December 2006 to establish the Baghdad airport as an international economic gateway, and the inspector general found that by the end of 2010 about half the money was "at risk of being wasted" unless someone else completed the work.
Of the $51 billion that Congress approved for Iraq reconstruction, about $20 billion was for rebuilding Iraqi security forces and about $20 billion was for rebuilding the country's basic infrastructure. The programs were run mainly by the Defense Department, the State Department and the U.S. Agency for International Development.
A key weakness found by Bowen's inspectors was inadequate reviewing of contractors' invoices.
In some cases invoices were checked months after they had been paid because there were too few government contracting officers. Bowen found a case in which the State Department had only one contracting officer in Iraq to validate more than $2.5 billion in spending on a DynCorp contract for Iraqi police training.
"As a result, invoices were not properly reviewed, and the $2.5 billion in U.S. funds were vulnerable to fraud and waste," the report said. "We found this lack of control to be especially disturbing since earlier reviews of the DynCorp contract had found similar weaknesses."
In that case, the State Department eventually reconciled all of the old invoices and as of July 2009 had recovered more than $60 million.
The report touched on a problem that cropped up in virtually every major aspect of the U.S. war effort in Iraq, namely, the consequences of fighting an insurgency that proved more resilient than the Pentagon had foreseen. That not only made reconstruction more difficult, dangerous and costly, but also left the U.S. military unprepared for the grind of multiple troop deployments, the tactics of an adaptable insurgency and the complexity of battlefield wounds. It also left the U.S. government short of the expertise it needed to monitor contractors.
Although the audit was labeled as final, a spokesman for Bowen's office, Christopher M. Griffith, said several more will be done to provide additional details on what the U.S. got for its reconstruction dollars and what was wasted.
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Judicial Watch Announces List of Washington’s “Ten Most Wanted Corrupt Politicians” for 2007
4.  Senator Diane Feinstein (D-CA):  As a member of the Senate Appropriations Committee's subcommittee on military construction, Feinstein reviewed military construction government contracts, some of which were ultimately awarded to URS Corporation and Perini, companies then owned by Feinstein's husband, Richard Blum. While the Pentagon ultimately awards military contracts, there is a reason for the review process. The Senate's subcommittee on Military Construction's approval carries weight. Sen. Feinstein, therefore, likely had influence over the decision making process.  Senator Feinstein also attempted to undermine ethics reform in 2007, arguing in favor of a perk that allows members of Congress to book multiple airline flights and then cancel them without financial penalty.  Judicial Watch’s investigation into this matter is ongoing. 
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 “WHY HASN’T SHE EXPRESSED OUTRAGE ABOUT SOME OF THE POTENTIAL CONFLICTS WITH PEOPLE IN OR CLOSE TO THE BUSH ADMINISTRATION?... COULD IT BE THAT SHE HERSELF HAS SOME ENTANGLEMENTS?”

 "Why hasn't she expressed outrage about some of the potential conflicts with people in or close to the Bush administration?" Lewis said. "Could it be that she herself has some entanglements?"

Blum's firms win multimillion-dollar defense contracts in Iraq, Afghanistan Phillip Matier, Andrew Ross Sunday, April 27, 2003 When it comes to scoring mega-military-related contracts, Sen. Dianne Feinstein's multimillionaire husband, Richard Blum, is right in the thick of things.

