India

Prosecutor's Crusade Against Indian Diplomat Is About His Moral Fanaticism

Preet Bharara's wage crusade will hurt foreign housekeepers.

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There are no saints in the saga of Devyani Khobragade, the Indian diplomat who was forced last week to leave America (and her American husband and kids) to escape a humiliating trial for allegedly underpaying her housekeeper, who is also an Indian.

But if there is a sinner here, it is not the diplomat or the housekeeper. It is the U.S. Prosecutor for Manhattan, Preet Bharara, an Obama appointee, whose crusade will hurt those in whose name he launched it: foreign domestic help.

It's an understatement to say that the episode has soured relations between the two countries, who were just burying the hatchet after decades of Cold War animosity. Indians, whose national pride is disturbingly tied to how their government officials are treated abroad, took to the streets as news spread that Khobragade was arrested when dropping off her daughters to school, strip searched and held in a cell with "common" criminals in violation of her diplomatic immunity.

The Indian government, too, went into full retaliation mode, condemning America for its "despicable" and "barbaric" behavior; removing security barricades outside the American embassy; stripping consulate officers of their immunity; and — in a hilarious fit of peevishness — slapping duties on the wine and cheese imports of American diplomats (try staying sober for a few days, Yankees, and may be you'll start thinking straight!).

But Bharara, himself born in India, was unbowed. "One wonders," he asked, "why there is so much outrage about the alleged treatment of the Indian national accused of perpetrating these acts, but precious little outrage about the alleged treatment of the Indian victim?"

It's a good question. But the answer is not that the deeply class-conscious Indian society that reflexively treats the rich and powerful as more equal than the poor and powerless. That insinuation is true but irrelevant. It is that Indians see Bharara's pompous insistence on enforcing a preposterous rule of law without regard to the human context as moral fanaticism.

And they are right.

The charge against Khobragade, ironically a women's rights advocate herself, is that in the visa application for Sangeeta Richards, the housekeeper, she promised to pay $4,500 per month, as per New York's "prevailing wage" requirement. However, she wrote a separate contract, in which she offered Richards only $600 a month — and room and board.

Human rights groups insist that this is "wage theft." If so, half of India would want its wages stolen.

Under one-third of the country's 1.3 billion people subsist on $1 a day. Average per capita annual income is about $3,600, half of what Richards was being paid. Median salaries of software engineers and family physicians are at par with hers.

The kicker is that the U.S. consulate in India pays many of its Indian employees half of Richards' wages.

If Khobragade had actually given Richards the full legal amount, she would have handed over most of her paycheck. It is an open secret in New York that foreign diplomats, who get a special dispensation under U.S. immigration law to bring over domestic help, rarely pay full legal wages.

One could argue that if Khobragade couldn't afford to pay Richards what the law demanded, she should have done without her. Fair enough. But would Richards — or the 600 million Indians who would gladly swap places with her — have been better off under that scenario? Far from it.

Had Richards remained in India, she'd have made a third of what she was being paid here. Her living conditions would have been far worse. And she would be consigned to a culture where the standards for the treatment of domestic help are much lower.

Given his India connection, Bharara couldn't possibly be unaware of this. So why exactly did he do it? The speculation in India is that this was a naked attempt to manipulate American sensibilities to impress his progressive base and advance his political career.

That's not a bad guess. If Bharara were genuinely motivated by the plight of housekeepers, there are better ways to help. He could lobby to scrap the requirement in America's immigration law that suspends their visas if they change employers, trapping them in genuinely abusive situations.

He could petition to loosen the visa barriers against foreign domestic workers so that they could shop around for employers — a far better way of raising wages and improving working conditions. He could also campaign against prevailing wage laws that price these workers out of the marketplace, severely limiting their options.

But that would mean taking on protectionists on the right and left who don't want competition by foreign workers. It's far easier to collect trophy scalps of prominent people for minor infractions.

P.S. This column, originally published in the Washington Examiner, is dedicated to beloved Kailash, a New Delhi cook-cum-caterer par excellence, who has been pleading with me to bring him to America for the last 20 years.


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76 responses to “Prosecutor's Crusade Against Indian Diplomat Is About His Moral Fanaticism

  1. There’s so much irony in this story, I hurt inside. The country where tourism is down because of public gang-rapes is up in arms because a diplomat got strip-searched by a female official in a room.

    I think the US and India should work together against our real enemy: The United Kingdom.

