Sunday, January 23, 2011

Faleomavaega Partly to Blame for Tucson Tragedy

Although we are not aware of any public statements Faleomavaega may have made following the Tuscon shooting that took six lives, he nonetheless has to shoulder part of the blame for the tragedy.  For it is the left wing of the Democrat Party, of which he is a proud member, that has forced the "mainstreaming" of so many mentally ill persons who a generation ago would have been receiving in-patient treatment at secure facilities.  Shame on him for such an ill conceived policy.

Although he is the senior Democrat in Congress involved in Asian affairs, President Obama passed him over when extending invitations for last week's dinner honoring Chinese President Hu, just as he was snubbed for the state dinner for the leader of India, even though he long has been a congressional champion of U.S.-Indian relations.  We hoped he enjoyed his consolation prizes: a ride to Washington from Hawaii on Air Force One and an  invitation to have lunch with Hu a day after the lavish State Dinner.

In fact, the presidential plane ride may be the high point of Eni's year.  Since his return to minority status in the House, Eni has watched himself stripped of his chairmanship and stripped of his vote in the Committee of the Whole.  Moreover, Republicans have slashed five percent from his office budget and new restrictions have been placed on congressional travel.   In many ways, as a non-voting delegate, he is lower on the totem pole than the nine new Democrats who were elected to the House.  He may have a nicer office than they do because of his seniority but that's about all.  If you want to see what it's like to be a new member in the minority, just read this article:

Meanwhile, in the wake of Hawaii Governor Neil Abercrombie's failure to find Barack Obama's legitimate birth certificate, questions are being asked anew about Faleomavaega's role in covering up Obama's past.  One such article his here:   Perhaps the Obama plane ride was to assure Faleomavaega's continued silence about the real purpose of his trip to Indonesia.

Faleomavaega also figured in the Wikileaks diplomatic document dump.   One classified cable generated by the U.S. embassy in New Zealand said "Bainimarama asked Australia and New Zealand to drop their demands for 2009 elections, and called on the other PIF states to not listen to Australia and New Zealand.  He also credited U.S. Representative Eni Faleomavaega with having a better understanding of the situation in Samoa and that Faleomavaega's views, rather than those of Australia and New Zealand, should form the basis of USG policy towards Fiji."   Even if he isn't as welcome in Washington these days, at least Eni seems to continue to have a fan in Fiji's dictator.

Since he is virtually useless in Washington now, our betting is that Eni will find a way around the travel restrictions and be back on the road as soon as he can.  Nothing for him to do in DC and besides, now that his floor vote has been taken away, he won't have to worry about being exposed, as he was last term, as the Member of Congress to miss the most votes (41%).  Of course, don't expcect the territory's leading newspaper, Samoa News, to cover any of this.  His sister-in-law continues to be one of the small group of editors of the paper.  And so it goes.


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