 First up: a contract announced last week between the Army and URS Corp., the San Francisco planning and engineering company that specializes in defense work -- and that happens to be partly owned by Blum's investment firm. The contract -- which could grow to $600 million -- is to help with troop mobilization, weapons systems training and anti-terrorism methods. That's on top of a $3.1 billion Army contract that URS snared back in February for weapons systems and homeland defense. Next up: Perini Corp., which qualified earlier this month for as much as $100 million of defense work in Iraq and elsewhere. The Massachusetts-based company is already busy building barracks and other facilities for the new Afghan army -- a separate contract worth $28 million. Blum's investment firm controls about 20 percent of Perini's shares, with the majority held by a group of investors led by company chairman Ron Tutor. Some of Perini's stock is also held by Tutor's West Coast construction company, Tutor-Saliba -- the firm that built the Los Angeles subway system, rebuilt the Oakland Coliseum and put BART into San Francisco International Airport. Tutor-Saliba also oversaw construction of SFO's new international terminal - - work that is under investigation by the city attorney's office for alleged overbilling. But it's Blum's ties to URS -- in which he controls about a quarter of the stock -- that are certain to raise the most questions. In July, URS acquired defense contractor EG&G (the technical services branch that won the $600 million contract) from the Carlyle Group investment firm. That's the outfit that boasts ex-President George H.W. Bush, former Secretary of State James Baker and ex-British Prime Minister John Major as advisers. In exchange, Carlyle received cash and a chunk of URS stock worth a total of $500 million. What's more, a top Carlyle manager now sits alongside Blum on URS' board of directors. Celia Wexler, research director for Common Cause in Washington, D.C., says all the defense and homeland security deals involving Blum-connected companies raise concern of political hanky-panky -- especially with talk of the United States spending $100 billion to rebuild Iraq. "You don't want this process to be tainted by the possibility that there is any favoritism involved -- whether it's to the husband of a powerful Democratic senator or someone close to the Bush administration," Wexler said. "In the end, you want a process that is competitive, accountable and open. It's the only way there will be confidence the process is not larded by cronyism or inside deals." Both Blum and Feinstein -- along with representatives of both URS and Perini -- said all the deals have been on the up and up. "Sen. Feinstein has no say or involvement whatsoever in how (Defense Department) contracts are awarded," said Blum spokesman Owen Blicksilver. He added that URS -- with 27,000 employees worldwide -- is "a big public company that bids on dozens of public contracts . . . and as a matter of policy, the board of directors -- of which Mr. Blum is a member -- is never told what the company is bidding on." As for Blum's Perini involvement, Blicksilver said that Blum doesn't serve on the board and that the company represents less than 1 percent of his overall investments. "So his benefit from any contract to Perini is (minuscule)," Blicksilver said. Feinstein spokesman Howard Gantman similarly dismissed any ethics concerns, saying none of the contracts is voted on by the Senate. "We have checked with the Ethics Committee to make sure there is no conflict of interest, and have been told there are no conflicts," Gantman said. By the way, we questioned the office of Rep. Henry Waxman, the Los Angeles Democrat and House Government Reform Committee member whose protest recently halted the awarding of a defense contract to Vice President Dick Cheney's old company, Halliburton. "That's a fundamentally different situation," said Waxman's chief of staff, Phil Schiliro. His boss objected to a Halliburton subsidiary being awarded a no-bid contract to repair Iraqi oil fields because the firm had just paid $2 million to settle a claim that it had overcharged the government on an earlier contract, Schiliro said. "The government didn't allow any other bidders to compete for the contract, and gave Kellogg Brown & Root (the Halliburton subsidiary) the kind of contract it had just abused," Schiliro said. Charles Lewis, executive of the nonpartisan Center for Public Integrity watchdog group in Washington, says that "regardless of whether there is a direct conflict of interest, it's useful to know that the spouse of a sitting senator is getting richer because of what's going on in the world."
“WHY HASN’T SHE EXPRESSED OUTRAGE ABOUT SOME OF THE POTENTIAL CONFLICTS WITH PEOPLE IN OR CLOSE TO THE BUSH ADMINISTRATION?... COULD IT BE THAT SHE HERSELF HAS SOME ENTANGLEMENTS?” "Why hasn't she expressed outrage about some of the potential conflicts with people in or close to the Bush administration?" Lewis said. "Could it be that she herself has some entanglements?"



March 1, 2006 The Democrats' Daddy Warbucks
Feinstein family war profits, part II

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 contractors. 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 firm. "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 scrutiny.
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“WE MUST PROTECT BUSH’S FILTHY SAUDIS BED PARTNERS! IT MEANS MONEY IN MY PIMP’S POCKETS!” --- Senator Dianne Feinstein, Whore.

