THE HIMALAYAN TALK: INDIAN GOVERNMENT FOOD SECURITY PROGRAM RISKIER

http://youtu.be/NrcmNEjaN8c The government of India has announced food security program ahead of elections in 2014. We discussed the issue with Palash Biswas in Kolkata today. http://youtu.be/NrcmNEjaN8c Ahead of Elections, India's Cabinet Approves Food Security Program ______________________________________________________ By JIM YARDLEY http://india.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/07/04/indias-cabinet-passes-food-security-law/

THE HIMALAYAN TALK: PALASH BISWAS CRITICAL OF BAMCEF LEADERSHIP

[Palash Biswas, one of the BAMCEF leaders and editors for Indian Express spoke to us from Kolkata today and criticized BAMCEF leadership in New Delhi, which according to him, is messing up with Nepalese indigenous peoples also. He also flayed MP Jay Narayan Prasad Nishad, who recently offered a Puja in his New Delhi home for Narendra Modi's victory in 2014.]

THE HIMALAYAN DISASTER: TRANSNATIONAL DISASTER MANAGEMENT MECHANISM A MUST

We talked with Palash Biswas, an editor for Indian Express in Kolkata today also. He urged that there must a transnational disaster management mechanism to avert such scale disaster in the Himalayas. http://youtu.be/7IzWUpRECJM

THE HIMALAYAN TALK: PALASH BISWAS LASHES OUT KATHMANDU INT'L 'MULVASI' CONFERENCE

अहिले भर्खर कोलकता भारतमा हामीले पलाश विश्वाससंग काठमाडौँमा आज भै रहेको अन्तर्राष्ट्रिय मूलवासी सम्मेलनको बारेमा कुराकानी गर्यौ । उहाले भन्नु भयो सो सम्मेलन 'नेपालको आदिवासी जनजातिहरुको आन्दोलनलाई कम्जोर बनाउने षडयन्त्र हो।' http://youtu.be/j8GXlmSBbbk

THE HIMALAYAN TALK: PALASH BISWAS LASHES OUT KATHMANDU INT'L 'MULVASI' CONFERENCE

अहिले भर्खर कोलकता भारतमा हामीले पलाश विश्वाससंग काठमाडौँमा आज भै रहेको अन्तर्राष्ट्रिय मूलवासी सम्मेलनको बारेमा कुराकानी गर्यौ । उहाले भन्नु भयो सो सम्मेलन 'नेपालको आदिवासी जनजातिहरुको आन्दोलनलाई कम्जोर बनाउने षडयन्त्र हो।' http://youtu.be/j8GXlmSBbbk

THE HIMALAYAN TALK: PALASH BISWAS BLASTS INDIANS THAT CLAIM BUDDHA WAS BORN IN INDIA

THE HIMALAYAN VOICE: PALASH BISWAS DISCUSSES RAM MANDIR

Published on 10 Apr 2013 Palash Biswas spoke to us from Kolkota and shared his views on Visho Hindu Parashid's programme from tomorrow ( April 11, 2013) to build Ram Mandir in disputed Ayodhya. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=77cZuBunAGk

THE HIMALAYAN TALK: PALSH BISWAS FLAYS SOUTH ASIAN GOVERNM

Palash Biswas, lashed out those 1% people in the government in New Delhi for failure of delivery and creating hosts of problems everywhere in South Asia. http://youtu.be/lD2_V7CB2Is

Palash Biswas on BAMCEF UNIFICATION!

THE HIMALAYAN TALK: PALASH BISWAS ON NEPALI SENTIMENT, GORKHALAND, KUMAON AND GARHWAL ETC.and BAMCEF UNIFICATION! Published on Mar 19, 2013 The Himalayan Voice Cambridge, Massachusetts United States of America

BAMCEF UNIFICATION CONFERENCE 7

Published on 10 Mar 2013 ALL INDIA BAMCEF UNIFICATION CONFERENCE HELD AT Dr.B. R. AMBEDKAR BHAVAN,DADAR,MUMBAI ON 2ND AND 3RD MARCH 2013. Mr.PALASH BISWAS (JOURNALIST -KOLKATA) DELIVERING HER SPEECH. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oLL-n6MrcoM http://youtu.be/oLL-n6MrcoM

Imminent Massive earthquake in the Himalayas

THE HIMALAYAN TALK: PALASH BISWAS CRITICIZES GOVT FOR WORLD`S BIGGEST BLACK OUT

THE HIMALAYAN TALK: PALASH BISWAS CRITICIZES GOVT FOR WORLD`S BIGGEST BLACK OUT

THE HIMALAYAN TALK: PALASH BISWAS TALKS AGAINST CASTEIST HEGEMONY IN SOUTH ASIA

Palash Biswas on Citizenship Amendment Act

Mr. PALASH BISWAS DELIVERING SPEECH AT BAMCEF PROGRAM AT NAGPUR ON 17 & 18 SEPTEMBER 2003 Sub:- CITIZENSHIP AMENDMENT ACT 2003 http://youtu.be/zGDfsLzxTXo

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Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Congressmen on sale

How to Own a Congressman

A widespread perception that Congress people respond increasingly to special interests has received additional support from a person who knows something about it. In a cynical interview with Lesley Stahl, from "60 minutes" Jack Abramoff, one of the most notorious lobbyists in recent times, explains the tactics that he used in dealing with people in Congress. In addition, he gives a chilling assessment of recent reforms intended to change this situation.

