Thursday, October 10, 2019

WAR PROFITEER SENATOR DIANNE FEINSTEIN AND THE CHINESE SPY - FEINSTEIN HAS LONG HAD A TIDY AND PROFITABLE RELATIONSHIP WITH RED CHINA - “All in all, it was an incredible victory for the Chinese government. Feinstein has done more for Red China than other any serving U.S. politician. “ Trevor Loudon


IN THE November 2006 election, the voters demanded congressional ethics reform. And so, the newly appointed chairman of the Senate Rules Committee, Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., is now duly in charge of regulating the ethical behavior of her colleagues. But for many years, Feinstein has been beset by her own ethical conflict of interest, say congressional ethics experts.

“All in all, it was an incredible victory for the Chinese government. Feinstein has done more for Red China than other any serving U.S. politician. “ Trevor Loudon

“Our entire crony capitalist system, Democrat and Republican alike, has become a kleptocracy approaching par with third-world hell-holes.  This is the way a great country is raided by its elite.” ---- Karen McQuillan  AMERICAN

Senator Who Employed Chinese Spy Endorses Joe Biden for President

WASHINGTON - JANUARY 20: Vice President-elect Joseph R. Biden shakes hand with President Barack Obama as Diane Feinstein looks on from the West Front of the Capitol January 20, 2009 in Washington, DC. Obama becomes the first African-American to be elected to the office of President in the history of …
Win McNamee/Getty Images

A high-profile U.S. senator with professional and personal ties to China — including once employing one of its spies — is backing former Vice President Joe Biden amid mounting questions over his son’s business dealings with the communist regime.

Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), a former chairwoman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, announced her endorsement of the former vice president on Tuesday, claiming to have witnessed Biden’s “fortitude” and leadership during their overlapping tenures in Congress.
Feinstein said in a statement:
I’ve worked closely with Vice President Biden and I’ve seen firsthand his legislative ability, his statesmanship, and most importantly his moral fortitud. During his time in Congress and in the White House, Joe Biden has been a tireless fighter for hard working American families.
The endorsement comes as Biden’s presidential campaign is besieged by scandal regarding the lucrative business dealings his youngest son, Hunter, had with foreign governments.
Only hours before Feinstein’s endorsement, the Chinese government announced it would not investigate how Hunter Biden ended up at the center of one its top private equity firms. The Chinese foreign ministry made the decision after President Donald Trump publicly called for a probe of Hunter Biden’s dealings with Bohai Harvest RST (BHR). In particular, Trump has noted that the circumstances surrounding BHR’s creation could have posed a conflict of interest for Joe Biden.
As Peter Schweizer, senior contributor at Breitbart News, revealed in his bestselling book Secret Empires: How the American Political Class Hides Corruption and Enriches Family and Friends, Hunter Biden inked the multibillion-dollar deal that created BHR with a subsidiary of the state-owned Bank of China in 2013.
The timing of the lucrative deal has been brought into question as it came only 12 days after Hunter visited China with his father aboard Air Force Two. Officially, the then-vice president was visiting the country amid escalating tensions over islands in the South China Sea and decided to bring his granddaughter and son along. In a March 2018 interview with Breitbart News Tonight, however, Schweizer detailed the political machinations that preceded Hunter Biden’s $1.5 billion venture with China:
In December of 2013, Vice President Joe Biden flies to Asia for a trip, and the centerpiece for that trip is a visit to Beijing, China. To put this into context, in 2013, the Chinese have just exerted air rights over the South Pacific, the South China Sea. They basically have said, ‘If you want to fly in this area, you have to get Chinese approval. We are claiming sovereignty over this territory.’ Highly controversial in Japan, in the Philippines, and in other countries. Joe Biden is supposed to be going there to confront the Chinese. Well, he gets widely criticized on that trip for going soft on China. For basically not challenging them, and Japan and other countries are quite upset about this.