The Byrne Report Hawk Tale By Peter Byrne ON JAN. 18,
California senator Dianne Feinstein introduced Dr. Condoleezza Rice at a Senate nomination hearing for Secretary of State in terms so saccharine that molasses seemed to ooze out of her mouth. She was a precocious child, Feinstein purred. She has skill, judgment and poise. She loves football. Bush loves her. "The problems we face abroad are complex and sizable. If Dr. Rice's past performance is any indication, though, we can rest easy." That very same day, Feinstein's husband, Richard Blum, took advantage of a spike in the price of his URS Corporation stock. He sold a third of his holdings in the defense contractor for $57 million, according to filings with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. With Rice confirmed, the business of death and occupation looks rosy as hell for Feinstein, who--let's get real--benefits tremendously from sharing community property with Blum. URS' largest customer is the U.S. Army, which accounted for 17 percent ($587 million) of its cash revenue in 2004. In 2001, URS enjoyed a mere $169 million in defense contracts. Now, its war contracts total more than $2 billion. According to its annual report, the San Francisco based URS anticipates that profits will rocket up in 2005, because "operations in the Middle East are expected to generate increased work related to the development of weapons systems, the training of military pilots and the maintenance, upgrade and repair of military vehicles."
 Provided, of course, that our hawkish leadership remains as poised and lovable as the new Secretary of State. Feinstein, who sits on the Defense Appropriations Subcommittee, is an advocate of first-strike warfare, even though it flouts international law and the standards of common decency. Interestingly, her Financial Disclosure Report for 2003 was more than three times the size of her 2002 disclosure (Feinstein's 2003 disclosure numbers 133 pages, compared to Sen. Barbara Boxer's six-page report). The Feinstein-Blum portfolio is crammed with multimillion dollar investments in the military-industrial-financial complex and corporations that heavily exploit Third World peoples.

The senator has a lot to lose should the neoconservative war machine falter. Hubby holds a controlling interest in another engineering firm, Perini Corporation of Framingham, Mass. Perini ranks No. 6 by dollar amount in war-related government contracts in the Middle East. According to its annual report, "Perini proudly supports the U.S. government with global rapid response capabilities for defense, reconstruction and security." Perini builds military facilities and roads in Afghanistan, electrical infrastructure in Iraq and U.S. embassies around the world. After the Senate, Feinstein included, approved Bush's war plans in 2002, Perini's defense contract awards soared from negligible to $2.52 billion. But, as with many of the sole-source, open-ended contracts awarded to politically connected firms, there are problems with accountability. Last summer, Department of Defense auditors determined that Perini could not adequately justify its costs in Iraq as fair and reasonable. That's government-speak for: They're gouging the #!$% out of us. Perini is heavily engaged in military and municipal public works projects inside the United States; at least two are also under investigation for contract fraud. For example, the city of San Francisco has sued general contractor Perini--which was in a joint venture with the Tutor-Saliba construction firm--for $100 million in cost overruns at a San Francisco International Airport project. The lawsuit alleges that the joint venture engaged in "a sophisticated pattern of fraud," including inflating costs, fabricating delays and setting up minority front companies to exploit affirmative-action preferences. The attorney general of Massachusetts is looking into alleged false claims made by a Perini joint venture in the "Big Dig" urban highway construction boondoggle in Boston. Ron Tutor, owner of Tutor-Saliba and CEO of Perini, bought into the latter company, along with Blum, as it teetered on the edge of solvency in the mid- 1990s due to a bad real estate investment. It rebounded, thanks to the firm's sudden ability to obtain lucrative U.S. military and government contracts, which, of course, had nothing to do with the fact that Blum's powerful wife has her hands on the military's purse strings. Remarkably, Perini grossed $1.37 billion in 2003, up 27 percent from the previous year, before the U.S. invasion and occupation of Iraq. Perini attributes its rocketing profits to "increased volume of work in Iraq and Afghanistan." As a risk factor, the firm notes that continued demand for its military services depends upon "the political situation in Iraq," which, logically, means that it desires the bloody war and useless occupation to continue indefinitely--a wish that hawktails with the foreign policy positions of Bush, Rice, Rumsfeld and Feinstein. I almost forgot: Perini Corp. is the nation's most active builder of Indian-fronted casinos. That explains a few things about Sen. Feinstein and the politics of gambling, soon to be revealed in greater detail in this space.