    1. “I think the US and India should work together against our real enemy: The United Kingdom.”

      Don’t be silly! The real enemy is Washington DC.

      1. Just another Limey-slurping benedict in our midst.

  2. I don’t see moral fanaticism here, so much as respect-our-authoritah retaliation for daring to lie to the federal government in that visa application. The fact that Khobragade’s entire job is lying to the U.S. federal government remains lost on all involved, I think.

    1. I read an article on USA Today when this story broke that said Indian people were outraged that a professional woman would be strip searched for a non-violent crime. Apparently American people aren’t outraged enough about it.

      This has nothing to do with diplomacy or cultural differences, it’s another indication of the ongoing militarization of the police state we live in in the US, where US Marshalls are “following standard procedure” to strip search someone who poses no threat and is not suspected of carrying any contraband.

      What if it were your wife or sister?

  3. Bharara is a publicity-seeking politics-courting scumbag prosecutor. He is loving the controversy, I guarantee it.

    1. He is loving the controversy, I guarantee it.

      He probably gets a huge boner everytime he sees his name in print.

  4. OT: Does this happen in other cities? I work downtown. I went outside to get lunch at an Indian restaurant. It’s crowded and I’m dressed in formal business attire. I see a black guy notice that and he immediately changes his direction and approaches me. I’m not stupid, so when he singles me out and says, “Can I ask you a question?” I know unequivocally he’s going to tell me some fucking bullshit story with the hope of getting some cash. I haven’t time for that shit so I look him right in the eyes, answer, “No” and keep walking. Piece of shit follows me (I don’t look back) and starts saying loud enough for people to hear, “Why does everyone do that to me? Oh I know, it’s my skin color. It’s because I’m black. That’s it.” I just keep walking, not looking back, and flip the race-baiting piece of shit off.

    I find it telling that he said, “Why does everyone do that to me?” Shows me he asks a lot of people the same bullshit question. Third time someone has done this shit in about a month. Again, is this panhandler race-card shit common in other cities?

    1. Where do you live?

      I live in LA (South LA to be precise) and I get asked for money by homeless people pretty often, but I’ve never had anyone get mad when I didn’t give them money.

      1. Minneapolis.

        1. Minneapolis.

          What’s the last four digits of your SS# ?

      2. I have often in Houston, but it seems to be more the whites than blacks that get mad.

        I actually had a white guy get furious with me because I wouldn’t buy he and his wife a tank of gas for their Suburban. His story was that he and his wife were on vacation in Galveston from out of state. They had spent all their money and had no way to get home. His eyes were red rimmed and glassy and kind of had that stare that you see in crack heads. He actually began cussing aloud at me as I was buying gas. I told him I had been out of work for almost a year and had just come from a job interview and felt no compulsion to give him money for his vacation. It didn’t slow him down a bit.

        1. A *tank* of gas for a *Suburban*? Holy crow. That’s like, a fuckin’ hundred dollar handout.

    2. I tell them “I spent it all on heroin. Got any heroin?” and they tend to back off real quick.

    3. Yes. The hobos in Seattle are very aggressive, and I have had loud, obnoxious hobos pull the race card before. It’s utterly useless, of course, because everyone hates the hobos and ignores everything they say, but it doesn’t stop them. I’ve been eating outside in a restaurant next to the sidewalk and had a hobo just come up and stand right next to the barrier between the eating area and the sidewalk and just stand there and stare at me while shaking their begging cup, waiting for a handout. It gets pretty bad.

      1. I’ve been eating outside in a restaurant next to the sidewalk and had a hobo just come up and stand right next to the barrier between the eating area and the sidewalk and just stand there and stare at me while shaking their begging cup

        That’s when I spit in their cup. I’d piss or shit in it if I thought could away with it.

        1. That’s good, I like that. I did my usual “get lost”, and this guy was so whacked out on something that he just stood there in a half-daze. I had to get more aggressive with the “get lost” until he shambled off.

          One of the hallmarks of Seattle hobos is that they’re always there. Eating a nice brunch outside? Hobo. Walking to the movies? You will be accosted by at least two hobos if not more. And I live in Belltown, which while it used to be hobo central, has cleaned up a bit over the last few years. Down in Pioneer Square it’s way worse, because all the homeless housing is down there. And Capitol Hill is full of gutter punks, who are so obnoxious they make the older, more decrepit hobos look like a dream.