Since its creation, BHR has invested heavily in energy and defense projects across the globe. As of June, Hunter Biden was still involved with BHR, sitting on its board of directors and owning a minority stake of the fund estimated to be worth more than $430,000.
Such dealings at the center of politics and business, while perhaps not illegal, are not exclusive to the Biden family alone. As a few noted at the time of Feinstein’s endorsement, the senator and her husband have their own close ties to the communist country.
During her tenure as mayor of San Francisco in the late-1970s and early-1980s, Feinstein took advantage of the newly normalized diplomatic relations between the U.S. and China by establishing one of the first sister city partnership between San Francisco and Shanghai. Through that partnership, Feinstein led trade delegations to China in which she and her husband, Richard Blum, became acquainted with some of the country’s most prominent political leaders.
As the Federalist noted in August 2018, Feinstein and her husband leveraged those relationships to boost their own wealth. In 1986, Feinstein and Jiang Zemin — the then-mayor of Shanghai, who would later ascend to the presidency of the People’s Republic of China — “designated several corporate entities for fostering commercial relations.” One of those firms was Shanghai Pacific Partners, which employed Blum as a director. Blum reportedly had an interest of upwards of $500,000 in a project backed by Shanghai Pacific Partners.
After Feinstein was elected to the Senate in 1992, Blum continued profiting off their ties to China. A the same time, the freshman lawmaker was pitching herself as a “China hand” to colleagues, even once claiming “that in my last life maybe I was Chinese.” Through her seat on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Feinstein led the fight on a number of initiatives seen as being favorable to China, including granting the country permanent most-favored-nation trading status in 2000.
Despite Feinstein and her husband having a close relationship with Jiang, the Chinese government targeted the senator as part of its espionage operations. In the early 2000s, the Chinese Ministry of State Security (MSS) recruited a longtime employee of the senator to gather information about the inner workings of her congressional and district offices. Feinstein only learned of the staffer’s duplicity in 2013, after he’d already been on her payroll for more than 20 years.
“While this person, who was a liaison to the local Chinese community, was fired, charges were never filed against him,” Politico reported in 2018, speculating that because “the staffer was providing political intelligence and not classified information—making prosecution far more difficult.”
Apart from the convoluted history of the senator’s ties to China, the political timing of Feinstein’s endorsement also caught many off guard. The California Democrat, who hosted a fundraiser on Biden’s behalf last week alongside House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s (D-CA) daughter, is only the most recent figure from the Democrat establishment to openly pledge support for the former vice president. Feinstein’s endorsement, however, was not totally expected, especially since her seamate, Sen. Kamala Harris (D-CA), is mounting a bid of her own for the Democrat nomination. In fact, earlier this year, Feinsten flirted with the notion of remaining neutral in the 2020 contest out of respect for Harris.
Compounding the political picture is that most polls show Biden no longer the favorite to win California, having fallen behind Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA).
Feinstein, however, did not address any of that when endorsing the former vice president on Tuesday. Instead, the senator offered platitudes about Biden’s work to enhance gun control and how his campaign was a “fight to restore the soul of the nation.”