Congressional Performance - Rasmussen Reports™ 60% of Legals Say Congress is Doing Corrupt Job - 100% of All Muslim Dictators Want Them Reelected For Life

Congressional Performance - Rasmussen Reports™




BARACK OBAMA IS NOTHING BUT BUSH’S THIRD TERM ON STEROIDS!
WAR, WAR, WAR, ENDLESS WAR TO PROTECT THE BORDERS OF MUSLIM DICTATORS WHILE OUR OWN BORDERS ARE LEFT WIDE OPEN TO THE NARCOMEX DRUG CARTELS AND MEXICAN INVADERS!
CA ALONE PUTS OUT $22 BILLION PER YEAR IN WELFARE TO ILLEGALS!
WHAT WOULD $51 BILLION HAVE DONE IF SPEND ON EDUCATION GRANTS TO LEGALS IN OUR BORDERS???????
WHO BENEFITS FROM THE OBAMA WAR MACHINE?
TRY OBAMA DONOR, SEN. DIANNE FEINSTEIN! ONE OF THE MOST CORRUPT POLITICIANS IN HISTORY! AS BUSH’S WAR PROFITEER SHE RAKED IN MILLIONS AND WENT OUT AND BOUGHT HERSELF ANOTHER MANSION, HER $16 MILLION S.F. PLACE ONLY MILES FROM HER S.F. HOTEL WHERE SHE HIRES ILLEGALS BECAUSE THEY WORK “CHEAP” COMPARED TO A LEGAL!
WE CAN’T FIX OUR NATION UNTIL WE RID OURSELVES OF THESE CORRUPT POLITICIANS!
Auditors say billions likely wasted in Iraq work
by ROBERT BURNS | Associated Press – 6 hrs ago
WASHINGTON (AP) — After years of following the paper trail of $51 billion in U.S. taxpayer dollars provided to rebuild a broken Iraq, the U.S. government can say with certainty that too much was wasted. But it can't say how much.
In what it called its final audit report, the Office of the Special Inspector General for Iraq Reconstruction Funds on Friday spelled out a range of accounting weaknesses that put "billions of American taxpayer dollars at risk of waste and misappropriation" in the largest reconstruction project of its kind in U.S. history.
"The precise amount lost to fraud and waste can never be known," the report said.
The auditors found huge problems accounting for the huge sums, but one small example of failure stood out: A contractor got away with charging $80 for a pipe fitting that its competitor was selling for $1.41. Why? The company's billing documents were reviewed sloppily by U.S. contracting officers or were not reviewed at all.
With dry understatement, the inspector general said that while he couldn't pinpoint the amount wasted, it "could be substantial."
Asked why the exact amount squandered can never be determined, the inspector general's office referred The Associated Press to a report it did in February 2009 titled "Hard Lessons," in which it said the auditors — much like the reconstruction managers themselves — faced personnel shortages and other hazards.
"Given the vicissitudes of the reconstruction effort — which was dogged from the start by persistent violence, shifting goals, constantly changing contracting practices and undermined by a lack of unity of effort — a complete accounting of all reconstruction expenditures is impossible to achieve," the report concluded.
In that same report, the inspector general, Stuart Bowen, recalled what then-Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld asked when they met shortly after Bowen started in January 2004: "Why did you take this job? It's an impossible task."
By law, Bowen's office reports to both the secretary of defense and the secretary of state. It goes out of business in 2013.
Bowen's office has spent more than $200 million tracking the reconstruction funds, and in addition to producing numerous reports, his office has investigated criminal fraud that has resulted in 87 indictments, 71 convictions and $176 million in fines and other penalties. These include civilians and military members accused of kickbacks, bribery, bid-rigging, fraud, embezzlement and outright theft of government property and funds.
