Dr. David Marlett, Editor 10 February 2001 Vol. II No.20
tcn@wilderness-cry.net http://www.wilderness-cry.net/tcn

"It is easy to say 'vast right-wing conspiracy';
it is difficult to admit that
the Founding Fathers are its founding members."




W-H-A-T-!

Infantry troops are about out of 9mm, 5.56mm and .50-caliber ammunition. Fixed wing and helicopter units are grounded do to lack of parts -- and pilots. E-1 to E-5 service personnel are subsisting in slums on food stamps and not re-upping. 0-2 to 0-4 officers are leaving in droves.

While we agree that Mr. Bush should review expensive acquisition programs like the YF-22 before authorizing more tax dollars, the aforementioned neglect is not going to be rectified by handing out black berets.

Sen. John W. Warner, Chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, in a protest letter to Mr. Bush, wrote, "We've got to fix [readiness] now. As you and Vice President Cheney pointed out frequently during the campaign, there are serious readiness and personnel problems which require immediate attention. It is important that we quickly address these problems and fix the force that is currently in place. That force could be called on to act at anytime and it must be ready."
[ The Federalist ]




Website Reveals Names of 'Secret' Clinton Foundation Donors

Officials with the William J. Clinton Presidential Foundation steadfastly refuse to release the names of its donors, though on Thursday a lawyer for multimillionairess Denise Rich revealed she'd ponied up "an enormous amount."

And last September, the Chicago Sun-Times confirmed that James H. Levin, a former strip-club owner and now president of TVR Link, had pledged to raise or donate $1 million.

But despite the supposed secrecy that shrouds the identity of other high-rolling foundation backers, the website FEC Info (www.tray.com) identified 20 supporters, including Rich and Levin, as early as a year ago.

Those names include California developer Walter H. Shorenstein, supermarket magnate Ron Burkle, Haim Saban - Chairman of Fox Family Worldwide, Universal Studios President Lew Wasserman, New York businessman John Catsimatides, Mattel's William Rollnick, New York designers Vera Wang and Nicole Miller, Dreamworks partners Steven Spielberg, Jeffrey Katzenberg and David Geffen, Global Crossing Chairman Gary Winnick, Former DNC Finance Chairman Alan Solomont, New York investor Stanley Shuman, fashion industry executive Arnold Simon, Massachusetts financier Tom Lee, aviation executive Farhad Azima, and internet tycoon Vinod Gupta.

In fact, the "secret" names exposed by FEC Info were reported by the Washington Post way back in October 1999. The contribution amounts listed by the website were also reported by the Post.

Burkle, Saban and Wasserman pledged to personally donate a whopping $5 to $10 million to the Clinton Foundation, reported the paper.

Those pledging to raise or donate at least $1 million include Shorenstein, Winnick, Solomont, Shuman, Simon, Lee, Levin, Azima and Gupta. Pledge figures were not listed for other donors, including Ms. Rich.

Time.com reported Friday morning that Ms. Rich gave $400,000. But that figure seems improbably low.

No other donor has pledged less than $1 million, which, according to the Post, is the minimum Clinton Foundation contribution.
[ NewsMax ]

TCN Comment: How many of these donors are you helping to financially enable? It might be a good time to rethink our spending habits.

Walter H. Shorenstein is Chairman of The Shorenstein Co., a real estate management company, Shorenstein is a Forbes 400 member ($450 million net worth) and a onetime adviser to President Johnson. He benefits from congressional "passive loss" tax policies that allow real estate investors to take tax credits on empty properties.

Ron Burkle is chairman of Yucaipa Companies, Food 4 Less Supermarkets, and Ralphs Grocery Co., the largest grocery chain in California.

Haim Saban is the chairman and CEO of Fox Kids Worldwide, Inc. The company evolved from a strategic alliance between the Fox Kids Network and Saban's own company Saban Entertainment. Fox Kids Worldwide has been the leading American children's channel since its takeover of International Family Entertainment and its 70,000,000 household-strong Family Channel. Saban has strong ties to Germany, the home of Saban Entertainment.