          1. Sheesh. Luckily they’re not that bad here in Denver. You see them standing on street corners with the stereotypical cardboard signs in some of the suburbs, and there’s more of them in the downtown areas, but they’re not very aggressive. I usually don’t give them money because it’s so hard to know whether they’re just pan handling or legitimately down on their luck, so instead I’ll donight to private charities like the Denver Rescue Mission and just ignore the hobos.

            Donating to DRM has the added benefit of pissing proggies right the hell off since they’re a *gasp* Christian oriented charity.

            1. Dude, I was at a gas station in the Denny triangle one time and there was an extremely persistent hobo trying to bum money off of anyone who stopped for gas. He would not go away. The station owner was actually pushing him off with a broom and swearing at him, trying to get him to leave the customers alone. He was clearly whacked out on something, and he just would not take no for an answer. I actually had my hand on my gun as I was finishing up, because he was obviously not in a coherent state of mind, and was creepily creeping up on people from blindside directions and shit. Unpleasant to say the least.

              1. I actually had my hand on my gun as I was finishing up, because he was obviously not in a coherent state of mind, and was creepily creeping up on people from blindside directions and shit.

                He was obviously coherent enough to approach people from their blindsides, which means he was coherent enough to get shot for it. Or at least beaten up.

            2. There’s an actual *winter* in Denver.

          2. Seattle invented Skid Row, after all.

          3. You’re misusing the word “hobo.” These are panhandlers, not people who actually do itinerant labor.

            I’ve encountered meek panhandlers, aggressive panhandlers, hostile panhandlers, and friendly panhandlers. I’ve encountered black panhandlers and white panhandlers. I have never encountered an Asian panhandler nor a Mexican panhandler in the US.

            1. Come to Seattle. There are black, white, Asian, male, female, Native American, and any combination of the above for hobos.

              I use the word “hobo” because it became a joke term between a friend and me because his wife used the term.

            2. Come to Seattle. There are black, white, Asian, male, female, Native American, and any combination of the above for hobos.

              I use the word “hobo” because it became a joke term between a friend and myself because his wife used the term.

            3. Now that you mention it, I have never seen an Asian panhandler, though I think I’ve seen Hispanic panhandlers in Denver.

            4. I have never encountered […] a Mexican panhandler in the US.

              Come visit Albuquerque.

    4. No, but I’ve seen it happen on TV.

      Jesse Jackson is an aggressive panhandler, I’ll give him that.

    5. “Why does everyone do that to me? Oh I know, it’s my skin color. It’s because I’m black. That’s it.”

      The currect response: “Which is more likely, that everyone you try to shake down is a racist jackass, or you’re an obnoxious panhandling douchebag that no one wants to give money to? Think about it, asshole.”

      1. Yes, because reasoning with schizoid vagrants is likely to end well.

    6. Again, is this panhandler race-card shit common in other cities?

      Depends where, depends when, depends if I “know” the panhandler. When Rahm shut down a bunch of school, even the homeless got the Dem memo that everyone in Chicago was racist against black people, and it was popular for a while then.

  5. India – where your joint-venture partner can confiscate your assets and tell you to, ha ha, try suing in Indian court. Without judging the entire culture, it seems honesty and integrity is lacking in many Indians.

  6. If the Indian government was mad because American LEO’s strip search suspects, that would be one thing.

    But they’re not mad about that.

    They’re mad because they believe that their diplomat should have been exempt from such treatment because of her class and her sex.

    Fuck that.

    Was the treatment she received while in custody better or worse than the experience of the average low-caste criminal in an Indian facility? That’s the only question. “Treatment” of all kinds including the condition of the physical plant.

    1. They’re mad because they believe that their diplomat should have been exempt from such treatment because of her class and her sex.

      Actually, I think they are mad because this incident violates the diplomatic immunity to which their diplomat was entitled.

      1. I heard or read somewhere that she was given the old anal probe by LE.

        Don’t know if it’s true or not but that’s not very diplomatic.

        Compared to some of the shit you hear about things Diplomats from other countrys get away with it seems kinda over the top.

        A local prosecutor shouldn’t be allowed to interfere with international relations in such a way as this. I wish the prosecutor had been a Bush appointee so maybe she could have had the rug pulled out from under her.

        1. No one should be anally probed (or any other orifice) for lying on some paperwork. I’m outraged, and I’m not even Indian.

      2. While the media keeps calling her a “diplomat”, she was not a diplomatic official, she was a consular official. So she didn’t have diplomatic immunity, she had consular immunity. And consular immunity doesn’t apply to felony charges.