Much, however, apparently got overlooked. Example: A $35 million Pentagon project was started in December 2006 to establish the Baghdad airport as an international economic gateway, and the inspector general found that by the end of 2010 about half the money was "at risk of being wasted" unless someone else completed the work.
Of the $51 billion that Congress approved for Iraq reconstruction, about $20 billion was for rebuilding Iraqi security forces and about $20 billion was for rebuilding the country's basic infrastructure. The programs were run mainly by the Defense Department, the State Department and the U.S. Agency for International Development.
A key weakness found by Bowen's inspectors was inadequate reviewing of contractors' invoices.
In some cases invoices were checked months after they had been paid because there were too few government contracting officers. Bowen found a case in which the State Department had only one contracting officer in Iraq to validate more than $2.5 billion in spending on a DynCorp contract for Iraqi police training.
"As a result, invoices were not properly reviewed, and the $2.5 billion in U.S. funds were vulnerable to fraud and waste," the report said. "We found this lack of control to be especially disturbing since earlier reviews of the DynCorp contract had found similar weaknesses."
In that case, the State Department eventually reconciled all of the old invoices and as of July 2009 had recovered more than $60 million.
The report touched on a problem that cropped up in virtually every major aspect of the U.S. war effort in Iraq, namely, the consequences of fighting an insurgency that proved more resilient than the Pentagon had foreseen. That not only made reconstruction more difficult, dangerous and costly, but also left the U.S. military unprepared for the grind of multiple troop deployments, the tactics of an adaptable insurgency and the complexity of battlefield wounds. It also left the U.S. government short of the expertise it needed to monitor contractors.
Although the audit was labeled as final, a spokesman for Bowen's office, Christopher M. Griffith, said several more will be done to provide additional details on what the U.S. got for its reconstruction dollars and what was wasted.
___
Judicial Watch Announces List of Washington’s “Ten Most Wanted Corrupt Politicians” for 2007
4.  Senator Diane Feinstein (D-CA):  As a member of the Senate Appropriations Committee's subcommittee on military construction, Feinstein reviewed military construction government contracts, some of which were ultimately awarded to URS Corporation and Perini, companies then owned by Feinstein's husband, Richard Blum. While the Pentagon ultimately awards military contracts, there is a reason for the review process. The Senate's subcommittee on Military Construction's approval carries weight. Sen. Feinstein, therefore, likely had influence over the decision making process.  Senator Feinstein also attempted to undermine ethics reform in 2007, arguing in favor of a perk that allows members of Congress to book multiple airline flights and then cancel them without financial penalty.  Judicial Watch’s investigation into this matter is ongoing. 
*
 “WHY HASN’T SHE EXPRESSED OUTRAGE ABOUT SOME OF THE POTENTIAL CONFLICTS WITH PEOPLE IN OR CLOSE TO THE BUSH ADMINISTRATION?... COULD IT BE THAT SHE HERSELF HAS SOME ENTANGLEMENTS?”

