Prostitution, Cronyism, Nepotism: Team Bush!
Wow. Hookergate just keeps getting better and better, doesn't it? Randy "Hookers Bad, 'Massage Therapists' Good" Tobias, Harlan K. "Shock and Awe" Ullman, and now Toesucker Dick Morris, one of the infamous "FOX Democrats" whose sole reason for being on that network is to bash any Democrat to the left of Attila the Hun.
Speaking of Randy Tobias, let's look at his assertion that he now has "Central American" women come to his condo for his massage needs. There are a number of questions that this raises: Are these women here legally? Were they lured into the sex industry and are they being kept as slaves by their "employers"? And why, if a good massage is so important to Tobias, does he not avail himself of the services of legitimate massage therapists in the D.C. area — all of whom charge considerably less than the $275 per hour (90 minute minimum) that Palfrey's service charged?
But there's another angle to the whole concept of prostitution and corruption in the Bush Junta. Let me explain.
TeddySanFran's post on the D.C. Madam and her high-flying and hypocritically "anti-prostitution" clientele made me think about another recently-discovered instance of sex for pay by one of the Bush Junta. Rather, JMHM over at Sisyphus Shrugged privately passed on the information, including this Glenn Kessler piece in the WaPo, that points up how the members of the Bush Junta have no apparent problem taking our tax dollars and using them to feather the beds of their sex partners — in this case, Shaha Riza, Paul Wolfowitz' girlfriend, who has been ensconced at taxpayer expense in a Potemkin "foundation" that serves no obvious purpose other than to keep her in funds:
The Foundation for the Future, as the effort is called, has made no grants and held only two board meetings since its creation 1 1/2 years ago. Though Shaha Riza, who has been romantically linked to Wolfowitz, is not listed as part of the staff on the organization's Web site, she is the only person working in the group's offices, located within the Henry L. Stimson Center, a think tank. The Washington office is listed as a "branch," according to the site, which promises that soon a main office will be established in Beirut.
"It is basically just her running this thing," said Tamara Cofman Wittes, research fellow at the Brookings Institution Saban Center for Middle East Policy, who closely tracks democracy programs in the region. She said the board members had no experience in grant-making and thus had "started from zero," with no bylaws or grant-making guidelines. She said the board has had a goal of trying to make its first grant by summer, nearly two years after the organization was formed.
The United States contributed almost two-thirds of the foundation's $56 million budget, according to the State Department, which said last night that the foundation plans to hire a chief operating officer and chief financial officer next month.
Two years at $56 million a year and they don't have a COO or a CFO? Where does all the money go, straight into Riza's purse? Who could have dreamed up something this blatantly crooked and messed up?
If you answered "Dick Cheney", you're close:
Since September 2005, the World Bank has paid Riza's salary — which under the terms of a contract dictated by Wolfowitz included automatic raises that has brought it to $193,590 tax-free — while she was seconded to the State Department to assist on Middle East democracy issues. There, she worked under Elizabeth Cheney, who was then principal deputy assistant secretary; Wolfowitz worked for Cheney's father as an undersecretary of defense in the George H.W. Bush administration.
Elizabeth Cheney, who has since left the State Department, was in charge of democracy promotion and was instrumental in creating the Foundation for the Future, which Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice announced with fanfare at a conference in Bahrain in November 2005. The foundation would make grants that let "reformers to draw upon their ideas and their ideals to nurture grass-roots organizations that support the development of democracy," Rice said.
Now remember, Elizabeth Cheney's dad was oh-so-quick to level charges of nepotism against Joe Wilson. He was saying that even as his otherwise-unemployable daughter was drawing a hefty salary from us.
Try to imagine the uproar that would have ensued in the American press during the Clinton administration had Al Gore tried to get his daughter Karenna a gig anywhere in the Federal government, much less a series of gigs. We'd still be hearing about it. Yet the celebrity press corps didn't raise so much as a whimper in protest when Papa Cheney gets one of his daughters a few little gigs to round out her CV.