Lew Wasserman, president of Universal Studios, is the Hollywood mogul who brought us Gene Kelly, Jimmy Stewart, and Alfred Hitchcock. He is now MCA's chairman emeritus. His contributions to the Democrats may have helped ease regulatory fears over the Seagram/MCA deal.

John Catsimatidis owns Red Apple Group. Red Apple Group sells apples (and more) in the Big Apple. Most of the Gotham-based company's sales come from subsidiary United Refining, which produces 65,000 barrels a day of oil and distributes it to its 350 KwikFill gas stations in New York, Pennsylvania, and Ohio. The company controls Gristede's Foods, New York City's largest supermarket company, which operates 41 supermarkets under the names Sloan's and Gristede's in the greater New York City area. Red Apple Group has real estate operations in New York, Florida, and the Virgin Islands. The name John Catsimatidis shows up on donor lists for both Bill and Hillary Clinton and was a sleep-over guest at the White House as well as attending at least one of the notorious fund-raising coffees at the White House. Catsimatidis has strong ties to Greece.

William Rollnick is CEO of Mattel and has strong ties to Germany. He is a regular donor to Clintonian causes and another regular at Clinton White House fund-raisers.

Steven Spielberg, Jeffrey Katzenberg and David Geffen founded Dreamworks. Dreamworks is a major Hollywood studio. It has cranked out dozens of major productions in recent years with an emphasis on animations like Prince of Egypt, ANTZ, and others.

Gary Winnick is the Founder and Chairman of Global Crossing Ltd. which provides global broadband, Internet, data, voice and image communications for business and consumers worldwide. Through its state-of-the-art, owned and operated undersea and terrestrial fiber optic network, Global Crossing is connecting five continents, 27 countries and over 200 cities around the world. Since its founding in 1997, Global Crossing has raised over $20 billion in capital. Mr. Winnick is also the Chairman of Asia Global Crossing. Asia Global Crossing is building one of the first truly pan-Asian networks that in combination with the worldwide Global Crossing Network, will provide the Asia Pacific region with seamless access to major business centers worldwide. He is also the Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Pacific Capital Group, a merchant bank that is a principal investor in such fields as telecommunications, media, real estate, financial services, health care and biotechnology. Pacific Capital owns a significant equity interest in Colony Capital, Inc., a private, international investment firm with over $6 billion in assets under management. His international ties are primarily Jewish and Asian.

Stanley Shuman, an executive at Rupert Murdoch's deal maker, Allen & Company was mentioned in connection to a Clinton scandal in 1997 when it was discovered that he had bought a seat on a special foreign intelligence committee that Clinton had formed. Shuman has ties to China, but seems to have avoided the Chinagate scandal… ( Maybe the intelligence payoff paid off! )

Farhad Azima, aviation magnate and gun-runner, ran a charter airline called Global International Airways before it filed for bankruptcy in October, 1983. Azima made headlines in 1979 when a Global plane, said to be hauling relief supplies to Costa Rica, landed in Tunisia and was loaded up with weapons. The Kansas City Star reported in June, 1984 that Global jets frequently ferried weapons and military equipment disguised as medical or food supplies. In July, 1986, a Boeing-707 owned by Azima and leased to his brother, Farsin Azima, reportedly transported 23-tonnes of military equipment to Iran. Another major player in the world of international gun-running, Nationair rented airplanes and borrowed large sums of money from Farhad Azima. Farhad has close international ties to anyplace needing weapons with an embargo hanging over them. His political donations buy him the privilege of free passage for his aircraft.




Clinton Worked Pardon With DNC

Nine days in advance, President Clinton assured the Democratic Party's finance chair he was doing "everything possible" to grant billionaire fugitive Marc Rich's backdoor pardon.

This revelation came in a memo to Jack Quinn, the former White House legal counsel who obtained the pardon from his former boss for his current client, who fled the country rather than face trial in the largest tax-fraud case in American history.