 "Why hasn't she expressed outrage about some of the potential conflicts with people in or close to the Bush administration?" Lewis said. "Could it be that she herself has some entanglements?"

Blum's firms win multimillion-dollar defense contracts in Iraq, Afghanistan Phillip Matier, Andrew Ross Sunday, April 27, 2003 When it comes to scoring mega-military-related contracts, Sen. Dianne Feinstein's multimillionaire husband, Richard Blum, is right in the thick of things.

 First up: a contract announced last week between the Army and URS Corp., the San Francisco planning and engineering company that specializes in defense work -- and that happens to be partly owned by Blum's investment firm. The contract -- which could grow to $600 million -- is to help with troop mobilization, weapons systems training and anti-terrorism methods. That's on top of a $3.1 billion Army contract that URS snared back in February for weapons systems and homeland defense. Next up: Perini Corp., which qualified earlier this month for as much as $100 million of defense work in Iraq and elsewhere. The Massachusetts-based company is already busy building barracks and other facilities for the new Afghan army -- a separate contract worth $28 million. Blum's investment firm controls about 20 percent of Perini's shares, with the majority held by a group of investors led by company chairman Ron Tutor. Some of Perini's stock is also held by Tutor's West Coast construction company, Tutor-Saliba -- the firm that built the Los Angeles subway system, rebuilt the Oakland Coliseum and put BART into San Francisco International Airport. Tutor-Saliba also oversaw construction of SFO's new international terminal - - work that is under investigation by the city attorney's office for alleged overbilling. But it's Blum's ties to URS -- in which he controls about a quarter of the stock -- that are certain to raise the most questions. In July, URS acquired defense contractor EG&G (the technical services branch that won the $600 million contract) from the Carlyle Group investment firm. That's the outfit that boasts ex-President George H.W. Bush, former Secretary of State James Baker and ex-British Prime Minister John Major as advisers. In exchange, Carlyle received cash and a chunk of URS stock worth a total of $500 million. What's more, a top Carlyle manager now sits alongside Blum on URS' board of directors. Celia Wexler, research director for Common Cause in Washington, D.C., says all the defense and homeland security deals involving Blum-connected companies raise concern of political hanky-panky -- especially with talk of the United States spending $100 billion to rebuild Iraq. "You don't want this process to be tainted by the possibility that there is any favoritism involved -- whether it's to the husband of a powerful Democratic senator or someone close to the Bush administration," Wexler said. "In the end, you want a process that is competitive, accountable and open. It's the only way there will be confidence the process is not larded by cronyism or inside deals." Both Blum and Feinstein -- along with representatives of both URS and Perini -- said all the deals have been on the up and up. "Sen. Feinstein has no say or involvement whatsoever in how (Defense Department) contracts are awarded," said Blum spokesman Owen Blicksilver. He added that URS -- with 27,000 employees worldwide -- is "a big public company that bids on dozens of public contracts . . . and as a matter of policy, the board of directors -- of which Mr. Blum is a member -- is never told what the company is bidding on." As for Blum's Perini involvement, Blicksilver said that Blum doesn't serve on the board and that the company represents less than 1 percent of his overall investments. "So his benefit from any contract to Perini is (minuscule)," Blicksilver said. Feinstein spokesman Howard Gantman similarly dismissed any ethics concerns, saying none of the contracts is voted on by the Senate. "We have checked with the Ethics Committee to make sure there is no conflict of interest, and have been told there are no conflicts," Gantman said. By the way, we questioned the office of Rep. Henry Waxman, the Los Angeles Democrat and House Government Reform Committee member whose protest recently halted the awarding of a defense contract to Vice President Dick Cheney's old company, Halliburton. "That's a fundamentally different situation," said Waxman's chief of staff, Phil Schiliro. His boss objected to a Halliburton subsidiary being awarded a no-bid contract to repair Iraqi oil fields because the firm had just paid $2 million to settle a claim that it had overcharged the government on an earlier contract, Schiliro said. "The government didn't allow any other bidders to compete for the contract, and gave Kellogg Brown & Root (the Halliburton subsidiary) the kind of contract it had just abused," Schiliro said. Charles Lewis, executive of the nonpartisan Center for Public Integrity watchdog group in Washington, says that "regardless of whether there is a direct conflict of interest, it's useful to know that the spouse of a sitting senator is getting richer because of what's going on in the world."
“WHY HASN’T SHE EXPRESSED OUTRAGE ABOUT SOME OF THE POTENTIAL CONFLICTS WITH PEOPLE IN OR CLOSE TO THE BUSH ADMINISTRATION?... COULD IT BE THAT SHE HERSELF HAS SOME ENTANGLEMENTS?” "Why hasn't she expressed outrage about some of the potential conflicts with people in or close to the Bush administration?" Lewis said. "Could it be that she herself has some entanglements?"



March 1, 2006 The Democrats' Daddy Warbucks
Feinstein family war profits, part II

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 contractors. 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 firm. "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 scrutiny.
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“WE MUST PROTECT BUSH’S FILTHY SAUDIS BED PARTNERS! IT MEANS MONEY IN MY PIMP’S POCKETS!” --- Senator Dianne Feinstein, Whore.

