Monday, 03 September 2007

MORE ON HILLARY CLINTON'S LATEST CAMPAIGN SCANDAL

Ken Berwitz

I apologize to readers for my item on Sant S. Chatwal, the dirty-as-can-be moneybags who has given Hillary Clinton and numerous other Democrats so much money, as he screws and cheats his way through life.

The original blog suggested that, while network news was clearly looking the other way regarding Chatwal and other similar dirtbags who are giving tons of $$$ to Hillary and fellow Democrats, the Washington Post was at least reporting the story.

Now, having read a piece in www.sweetness-light.com, I realize that the Washington Post severely sanitized their report.  Here's what they left out, courtesy of Wikipedia (yes, this is sometimes a questionable source.  But it seems to have things right about Chatwal).  The bold print is mine:.

Sant Singh Chatwal

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Sant Singh Chatwal is a Sikh Indian-American businessman. According to The Indian Express, "he is a former Indian Air Force pilot who migrated to the United States in the 1980s and started the Bombay Palace chain of restaurants." Also President and CEO of Hampshire Hotels & Resorts, LLC, his company owns hotels in the United States, the United Kingdom and Thailand, with over 2,500 rooms in Manhattan. Bombay Palace has locations around the World; including Montreal, Toronto, New York, Washington DC, Beverly Hills, Houston, Budapest and Kuala Lumpur.

Chatwal is a Trustee of the William J. Clinton Foundation, a Charitable foundation organized by President Clinton focusing on global issues of health security, economic empowerment (HIV/AIDS Initiative; Clinton Global Initiative, Urban Enterprise Initiative, Healthier Generation, etc.) He was the only Indian from the United States who was honored by the Govt. of Punjab (India) in April 1999 with the Order of Khalsa for his outstanding service to the community. Ironically, his own son,Vikram shaved off his beard and cut his hair (an act deeply offensive to Sikhs because of the religious importance of their hair) for glamour of the entertainment world. Chatwal has devoted resources to political causes, working very closely with the Democratic Party, in particular with Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton, Senator John Kerry, Senator Charles Schumer, Congresswoman Nancy Pelosi and Congressman Joseph Crowley.

In February 2006, Chatwal hosted an extravagant wedding in India for his son Vikram Chatwal. The wedding including a week of festivities spread out over a week and three Indian cities and a veritable fleet of chartered planes. Guests included Bill Clinton, Lakshmi Mittal, Deepak Chopra and the Prime Minister of India. [1] Ironically, Sant Chatwal had earlier filed for personal bankruptcy in New York to discharge millions in debt owed to various people and entities including the US government. In court filings in the late 1990s he stated he had just $100 while living in a penthouse in New Yorks expensive upper-Eastside. Among the many banks that saw their loans turn bad were Lincoln Savings Bank, First New York Bank, Bank of Baroda, Bank of India and State Bank of India. He is now on "Hillary Clinton for President Exploratory Committee". .

How stupid could I be.

Shame on me for believing that the Washington Post was honestly reporting about Saint Hillary, and not just running interference for her.

When will I ever learn?


MORE DIRTY MONEY FOR HILLARY

Ken Berwitz

While we're waiting for the TV network news shows to pay more than passing attention to the Hillary Clinton/Norman Hsu scandal I've been blogging about for the past several days, let's go to a new scandal.

The Washington Post published an article today on another shady, dirty source of huge campaign bucks for Hillary.  His name is Sant S. Chatwal.  I doubt that you've heard of him (I know I hadn't until this devastating article) so I've posted the most salient excerpts from the Washington Post article.below.  You can read the entire piece at www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/09/02/AR2007090201436.html?hpid=topnews.  As usual, the bold print is mine..

When Controversy Follows Cash

Some Fundraisers With Legal Issues Slip Through Campaigns' Vetting

Washington Post Staff Writers
Monday, September 3, 2007; Page A01

Sant S. Chatwal, an Indian American businessman, has helped raise hundreds of thousands of dollars for Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton's campaigns, even as he battled governments on two continents to escape bankruptcy and millions of dollars in tax liens.