The “Miserable” State

Pervasive corruption helps explain why New Jersey scores heavily on a recent survey of states with the bleakest cities.
October 9, 2019
Politics and law

Last week, Business Insider created a stir when it used demographic data to rank the 50 “most miserable” cities in America. Though California led the way with ten municipalities, considerably smaller New Jersey was close behind, with nine—including Newark, Trenton, Camden, and Paterson. Why was this case? I was asked. Several days later, an answer arrived, with the news that Atlantic City’s mayor, Frank Gilliam, had resigned after pleading guilty to stealing money from a nonprofit youth basketball club he’d help start, using the money to buy designer clothes and expensive meals. Part of a long line of Atlantic City mayors pushed out of office in disgrace, Gilliam had been elected mayor two years ago—defeating incumbent reformer Don Guardian with backing from a coalition of “top Democrats, unions, online gaming companies,” and other Jersey powerbrokers who thought that “there’s still money to be made” in the currently insolvent city, as the Philadelphia Inquirer put it.
Dishonest mayors who step down in disgrace are “A Jersey Tradition,” as a recent headline in another paper described the long, debilitating history of municipal corruption in the Garden State. There, urban political machines manufacture politicians who regularly enrich themselves at the expense of those that elect them, preferring to line their pockets instead of building—or, in the case of Jersey cities, rebuilding—communities. Sometimes they hijack local institutions, like the school system, and use them as patronage mills, ensuring that the system doesn’t do its job. Or they steal directly from residents, including some of the country’s neediest people. Cities already suffering from urban ills like deindustrialization, high crime, and drug use wind up governed by political machines with little interest in doing the hard work of revival. This status quo goes unreformed because Garden State cities are run by one party—a machine party, consisting of politically connected Democrats, government unions, businesses, and nonprofits that feed off government money. With change virtually impossible, everyone who can manage it gets out, leaving the least capable residents to fend for themselves.
Atlantic City exemplifies this model. Though the city didn’t make the most-miserable list, Condé Nast Traveler once ranked it the world’s worst vacation destination, and a 2010 state report labeled it “unclean and unsafe.” Its success for decades lay in its flouting of laws that other localities forced themselves to live by. From the late nineteenth century through World War II, Atlantic City was a rogue town that openly permitted gambling, prostitution and, during Prohibition, speakeasies. When a Jersey governor sent a tough prosecutor to rein in residents in 1908, local grand juries refused to bring the indictments he sought. When Washington dispatched Prohibition agents in the 1920s, municipal officials jailed them and held them incommunicado, prompting a Justice Department official to call the town “the most corrupt city in America.” Congressional inquiries in the 1950s on Mafia influence in the U.S. included an entire hearing devoted to Atlantic City, which one senator dubbed “a rotten town.”
Despite this colorful history, state residents voted in 1976 to give Atlantic City an exclusive right to legal gambling, amid promises that the mob wouldn’t be allowed into the business. Jersey made this deal even though two consecutive mayors preceding the vote were convicted of extortion and kicked out of office. Once legalized gambling arrived, two more mayors were driven from office in the 1980s, including Michael Matthews, whom the FBI caught on tape bragging about his connections with big-time gangsters like Philadelphia boss Nicodemo “Little Nicky” Scarfo and his underboss Phil Leonetti. Matthews later admitted that “greed got the best of me,” which, one local businessman said, “should be the logo of the whole town.”
The corruption was reflected in expensive but ineffective public institutions. For years, Atlantic City, blessed with casino tax revenue, had one of state’s highest-paid police forces—but also one of Jersey’s highest crime rates. Its schools still spend more per pupil than even many rich suburban districts, but its student performance ranks among the worst in the state—even when measured against similar urban districts. When Pennsylvania legalized casinos in 2004, Atlantic City lost its regional hold on the gambler’s dollar and went bust. The state took over governance of the city in 2016.
Atlantic City is not alone. Hugh Addonizio, Newark’s mayor during the city’s sixties-era civil disturbances, was elected with Mafia help and ultimately convicted by federal prosecutors of extortion (along with several other city officials). Sharpe James, who governed Newark from 1986 through 2006, was convicted of rigging the sale of city property and sent to federal prison. Officials prosecuted numerous other members of his administration, including the police commissioner and the mayor’s chief of staff. One prosecutor, reflecting on Newark during those years, said, “They should tie a yellow ribbon around City Hall and designate it a crime scene.” From the time that Addonizio governed Newark to the time that James departed, the city’s population declined from more than 400,000 people to 275,000.
Meantime, Camden, once described as the “most dangerous city in America,” saw three mayors busted for corruption during the 1980s and 1990s. In 2002, the state took over the city and maintained control until 2010. In 2013, Jersey took control of the city’s school system—then the worst-performing in the state. So entrenched is the corruption and ineffective governance in Camden that even reformers have struggled to get a grip on local problems. In 2014, city officials, tired of the local police force’s lackluster efforts against crime, took the unprecedented step of disbanding their force and forming with the surrounding county a new, countywide force that it hopes can be more effective.
Jersey is the home of the big corruption bust. The infamous Abscam investigation, in which federal officials created a shell company run by fake Arab sheiks to bribe local and federal officials, was based heavily in New Jersey. The investigation brought down a senator and congressman from Jersey, along with a Camden mayor, Angelo Errichetti, who tried to sell Atlantic City casino licenses. More recently, Operation Big Rig—a federal investigation begun in 2002—has snared more than two dozen local officials, including former mayors of Hoboken, Secaucus, and Ridgefield, and a deputy mayor of Jersey City. In separate investigations over the last five years, mayors of Passaic and Trenton—two entries on the “most miserable” list—have been convicted of corruption.
Benjamin Franklin called New Jersey a “keg tapped at both ends,” a reference to the bordering cities of New York and Philadelphia, to which much of the state’s commerce flowed during the country’s colonial period. Today, it’s perhaps more accurate to say that Jersey is a keg tapped by its corrupt political culture—especially in its dysfunctional cities.