The memo, made public Thursday by the House of Representatives Government Reform Committee, chaired by Rep. Dan Burton, R-Ind., was from Robert Fink, a member of Rich's legal team who was keeping Quinn up to speed on how the pardon campaign was progressing in the final days of the Clinton presidency.

The most damning portion said that Clinton, himself, had phoned the top Democratic National Committee official responsible for fund-raising, to keep her posted on the status of the pardon request being urgently pushed by Rich's ex-wife, who had showered the DNC with $1.3 million.

She is also among those who contributed expensive furnishings to the Clintons shortly before Hillary Rodham Clinton was sworn in as the new Democratic senator from New York.

At the core of the firestorm of outrage over the pardon, from both Democrats as well as Republicans, is whether Clinton granted it in exchange for political contributions.

Here is an excerpt from the memo to Quinn, complete with its political shorthand [explained, along with other background information, in brackets]:

"DR [Rich's ex-wife, songwriter Denise Rich] called from Aspen. Her friend B [Beth E. Dozoretz, the DNC finance chair] - who is with her - got a call today [Jan. 10, nine days before Clinton signed the pardon on the eve of his last full day in office] from potus [acronym for president of the United States] - who said he was impressed by JQ's [Jack Quinn's] last letter and that he wants to do it and is doing all possible to turn around the WH [White House] counsels.

"DR thinks he sounded very positive but 'that we have to keep praying.' There shall be no decision this wknd [weekend] and the other candidate milkin [Michael Milken, wealthy financier who served prison time] is not getting it [a pardon].

"I shall meet her [the DNC finance chair] and her friend [Rich's ex-wife] next week - she will provide more details."

In a later memo, Jan. 16,. Fink wrote to Quinn that the White House counsel's staff was "not supportive" of the Rich pardon, but neither was it in "a veto mode."

In that memo, Fink reported that Quinn's efforts with the president "are being felt" and suggested that he "keep at it as long as you can.

"We are still definitely in the game."

Three days later, Clinton signed the pardon, which had not been processed through the Justice Department as pardon applications are normally.

The Washington Times reported that at Thursday's hearing, Rep. Bob Barr, R-Ga., asked Quinn, "Why do you think the president needed to share information on the pardon with the finance chairman of the DNC?"

To which Quinn replied, "I don't know."

Barr then asked, "Was anyone at the White House supportive of this pardon other than the president?"

Quinn's reply was the White House counsel, Beth Nolan, "at some point, was not favorably disposed."




Denise Visited Bill 100 Times But Never Slept Over

Million-dollar Democrat donor Denise Rich reportedly visited the White House 100 times in just the last 12 months. Yet unlike many of the Clintons' fat-cat backers, she never spent the night, according to records reviewed by NewsMax.com.

"Sources close to [Rich] say the White House even contacted the multimillionairess - who has visited the Clintons 100 times over the past year - to serve as a go-between [between] the administration and [her ex-husband] Marc's lawyer's," the New York Post reported on Jan. 24.

Late Wednesday Ms. Rich invoked her Fifth Amendment rights when asked by House Pardongate probers such questions as, "Describe all contacts you have had with President Bill Clinton regarding your former husband, Marc Rich."

A spokesman for House investigators told NewsMax.com Friday that there's a "strong possibility" the Pardongate committee will request Secret Service entry logs to confirm whether Ms. Rich was indeed such an omnipresent White House visitor.

During the period in question, Mrs. Clinton was frequently in New York campaigning to become the state's U.S. senator.

In fact, an e-mail from Rich released by the Burton committee Thursday suggested she wasn't particularly interested in seeing the first lady.

"Mr. Fink [one of Marc Rich's lawyers] said that Denise Rich advised him that it would not be productive to seek Mrs. Clinton's support" for her husband's pardon, reports Friday's New York Times.

The arrangement has longtime Clinton insider Dick Morris wondering about the nature of Ms. Rich's visits.

"When somebody gives you a million dollars and stays at your house two nights a week - and who knows what relationships there were - you obviously know that appeasing their demand for a pardon is a big deal," Morris told Fox News Channel Thursday night.