      3. She was not entitled to diplomatic immunity. She was a consular at the time of the arrest.

    2. Seems like a wage issue is the sort of thing that doesn’t require strip searches or forcible arrests, maybe more of a “notice to appear”.

      1. You obviously aren’t versed in the latest LE techniques. Humiliate your victim, er, suspect at every opportunity regardless of the charge.

  7. You’ve convinced me that Indians should be able to bring their slaves along with them when they visit this country.

    Different countries, different ways.

  8. Is there an ETA on the Bollywood movie? Who will play Preet?

  9. I don’t know, unfortunately for you glibertarians we have things like “labor laws” and stuff in this country and when you’re going to be living and working here we sort of like you to follow the rules here and not, you know, import your third world labor practices?

    But yeah no we “humiliated” her. What about the humiliation of indentured servitude? No no let’s rush to comfort the poor bourgeoisie. Never change, Reason.

    1. WTF is a glibertarian? Tulpa uses the term a lot and now we have a lefty troll using it. Is this just a generic insult? If so, pretty weak, I must say.

      “What about the humiliation of indentured servitude?”

      Reading comprehension helps

      “He could lobby to scrap the requirement in America’s immigration law that suspends their visas if they change employers, trapping them in genuinely abusive situations. He could petition to loosen the visa barriers against foreign domestic workers so that they could shop around for employers ? a far better way of raising wages and improving working conditions. He could also campaign against prevailing wage laws that price these workers out of the marketplace, severely limiting their options.”

      “No no let’s rush to comfort the poor bourgeoisie.”

      Karl Marx, is that you?

      1. Karl Marx, is that you?

        Nope, I’m pretty sure that’s Mary, off her meds again. Some of her various personas used to use the term glibertarians as well.

      2. Maybe it’s just Tulpa trolling under a fake handle.

      3. Yes, just a generic insult. For a while Tulpa was complaining that we were all too glib to have a serious discussion about their serious ideas. (This is where The Axis of Glib came from as well.)

        Yeah, Tulpa. That’s what’s wrong. Not you being a humor-free asshat.

        1. Man, I have some great hair.

          1. Majestic, like an eagle in flight.

            1. I think you could achieve human-powered flight with that hair.

  10. Yeah… this is a pretty stupid article. I’m surprised, from an author and magazine that’s usually better. She really doesn’t actually prove her “moral crusade” claim, and all she argues is that Indians are better off with the low-paying job than no job at all, which is irrelevant to the issue. The best argument and the only thing that comes close to her original claim is that it’s a known fact/thingy that diplomats normally underpay their workers like this. Even if it’s true, that doesn’t mean that the prosecutor should look the other way when he DOES find out about a specific instance. That’s HOW things that are merely tolerated are dealt with: while the authorities know people do it and allow it, once someone brings a complaint, or somehow an instance of a violation gets out somehow, or whatever, THEN in THAT case the authorities DO kinda have to enforce the law, otherwise it looks like there is no law period, and/or the tolerated activity which is normally benign was in this case bad enough that it elicited a complaint from someone, and such bad consequences are why the activity is illegal in the first place.

    1. Libertarians don’t support minimum wage. They want employers and individuals to negotiate wages, regardless of their legal status. That’s essentially her point. If you’re Indian, then you might want to accept a crap wage in the USA to escape your situation at home.

      Plenty of prosecutors look the other way even when whistles are blown on labor violations. “Fair wage” progressive groups sometimes expose businesses in ethnic enclaves that pay their workers 5 bucks an hour. But almost nothing happens in those communities, for OBVIOUS reasons. When was the last high profile case involving businesses hiring illegal aliens?

      I’m afraid Indians have some legitimate gripes. Why subject one of their diplomats to a humiliating body search for doing what several million Americans are guilty of? Meg Whitman’s maid lied on her application, what happened to her?

      Americans should know by now that 90% of he world are HARDCORE nationalists, and will absolutely united behind their flag in issues such as this.

      1. “XM|1.21.14 @ 5:35PM|#

        Libertarians don’t support minimum wage. They want employers and individuals to negotiate wages, regardless of their legal status. That’s essentially her point

        That may be the point you *got out* of her piece, but a great deal of it was *not* focused on the labor issue so much as that “the crime this woman committed shouldn’t be prosecuted, because blah blah blah context and India and progressive politicians….”