The founder of the Bombay Palace restaurant chain, Chatwal is one of a growing number of fundraisers in the 2008 presidential campaign whose backgrounds have prompted questions about how much screening the candidates devote to their "bundlers" while they press to raise record amounts.

Chatwal's case reached from his native India to New York City. The IRS pursued him for approximately $4 million in unpaid business taxes, while New York state placed a lien seeking more than $5 million in taxes. He forfeited a building to New York City on which he was delinquent on property taxes and was sued by federal regulators seeking to recoup millions of dollars in loans from a failed bank where he served as a director.

Across the ocean, three Indian banks forced him into U.S. bankruptcy, and he was charged with bank fraud. He was out on bond when he showed up in India in 2001 during a visit by his longtime friend Bill Clinton.

Yet none of the legal and financial woes -- occasionally touched on in American or Indian newspapers or highlighted by political opponents -- raised red flags inside Hillary Clinton's fundraising operation. Chatwal recently said he plans to help raise $5 million from Indian Americans for Clinton's presidential bid.

Asked whether anything in Chatwal's background caused concerns about his activities on behalf of the campaign, Clinton spokesman Phil Singer answered, "No." He declined last week to be more specific, saying only that major fundraisers are routinely vetted "through publicly available records."

Rajen Anand, a longtime friend of Chatwal and another Clinton fundraiser, said the campaign encourages strict vetting for fundraisers. "They advise me to be very careful not to associate the campaign with people where there is something wrong," he said.

Anand said, however, that Chatwal may have slid through any vetting, no matter how vigorous, because of his longtime friendship with the Clintons. The Clintons maintained a close association with Chatwal; both attended one of his sons' weddings in 2002, and the former president attended another son's wedding in 2006.

While Chatwal raised money for Hillary Clinton's Senate and presidential campaigns and Bill Clinton's charitable efforts, he settled the regulatory and tax cases one by one, mostly by working out plans to pay portions of the debts. He resolved the last of them this spring..

It is Amazing how many "friendships" the Clintons have accumulated with shady figures, often from Asian communities, who have lots and lots of cash to supply them, isn't it?  Here is Sant S. Chatwal.  Just this past week we heard about Norman Hsu.  Then we had people like John Huang, Charlie Trie, the Riady family, etc. etc. etc. from hubby's presidential years.  And who knows how many others.

Why do they give this kind of money to the Clintons and what do they get in return? 

Do yourself a favor and read up on Bill Clinton's lockup of 1.7 million acres of coal rich land in western Utah, called the Grand Staircase-Escalante Monument.  Read about how it closed off the Kaiparowitz Plateau, which has the largest coal deposits in the USA, to any possibility of mining and extraction.  Then read about what this lockup did for the Lippo Group, run by the Riady family. 

I could type it all out for you, but it's too long for this log and very easy to google.  If you do so, the stories you'll find will link you to information about the other sleazeballs I listed out above as well.  Very illuminating, very worthwhile reading, I assure you.

So tell me:  How many years of how much dirty money by how many shady people for how many give-backs does it take for the media - in this case the network news primarily - to actually talk about how consummately dirty the Clintons are? 

How many scandals does it take for them to treat Hillary Clinton as having little or no ethics when it comes to scraping up the big bucks, and little interest in who she's getting it from?  When do they start REPORTING about it?

The answer, my friend, is blowin' in the newsrooms of every TV network.  And, so far at least, they're all holding their breath not to ingest any of it.


THE UN "DOES ITS WORK"

Ken Berwitz

This blog is for folks who like to toss out the clich "let the UN do its work". 

That's the one you heard over and over again when we invaded Iraq, remember?  The one that was supposed to make us feel ridiculous because, after all, the UN was effectively handling saddam..

Iran: Uranium Centrifuge Goal Reached

Sep 2 01:14 PM US/Eastern
By NASSER KARIMI
Associated Press Writer

TEHRAN, Iran (AP) - Iran's president claimed Sunday that his country is now running 3,000 centrifuges to enrich uranium for its nuclear programa long-sought Iranian goal that could add momentum to efforts to impose new U.N. sanctions on the Islamic Republic.