But records released by the White House covering almost all of Clinton's two terms (except for the period of February 1997 through July 1999 - which isn't covered in publicly available documents), show that Denise Rich was never listed as a sleepover guest.

The omission seems odd, given the fact that Rich was at the White House with such regularity. Many of Clinton's major financial backers were invited for overnight stays at one time or another, including most of those who gave to Clinton's Library Foundation Fund.

Thursday Ms. Rich's lawyer, Carol Elder Bruce, revealed that her client had given "an enormous amount" to the Clinton Library Foundation but declined to cite a dollar figure. Others on the Clinton library donor list have pledged to raise or donate as much as $10 million each.
[ NewsMax ]




Costs Soar for Clinton's New York Office Space

Former President Clinton's Manhattan office space will cost about $800,000 a year, considerably higher than the figure reported to Congress last week, according to Rep. Ernest Istook, R-Okla., who has looked into the government's lease of the suite.

Istook, who said he had been told the space would cost about $600,000 per year, said Congress may not appropriate the funds over the life of the six-year lease unless Clinton seeks out cheaper space.

In response to the uproar over the high-priced real estate, Clinton had offered to have his private foundation cover $300,000 of the annual lease but Istook says that's not good enough.

"It makes thing even worse and makes the offer from the foundation to pick up some of the costs unsatisfactory," he said Wednesday.

Istook said he wants Clinton to sign a contract shielding the taxpayers from the exposure of an expensive lease. He also said he'd turn his anger toward the General Services Administration if the agency was "irresponsible" enough to sign the lease.

"What's worse than paying $600,000 for one year?" he asked rhetorically in a phone interview with CNN. "Paying $800,000 for six years."

"This is exorbitant spending with other people's money," Istook said.

The office space, located in the Carnegie Hall Tower, measures 8,300 square feet.
[ CNN ]




Morris: Clinton Library Foundation Is a 'Slush Fund'

"The William J. Clinton Presidential Foundation, which reportedly expects to raise $200 million to build a library to help memorialize the ex-president's legacy, is nothing more than a 'slush fund,'" says one-time Clinton confidant Dick Morris.

"First, let's understand what the word 'library' means," Morris told Fox News Channel's Paula Zahn Thursday night.

"This is not a fund that will go for brick and mortar to build a building - and the contractors will spend the money and that's it. It's been rumored and reported that the amount that they have raised substantially, if not vastly, exceeds the amount needed to build the building."

"This is a fund - in effect, a foundation, a kind of slush fund that Clinton will have for the rest of his life," Morris charged.

"He'll use [the money] for staff, he'll use it for transportation, he'll use it for all kinds of things that could be loosely identified as foundation business," Morris explained.

"And basically, when you're paying money to this foundation, you're not just paying it for brick and mortar, you're paying it for Bill Clinton's upkeep."

"This is going to be Clinton's private, personal slush fund," Morris told Zahn.

Last Friday Clinton told reporters that his foundation would contribute $300,000 to offset an anticipated $800,000 annual rent for his post-presidential office space, after Congress complained about the sky-high costs.




Clinton's Use of Korean War-Era Law to Aid California Questioned

Senators are debating whether to change or possibly kill a Korean War-era law used recently to keep natural gas flowing into power-starved California.

Sen. Phil Gramm, R-Texas, chairman of the Banking Committee, criticized use of the 1950 Defense Production Act to order natural-gas producers to continue supplying California despite concerns about utilities being unable to pay their bills.

Gramm argued at a hearing Friday that the law should be used only to supply military and aerospace facilities, not fix a credit crunch that utilities such as Pacific Gas and Electric Co. were experiencing. "We're not going to extend the Defense Production Act as it's now written. It's either going to die or it's going to be dramatically rewritten," Gramm said. "It ought to be an extraordinary action, in my opinion, for the government to be taking people's property and dictating prices."

Eric Fygi, acting general counsel of the Energy Department, said the Clinton and Bush administrations issued orders from Jan. 19 to Feb. 8 because natural gas is used to generate electricity.