        One can certainly agree with the broad sentiments about free movement of labor and right to engage in contracts unmolested.

        However, the individual in question was only granted a visa *contingent upon* her being paid X amount. The diplomat accepted that deal, and broke it.

        You can argue that X labor-laws or whatever are ‘wrong’… but that doesn’t exactly suggest that direct, intentional violations of US law by visiting diplomatic personnel should therefore be ‘overlooked’.

      2. //That’s essentially her point.

        Nope, the thesis of her article is the moral-crusade thing, which she never backs up. Levying an accusation against someone and then simply repeating your political/philosophical position on an issue in the subject matter is very 8th grade.

  11. Is it true that there are no panhandlers in India?

    1. You’re kidding, right?

  12. I certainly hope that this “crusade will hurt those in whose name he launched it:” Preet Bharara. Nothing more disgusting than a grasping politically ambitious prosecutor using the job as a stepping stone.

  13. I seem to recall this article being a load of indian-ego-stroking, grief-trolling horseshit the first time it was posted.

    Nothing seems to have changed.

    This time however, Shikha seems to be playing more of an angle on how this is actually a sad blow to the plight of Foreign ‘Domestic-Servants’/housekeepers.

    Which was not at all her original point in V1.0 of this. The original focused on her ‘core beef’, which was summarized as = “‘Bharara’s pompous insistence on enforcing a preposterous rule of law without regard to the human context.”… a sentence that makes no more sense now than it did the first time.

    The simple issue is this = a diplomat agreed to certain conditions for her “domestic-servants” to be granted visas. She violated those conditions (‘allegedly’ = although I note none of the indian-froth-and-rage really seems to give a shit if she did or didn’t). Law Enforcement ensues.

    Do I agree with the law? Not necessarily. Do I agree with the harsh way the diplomat was treated by authorities? Not really. Do I think this is a particular example of a miscarriage of justice/application of authority in any way? Not particularly.

    The lady violated the terms of her agreements. She got busted. If the outrage was over the thuggish way law enforcement behaves, I’d have sympathy. However the real outrage is that the Law is being applied *indiscriminately*… which I call bullshit on

  14. She notes = ‘if she’d followed the law, she’d have handed over half her pay’. Cry me a river. Can’t afford slaves in NY? Tough titties. Guess what = rent in NYC high too. So is a fucking sandwich. None of that shit is in any way an *excuse* for the goddamn woman violating her visa requirements. So she’s poor at home!? OH NOES. Shikha claims that the *only reason that a prosecutor would be such a meanie and enforce existing laws is because he’s a self-serving prick trying to please liberal-labor-advocates*

    Maybe that *is* a motivation = but SO FUCKING WHAT. You got a problem? Argue against the law. Saying the D.A. is somehow being a jerk for *enforcing the law* without the special consideration of, “…but, but, INDIA!” is complete and utter horseshit.

    you got 10 million people in the greater NYC area, many of them poor 1rst generation immigrants, and they all deal with bullshit laws, rapacious exploitation by anyone and everyone, and you know what? HARDLY ANYONE COMPLAINS. They fucking go on with their lives and try to improve their situation.

    So forgive me if my moral-outrage meter doesnt’ register at all over a diplomat getting busted in an undignified manner for underpaying her ‘servants’. Perhaps Bharara *is* a self-serving prick (gee, a NYC D.A.? Shocker!)…. it still doesn’t give this sob-story any teeth. Newsflash = “Indians Have Easily Bruised Egos: Film at 11”

    1. At the end of the day, mistreating a foreign diplomat isn’t the same as a burger flipper getting abused at Mcdonalds. There’s a reason why even Obama won’t recognize “Armenian Genocide” or get involved in Asian land disputes.

      The strip search was ill advised. To make matters worse, the Indian prosecutor took a page out the progressive playbook and tried to deflect legitimate criticism by saying “India is sexist and racist too”, which is sort of irrelevant and sure to piss off the Indians.

      America took a heavy handed response to a sensitive situation, and now they’re paying the price. Any Indian who’s even remotely knowledgeable about will know that our government is a big time enabler of illegal immigration, and labor / wage violations are largely left alone.

      1. “XM|1.21.14 @ 5:56PM|#

        At the end of the day, mistreating a foreign diplomat isn’t the same as a burger flipper getting abused at Mcdonalds”

        Who made that comparison? you?