The claim appeared at odds with a report by the U.N. nuclear watchdog on Thursday that put the number much lowerat close to 2,000. The International Atomic Energy Agency said enrichment had slowed and Iran was cooperating with its nuclear probe, which could fend off calls for a third round of sanctions.

"The West thought the Iranian nation would give in after just a resolution, but now we have taken another step in the nuclear progress and launched more than 3,000 centrifuge machines, installing a new cascade every week," President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said in remarks carried by the state television Web site.

Iran previously announced operating 3,000 centrifuges in April, but the IAEA said at the time that Iran had only 328 centrifuges going at its underground Natanz enrichment facility in central Iran.

In the latest report, drawn up by IAEA chief Mohamed ElBaradei, the organization put the number of centrifuges enriching uranium in Natanz at close to 2,000 with another 650 being tested.

The 2,000 figure is an increase of a few hundred of the machines over May, when the IAEA last reported on Iran. Still, the rate of expansion is much slower than a few months ago, when the country was assembling close to 200 centrifuges every two weeks.

"The recent report by the U.N. nuclear watchdog agrees with Iran's approach and the dispute over Iran's nuclear case has ended," Ahmadinejad said. The IAEA report noted an increased willingness by the Iranians to answer questions after years of stonewalling and was seen as putting the brakes on the push for a new sanctions.

The U.N. Security Council has so far passed two sets of sanctions targeting Iranian individuals and businesses involved in the country's nuclear and missile programs. The resolutions also ordered countries to stop supplying Iran with materials and technology for these programs.

U.N. officials have suggested that Iran had slowed its program and increased its cooperation with the agency investigators to avert the new sanctions.

The report said that Iran continued to produce only negligible amounts of nuclear fuel with its centrifuges, far below the level usable for nuclear warheads.

The president's announcements appeared to mark a shift away from that strategy.

Iran's ultimate stated goal for the Natanz facility, the only site now open to full IAEA monitoring, is to run 54,000 centrifugesenough for dozens of nuclear weapons a year.

Uranium gas, spun in linked centrifuges, can result in either low- enriched fuel suitable to generate power, or the weapons-grade material that forms the fissile core of nuclear warheads.

The U.S. claims Iran is secretly trying to develop atomic weapons. But Iran insists it wants to master the technology only to meet future power needs and argues it is entitled to enrich under a Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty provision giving all pact members the right to develop peaceful programs.

Hey, what can you say?  Obviously the UN does a bang-up job when it comes to handling rogue Muslim states in the middle east.  Its sterling success with Iran certainly proves it!

Why...if we'd allowed the UN to "do its job" and contain saddam hussein, who knows how many more UN resolutions he'd have wiped his backside with by now? He was up to 17 over 12 years when we invaded.  Maybe he'd be up to 20, or even 25 by now.

And, of course, we can only guess how many more international terrorists he'd be harboring in Baghdad.  And how many more families of "successful" suicide/homicide bombers he'd have paid off for incinerating innocent Israelis. 

And how many more attempts - maybe with success - he'd have made to purchase yellowcake uranium for weapons of mass destruction.

(Yellowcake uranium was what joseph wilson reported on to the CIA.  He claims that his report concluded saddam wasn't buying it.  But the 9/11 commission reviewed his report and said that it bolstered the CIA's belief saddam WAS buying).

How foolish of us to think the UN wouldn't be up to the challenge.  Can't we learn from history?


LEBANON AS ISRAEL

Ken Berwitz

One of my earliest remembrances of TV was a show called "Queen For A Day", which was hosted by, I think, Jack Bailey.  The idea was that several women told their tales of personal woe and the audience selected one of them to be "queen for a day".  I vaguely recall that she was put on a throne, given a robe of some kind and showered with gifts.  

Of course, the day before and the day after her woeful life was just the same.  But for that one day?  She was the queen.

In a very different context, Lebanon has recently become "Israel for a Day" (actually a few months).  I don't think they much liked the experience, though. 

Let me show you why, courtesy of Reuters.  The bold print is mine:.

Lebanon army takes control of camp after battle

By Nazih Siddiq Sun Sep 2, 2:49 PM ET

NAHR AL-BARED, Lebanon (Reuters) - Lebanese troops on Sunday seized control of a Palestinian refugee camp where they had been battling militants for more than three months, killing at least 31 fleeing fighters, security sources said.