The Byrne Report Hawk Tale By Peter Byrne ON JAN. 18,
California senator Dianne Feinstein introduced Dr. Condoleezza Rice at a Senate nomination hearing for Secretary of State in terms so saccharine that molasses seemed to ooze out of her mouth. She was a precocious child, Feinstein purred. She has skill, judgment and poise. She loves football. Bush loves her. "The problems we face abroad are complex and sizable. If Dr. Rice's past performance is any indication, though, we can rest easy." That very same day, Feinstein's husband, Richard Blum, took advantage of a spike in the price of his URS Corporation stock. He sold a third of his holdings in the defense contractor for $57 million, according to filings with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. With Rice confirmed, the business of death and occupation looks rosy as hell for Feinstein, who--let's get real--benefits tremendously from sharing community property with Blum. URS' largest customer is the U.S. Army, which accounted for 17 percent ($587 million) of its cash revenue in 2004. In 2001, URS enjoyed a mere $169 million in defense contracts. Now, its war contracts total more than $2 billion. According to its annual report, the San Francisco based URS anticipates that profits will rocket up in 2005, because "operations in the Middle East are expected to generate increased work related to the development of weapons systems, the training of military pilots and the maintenance, upgrade and repair of military vehicles."
 Provided, of course, that our hawkish leadership remains as poised and lovable as the new Secretary of State. Feinstein, who sits on the Defense Appropriations Subcommittee, is an advocate of first-strike warfare, even though it flouts international law and the standards of common decency. Interestingly, her Financial Disclosure Report for 2003 was more than three times the size of her 2002 disclosure (Feinstein's 2003 disclosure numbers 133 pages, compared to Sen. Barbara Boxer's six-page report). The Feinstein-Blum portfolio is crammed with multimillion dollar investments in the military-industrial-financial complex and corporations that heavily exploit Third World peoples.

The senator has a lot to lose should the neoconservative war machine falter. Hubby holds a controlling interest in another engineering firm, Perini Corporation of Framingham, Mass. Perini ranks No. 6 by dollar amount in war-related government contracts in the Middle East. According to its annual report, "Perini proudly supports the U.S. government with global rapid response capabilities for defense, reconstruction and security." Perini builds military facilities and roads in Afghanistan, electrical infrastructure in Iraq and U.S. embassies around the world. After the Senate, Feinstein included, approved Bush's war plans in 2002, Perini's defense contract awards soared from negligible to $2.52 billion. But, as with many of the sole-source, open-ended contracts awarded to politically connected firms, there are problems with accountability. Last summer, Department of Defense auditors determined that Perini could not adequately justify its costs in Iraq as fair and reasonable. That's government-speak for: They're gouging the #!$% out of us. Perini is heavily engaged in military and municipal public works projects inside the United States; at least two are also under investigation for contract fraud. For example, the city of San Francisco has sued general contractor Perini--which was in a joint venture with the Tutor-Saliba construction firm--for $100 million in cost overruns at a San Francisco International Airport project. The lawsuit alleges that the joint venture engaged in "a sophisticated pattern of fraud," including inflating costs, fabricating delays and setting up minority front companies to exploit affirmative-action preferences. The attorney general of Massachusetts is looking into alleged false claims made by a Perini joint venture in the "Big Dig" urban highway construction boondoggle in Boston. Ron Tutor, owner of Tutor-Saliba and CEO of Perini, bought into the latter company, along with Blum, as it teetered on the edge of solvency in the mid- 1990s due to a bad real estate investment. It rebounded, thanks to the firm's sudden ability to obtain lucrative U.S. military and government contracts, which, of course, had nothing to do with the fact that Blum's powerful wife has her hands on the military's purse strings. Remarkably, Perini grossed $1.37 billion in 2003, up 27 percent from the previous year, before the U.S. invasion and occupation of Iraq. Perini attributes its rocketing profits to "increased volume of work in Iraq and Afghanistan." As a risk factor, the firm notes that continued demand for its military services depends upon "the political situation in Iraq," which, logically, means that it desires the bloody war and useless occupation to continue indefinitely--a wish that hawktails with the foreign policy positions of Bush, Rice, Rumsfeld and Feinstein. I almost forgot: Perini Corp. is the nation's most active builder of Indian-fronted casinos. That explains a few things about Sen. Feinstein and the politics of gambling, soon to be revealed in greater detail in this space.