Infamous Washington D.C. lobbyist Jack Abramoff reveals how he kept hundreds of Bush-era congressional staffers in his pocket. In 2011, it was estimated that there were over 13,000 registered federal lobbyists based in Washington, DC. They spend huge amounts of money on their work, up to $3.5 billion in 2010 according to the Center for Responsive Politics. Their competence as individuals, groups or corporations to lobby the government is protected by the right to petition clause in the First Amendment of the United States Constitution.

For his illegal activities, in 2006, Abramoff pleaded guilty to defrauding Indian tribes of tens of millions of dollars on issues associated with Indian gaming, and corruption of public officials, in a Washington, D.C., federal court. He served most of a six-year sentence after pleading guilty to charges of conspiracy, honest services fraud, and tax evasion.

He was deft at influencing legislation, and one of his strategies was to make some Indian tribes make substantial campaign contributions to select members of Congress. In addition, Abramoff spent large sums of money providing congressmen with free flights to the world's best golf destinations such as St. Andrews in Scotland. He also provided them with free meals at his upscale Washington restaurant Signatures, and the best tickets to all the area's sporting events. He said that he spent a million dollars a year on those tickets and on different other venues.

When asked by Ms. Stahl if he could state how much it costs to corrupt a congressman, he answered, "I was actually thinking of writing a book –"The Idiot's Guide to Buying a Congressman"- as a way to put this all down.

According to Abramoff, the best way to get a congressional office to be responsive to his demands was to offer a staffer a job that could triple his salary saying, "You know, when you are done working on the Hill, we'd very much like you to consider coming to work for us." At that moment, said Abramoff, we owned them. They were going to do everything that he requested. Neil Volz, one of the staffers Abramoff was referring to said in that program, "Jack Abramoff could sweet talk a dog off a meat truck, that's how persuasive he was."

It is not a memory Abramoff now feels proud of. As he said, "Look. I did things and I was involved in the system I should not have been in. I'm ashamed of the fact that I was there, the very reason why now I am speaking about it. And now I am trying to do something, in recompense, is the fact that I thought it was –it was wrong of me to do it.

After these events, Congress passed what many consider the most sweeping new ethics rules since Watergate. Although the bill regulating lobbyists' activities incorporated the Lobbying Transparency Act of 2006 legislation which governs lobbyists' activities, some senators and a coalition of good-government groups stated that the bill was too weak. It is an opinion that Abramoff would certainly agree with.

Abramoff doesn't believe in the least that these reforms are going to be effective. As he stated, "The reforms efforts continually are these faux-reform efforts where they'll change, they'll tweak the system. They'll say, 'you can have a meal with a congressman if they are standing up, not sitting down".

For Abramoff, the system has not been cleaned up at all. As he said, "But the people who are actually in the system are the people who are making reforms. That is why he says that the most important measure to be taken is to prohibit members of Congress and their staff from ever becoming lobbyists in Washington." According to the online disclosure site LegiStorm, 5,400 former congressional staffers and almost 400 former lawmakers have become lobbyists over the past decade.

When considering how to limit the power of lobbyists, former congressman Lee Hamilton, Director of the Center on Congress at Indiana University, wrote, "I'd even go further. I favor the radical steps of prohibiting members of Congress from accepting contributions from firms that lobby them, and banning lobbyists from contributing to members they lobby."

In addition, Hamilton believes that Congress needs an institution, similar to the Congressional Budget Office, to give it "unbiased and unvarnished analysis of pending issues each week. But the last word on this is Abramoff's, "If you make the choice to serve the public, public service, then serve the public, not yourself. When you're done, go home. Washington is a dangerous place. Don't hang around."

César Chelala

 César Chelala, MD, PhD, is a co-winner of an Overseas Press Club of America award. He is also the foreign correspondent for Middle East Times International (Australia).



Dr. S. Akhtar Ehtisham
(607) 776-3336
P.O. Box 469,
Bath NY 14810
USA
Blog syedehtisham.blogspot.com
All religions try to take over the establishment and if they fail, they collaborate with it, be it feudal or capitalist.

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