Without the orders, electricity would have become even scarcer. And if suppliers cut off PG&E, the utility would have seized natural gas flowing through its pipes toward military bases and NASA facilities to supply its residential and small-business customers, Fygi said.

"It's all interwoven," Fygi said. "This was truly an extraordinary circumstance."

The law is the same one President Nixon used to impose wage and price controls in the 1970s. Other times it has helped construction of the Alaska oil pipeline and expansion of the Strategic Petroleum Reserve in Texas and Louisiana, Fygi said.

Critics want it rewritten, contending it gives presidents too much authority over private companies under the guise of national security.

The day before he left office last month, Clinton signed a memorandum declaring a "natural gas supply emergency" in central and northern California. His energy secretary, Bill Richardson, in turn ordered companies to continue shipping natural gas to Pacific Gas and Electric Co. for four days, until Jan. 23, even though the utility no longer could pay its bills.

The new energy secretary, Spencer Abraham, extended the order, but Bush allowed the authorization to expire Wednesday. In doing so, Bush administration officials noted that Oregon and Washington suffered reduced energy reserves and higher prices because dwindling supplies were funneled to California.

Clinton, Nixon and Bush all invoked the Defense Production Act of 1950, which gives the president authority to compel companies to put aside their own financial interests in the name of national security. A longtime critic of the law, Gramm questions whether any president should be able to interfere with the financial interests of private companies when there is no war. Some of the energy suppliers affected in its latest invocation are based in Texas.

In the 50 years since it was signed by Harry Truman during the Korean War, the law has been used several times by presidents in wartime and at peace, said Alan Gropman, chairman of the department of grand strategy and mobilization at the Industrial College of the Armed Forces.

Some examples:

-Nixon used it to try to control spiraling costs during the energy-starved 1970s.

-Bush's father invoked it during the buildup to the Persian Gulf War to procure atropine, an antidote to poison gas, as well as desert boots and uniforms.

-Ronald Reagan used it to keep afloat a company that made filament radon for rocket engines.

-Clinton used the act to procure communications and computer equipment for military actions in Bosnia and Kosovo.

Gropman said the law lets a president compel a company to act only if the company has a federal contract or provides a product to a national security entity such as a military base. In California, it could be argued that the energy companies provide gas not only to its residents but also to military bases in the state, Gropman said.

"The act doesn't say anything about power plants, but what it does say is that if you are supplying the government with something, the government can force you to make that a priority," even a company that makes widgets to run the sprinkler system at a military base officers' club, he said.




The "PAC Man"

Sen. John McCain is still brimming with "straight talk" about campaign finance reform, and has collected $3,000,000 from special interest groups to prove it!
[ The Federalist ]




Military Readiness...

"There is no exit date for the whole force either in Bosnia and Kosovo. Those will be long-term commitments. Although we would like to see all of the troops come out, ours and others, this is not going to be the case in the immediate future. ... I think NATO is going to be there in both places for years." --Secretary of State Colin Powell

Memo to Colin: The U.S. Army has been used in 29 major deployments in the last decade (including the unfinished one you commanded), compared with only 10 during the previous four decades. The lines are a bit thin!
[ The Federalist ]




Don't Talk to the Parrot

Mrs. Lonefold's dishwasher quit working, so she called a Repairman.

He couldn't accommodate her with an evening appointment, and, since she had to go to work the next day, she told him: "I'll leave the key under the mat. "Fix the dishwasher, leave the bill on the counter, and I'll mail you the check. By the way, don't worry about my Rottweiler. He won't bother you. But, whatever you do, not under any circumstances talk to my parrot!"

When the repairman arrived at Mrs. Lonefold's apartment the next day, he discovered the biggest and meanest looking Rottweiler he had ever seen.

But, just like she had said, the dog just lay there on the carpet, watching the repairman go about his business.

However, the whole time he was there, the parrot drove him nuts with his incessant cursing, yelling, and name-calling. Finally the repairman couldn't contain himself any longer and yelled: "Shut up, you stupid ugly bird!"

To which the parrot replied: "Get him, Brutus!

TCN

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