Thirty-four more Islamist militants from the Fatah al-Islam group were captured, 23 inside the Nahr al-Bared camp in northern Lebanon. Most were wounded, a security source said.

"I am glad to convey to you the news of the national victory, the national steadfastness and the great triumph which Lebanon's army has achieved over the terrorists," Prime Minister Fouad Siniora said in a televised address.

The fighting has been Lebanon's worst internal violence since the 1975-1990 civil war, killing more than 300 people. Fatah al-Islam says it shares al Qaeda's ideology but has no organizational ties to the network.

A senior security source told Reuters the battle was over and the army had taken the group's last positions in the camp.

"Most of the terrorists were killed today. The others have been captured. A few might have escaped but the army is hunting them down," the source said.

The fate of Shaker al-Abssi, the group's Palestinian leader, was unclear.

Five soldiers were killed on Sunday, raising the army death toll to 157. At least 131 militants and 42 civilians have also been killed.

The army said the militants had tried to escape from the camp in the early hours of the morning.

"DESPERATE ATTEMPT"

The fighters "attacked army positions in a desperate attempt to flee," an army statement said.

At least three gunmen from outside the camp had also attacked an army position to help the fighters escape, security sources said.

Security forces patrolled the area, searching orchards and fields. Helicopters joined in the hunt and naval boats patrolled the Mediterranean coast. Security sources believe Fatah al-Islam set booby-traps around the camp.

Soldiers fired celebratory gunfire and locals threw rice at the troops to applaud their efforts. Soldiers sitting atop army vehicles waved Lebanese flags.

Most of the camp's 40,000 residents fled to a nearby Palestinian refugee camp in the early days of fighting, which erupted on May 20 when the army says Fatah al-Islam attacked its positions near the camp and the northern city of Tripoli.

Fatah al-Islam split from a Syrian-backed Palestinian faction last year. The hardline Sunni Islamist group includes Lebanese, Saudi and Syrian fighters.

The militants had put up fierce resistance, managing to inflict casualties on the army despite aerial and artillery bombardment. Their wives and children were evacuated from the camp on August 24.

The army said it would not allow anyone to enter the camp and called on Palestinians not to return for the time being.

"We have to work on de-mining and rubble removal," said Hoda Elturk, a spokeswoman for the U.N. agency which cares for the Palestinian refugee community. "We are waiting for the green light from the army to enter the camp."

Lebanon's Palestinian refugee camps have long been beyond the control of the state, with security in the hands of Palestinian factions.

But Siniora said Nahr al-Bared would now "be under the authority of the Lebanese state and no other (authority)." He also said the state was committed to rebuilding the camp. .

There's a lot to digest in this article.  Let's review:

Lebanon has Palestinian Arab refugee camps.  For decades and decades.  Why?  Because Lebanon has no intention of assimilating Palestinian Arabs into their country, any more than any other Arab country does. 

Other than Jordan (which is a Palestinian Arab state, no matter how idiotically they claim otherwise), not one Arab state allows Palestinian Arabs to legally enter their country and become citizens.

The rationale for this is that Israel should hand over its country to the Palestinian Arabs, so they already have a homeland.  But that, of course, ignores the fact that any Palestinian Arab who WANTS to become a citizen of Lebanon or Kuwait or Saudi Arabia etc. etc.  etc. cannot do so.

Who runs the camps?  Whichever "faction" is strongest.  What goes on in a camp that is run by whoever is strongest?  Let's just say there aren't a lot of alternative opinions voiced there.  And since everyone seems to carry, and use, weaponry, we can only guess how many are killed and brutalized anonymously. 

Oh yeah, and the UN, which "cares for the Palestinian refugee community"?  What exactly do THEY do?  Do they prevent any of the violence?  Do they demand accountability?  Do they demand and inspect clean, humane prisons the way they and every human rights agency in creation do at Guantanamo?  Do they stop schools from teaching ethnic and religious hatred, most especially against Jews? 

Does anyone ever ASK them what they do?  Nope - no one gives a damn. 

