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The Palazzo Feinstein


It happens all the time. If the antiwar movement takes on the Democrats for their bitter shortcomings a few liberals are bound to criticize us for not hounding Bush instead. It doesn’t even have to be an election year to get the progressives fired up. They just don’t seem to get it. “How can you attack the Democrats when we have such a bullet-proof administration ruling the roost in Washington,” somebody recently emailed me, “Don’t you have something better to do than write this trash?!”

Well, not really. It’s too cold in upstate New York right now to do anything other than fume over the liberal villains in Washington. “Why do I write about the putrid Democratic Party?” I responded, “I’ll tell you, there’s a reason this Republican administration is so damn bullet proof — nobody from the opposition party is taking aim and pulling the trigger.”

And that’s why the Dems are just as culpable in all that has transpired since Bush took office in 2000. They aren’t just a part of the problem — the Democrats are the problem.
Richard Blum and Dianne Feinstein’s new house.

I mean, who is really all that surprised Bush and his boys wanted to conquer the Middle East, curtail civil liberties and rampage the environment? Not me. That’s just what unreasonable neo-cons do: they stomp out the little guy, kill off the weak and suffocate the voiceless. They only care about the girth of their wallets and the number of scalps they can tack above their mantles.

The Democrats aren’t just letting the Republicans get away with murder, however, some of them are also reaping the benefits of the Bush wars. We constantly hear about Dick Cheney’s ties to Halliburton and how his ex-company is making bundles off US contracts in Iraq. But what we don’t hear about is how Democratic Senator Dianne Feinstein and her husband are also making tons of money off the “war on terror”.

The wishy-washy senator now claims Bush misled her leading up to the invasion of Iraq. I don’t think she’s being honest with us though, there may have been other reasons she helped sell Bush’s lies. According to The Center for Public Integrity, Senator Feinstein’s husband Richard Blum has racked in millions of dollars from Perini, a civil infrastructure construction company, of which the billionaire investor wheels 75 percent of the voting share.

In April 2003 the US Army Corps of Engineers dived out $500 million to Perini to provide services for Iraq’s central command. A month earlier in March 2003, Perini was awarded $25 million to design and construct a facility to support the Afghan National Army near Kabul. And in March 2004, Perini was awarded a hefty contract worth up to $500 million for “electrical power distribution and transmission” in the southern Iraq.

Senator Feinstein, who sits on the Appropriations Committee as well as the Select Committee on Intelligence, is reaping the benefits of her husband’s investments. The Democratic royal family recently purchased a 16.5 million dollar mansion in the flush Pacific Heights neighborhood of San Francisco. It’s a disgusting display of war profiteering and the leading Democrat, just like Cheney, should be called out for her offense.

And that’s exactly why the Bush administration is so darn bullet-proof. The Democratic leadership in Washington is just as crooked and just as callous.

JOSHUA FRANK edits the radical news blog and is the author of Left Out! How Liberals Helped Reelect George W. Bush, published by Common Courage Press (2005). Josh can be reached at




JOSHUA FRANK is managing editor of CounterPunch. His most recent book is Hopeless: Barack Obama and the Politics of Illusion, co-edited with Jeffrey St. Clair and published by AK Press. He can be reached at You can follow him on Twitter @joshua__frank

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