        And the subject of this article was hardly about the ‘mistreatment’ of the consular official (although it may have existed).

        The apparent abuse and injustice here is (according to the article) the fact that an indian consular official was arrested for a felony *at all*. And that said ‘felony’ is, in context, ‘completely overblown and otherwise perfectly acceptable, if technically illegal’.

        I don’t really know what your point is vis a vis mine; mine is that Shikha has gone full-retard trying to twist this issue into a story about ‘progressive political grandstanding’, when it fact its probably more of a banal case of “diplomat runs afoul of the law, Home Country freaks out and screams ‘injustice’ because it bruises their delicate ego”.

  15. This all started because our government has the arrogance to tell people who should be paid what. The pay for the maid was none of the state’s business, just as the pay for anyone is only the business of the employer and employee. They are the only ones who should be able to decide if the pay is too much or too little.

  16. According to the NYT

    The indictment accused Ms. Khobragade of illegally underpaying Ms. Richard and exploiting her. It said that the diplomat had confiscated Ms. Richard’s passport and never returned it. Ms. Richard worked about 94 to 109 hours a week, the indictment said, with limited breaks for calls and meals.

    If “beloved Kailash” found himself working 90+ hours a week for minimal wages, he might not be so happy.

  17. This happened to a Taiwanese diplomat, too, in 2012.

    http://www.kansascity.com/2012…..anese.html

    You’d think that would have alerted the other diplomats to this issue.

    Here are my questions:

    1) Why do diplomats in Kansas need domestic servants?

    2) Why don’t we simply offer to pay these servants the difference if they in turn spy for us? (joke.)

    Diplomatic immunity is fine and dandy, but when it comes to human trafficking, its a bit much. Remember, they always take the passport, and refuse to pay them until the end of the contract, etc. They always give the short end to their domestics. (The happy cases you simply don’t hear about.)

    1. Diplomatic immunity is fine and dandy . . . and doesn’t cover consular officials, who only have consular immunity. Which doesn’t cover felonies.

  18. She should have been busted for confiscating the maid’s passport (if true). That is a crime even for a libertarian.

  19. “…she promised to pay $4,500 per month, as per New York’s “prevailing wage” requirement.”

    “Average per capita annual income is about $3,600, half of what Richards was being paid.”

    “The kicker is that the U.S. consulate in India pays many of its Indian employees half of Richards’ wages.”

    So, the U.S. consulates in India pay their local workers the prevailing wage…in India. I don’t think “kicker” means what Dalmia thinks it means.

    Would Khobragade’s personal employees be subject to federal, state and local income taxes? If so, what is she putting on Richard’s W-2 forms?

    1. You are asking too many questions. India doesn’t like that.

  20. Don’t get in trouble in his city lady! India needs more Preet Bharara than Devyani. You are so far off the reality with this joke of an article it’s offensive to every honest law enforcement person everywhere!

    1. Big deal, so two or three people are offended.

      None of the people who may be offended under your test work for the DoJ or the Executive Branch of the US federal government.

  21. 1. Preet Bharara’s national origins are germane to nothing. Why do you include it?
    2. So what if all her wages go to the nanny? Her husband also earn money, doesn’t it? In NYC, 75% of my wife’s wages go to our nanny, this is common. If we couldn’t afford her, we wouldn’t hire her.
    3. The alleged crime is visa fraud.
    4. Sounds like Richard’s life was pretty hellish even in NYC, so maybe her living conditions in India would not have been “far worse.” You have no basis for this hypothetical.

    It is clear where your class biases are coming from.

  22. Under one-third of the country’s 1.3 billion people subsist on $1 a day. Average per capita annual income is about $3,600, half of what Richards was being paid. Median salaries of software engineers and family physicians are at par with hers.

    Ok, so? That’s in India. NYC is considerably more expensive. Shit, I wouldn’t want to try and live in NYC on the salary I earn in Albuquerque, let alone the prevailing wage in Mumbai.

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  24. All US Attorneys serve at the pleasure of the Executive.

    If Bharara did anything that displeased the White House in this affair it could have dismissed him. The same is true of Carmen Ortiz in Boston and her handling of Aaron Swartz

    Maybe Obama wanted to annoy the Republic of India to enhance his standing with the Islamic Republic of Pakistan.

    Maybe Obama wanted to hang Arron Swartz to enhance his standing with the entertainment industry, Silicon Valley and the intellectual property fanatics who have paid good money for the required number of elected officials and now want results.

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