No Jews involved here, so it doesn't matter.  It doesn't count. 

No Americans fghting terrorist sympathizing states here. So it doesn't matter.  It doesn't count.

Putting panties on a prisoner's head at abu ghraib?  THAT's important.  THAT counts.

Lebanon had a problem:  people who didn't have any regard for Lebanon and who wanted to run the camps as armed bases and create conflict and didn't care one bit who they killed in the process. 

Sound a little like Palestinian Arabs and Israel?  Well, absent the Jew hatred (to say the least, a key component) it's pretty similar.

So what did Lebanon do about it?  They sent in troops, many people died, many civilians died, no doubt many of the militia who CLAIMED civilian status died (very easy to do when you're not part of an actual army), and they cleaned them out, while tens of thousands fled. 

If Israel did anything like that the world would be on it like white on rice.  But the world does not care if Arabs kill other Arabs.  The world cares if Israel tries to maintain its existence.

Yep, Lebanon was "Israel for a day".  And when Lebanon acted in a way that would generate universal condemnation if Israel had done it, the world shrugged.  The UN yawned and continued drafting its latest condemnation of Israel. 

And Palestinian Arabs, hated by their brethren far more tangibly than by Israel (which has 1.3 million of them living mostly in peace within Israel's borders), are again treated like dog excrement by their fellow Arabs--- mostly brought on by their own actions .

Will either side learn anything from this?  Maybe someday.  But don't hold your breath waiting.


IDIOCY IS AS IDIOCY DOES.

Ken Berwitz

I am loving this.  Maybe you will too.

Take a look at this story - complete with pictures - from the London Daily Mail:.

Ouch! The moment Piers Morgan broke three ribs falling off the Segway he said was 'idiot-proof'

By JAMES TAPPER - More by this author Last updated at 08:29am on 2nd September 2007

If he didn't believe in karma before, Piers Morgan must surely do now.

The ex-newspaper editor, now a columnist for The Mail on Sunday's Live magazine, took great delight in making fun of President Bush for falling off a Segway - the two-wheeled, motorised, gyroscopically balanced scooter that, its makers promise, will never fall over.

His paper, the Daily Mirror, ran the headline in 2003: "You'd have to be an idiot to fall off, wouldn't you Mr President." It added: "If anyone can make a pig's ear of riding a sophisticated, self-balancing machine like this, Dubya can." So, it seems, can Mr Morgan.

Scroll to the bottom of the page to watch our exclusive video of Piers's fall...

More follows...

Now you see him...now you don't! Poor old Piers breaks three ribs from his scooter fall

He broke three ribs after falling off the Segway at 12mph in California - just three days before he was due to make his biggest TV appearance to date, as a judge on the grand final of reality show America's Got Talent.

Quite what he was doing on a Segway - labelled 'the geek machine' by critics - Morgan has yet to explain, but these pictures reveal the moment of the undignified crash.

He can be seen cruising comfortably along the promenade at Santa Monica beach. Inexplicably, his delicate sense of balance fails him. The Segway swerves to the right, mounting the kerb. Morgan's 'toned muscular, tanned, superfit torso' (as he describes it) continues straight along the road but sadly his feet remain planted to the rogue Segway.

Read Piers Morgan's own take on his tumble in his weekly LA diary...

Inevitably he falls victim to gravity and crunches on to the baking concrete, where he lies, agonised, until a companion can come to his rescue.

He had to be taken to hospital to be patched up, but despite his misfortune, Morgan made it to the TV studio. His celebrity friends have been chortling at his expense. Simon Cowell has urged people to make Morgan laugh because 'it causes Piers absolute agony'.

Writing in Live magazine this week, Morgan is rueful about the comments on Mr Bush. He says: "Since only he and I appear to have ever fallen off one, I think the makers of the Segway can probably still justifiably claim the machines are "idiot-proof"." .

Well, at least he was a good sport about it......AFTER he fell off, that is.  Until then, he was a smug, insulting jerk.

Maybe he'll think about that as his ribs heal. 

By contrast, President Bush's ribs were intact after his fall from the Segway.  But they probably hurt now.  From laughing.


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