Thursday, January 26, 2012

Thanks To The Insane Citizens United Ruling, Sheldon Adelson Can Try To Buy The Presidency. We Need To Know More About Him


The Adelsons: bad news for America

What everyone already knows is that Sheldon Adelson and his wife are financing Newt Gingrich's bid for the White House and that he's an aggressively anti-Palestinian Zionist zealot and a cutthroat gambling-casino magnate with a lot of money. Fewer people know that he's the eighth richest man in America and the 16th richest worldwide. His current net worth is estimated at $21.5 billion. (By way of comparison... see that ".5" on the end of his net worth? Romney only has one half of that.) The son of Ukrainian Jewish immigrants, Adelson was a door-to-door Fuller Brush salesman and a failed stockbroker.

He went to CCNY, a hotbed of socialism and progressive politics for first-generation Jewish Americans. When you think of CCNY you think of graduates like Nobel laureates Robert Hofstadter and Robert Hauptman, Supreme Court Justice Felix Frankfurter, financiers Henry Morgenthau Sr. and Bernard Baruch, authors Sidney Hook, Paul Goodman, Seymour Martin Lipset, Nathan Glazer, Ira Gershwin, Paddy Chayefsky. Bill Graham, Edward G. Robinson, Daniel Schorr and Stanley Kubrick were alums-- as was Sterling Morrison of the Velvet Underground. Sheldon Adelson? He dropped out early-- to chase money. In the film Wall Street, though, Gordon Gekko was a CCNY grad.

Once Adelson got involved in casinos, he turned virulently anti-union and fanatically Republican. He didn't want to pay taxes and he didn't want to pay a fair wage to workers. Those are still motivating factors in his life-- and help explain, along with the Israel thing-- why he backs Gingrich, even more strongly than he once backed Tom DeLay and George Bush. He owns Israel Hayom, the biggest newspaper in Israel, which he gives away free in order to push out a virulently right-wing anti-peace agenda. Adelson is notorious for taking vengeance against anyone who challenges him. He successfully sued the Daily Mail in London for pointing out his "despicable business practices" and having "habitually and corruptly bought political favour." There are no publications in the U.S. willing to write about his extensive collaboration with organized crime. Yesterday Robert Reich tepidly asked his readers to take a look at who Sheldon Adelson is and what Gingrich promised him. Not very hard-hitting when looking into someone who has already contributed $11 million towards Gingrich's campaign.
The Adelsons are billionaires. They might decide to put in another $5 million or perhaps $20 million into Gingrich’s Super Pac. The point is, there’s no limit.

Do you know who Sheldon and Marian Adelson are? Do you know what Gingrich has promised them, or what they think they’ll get out of a Gingrich presidency? I don’t. But if Newt becomes President of the United States, they’ll be singularly responsible. And we better find out, because Newt will owe them big time.

Forget the Lincoln Bedroom. The Adelsons and their kids will have the run of the White House, including the Oval Office. Hey, they’ll take over the Old Executive Building next door and turn it into a casino.

Never before in the history of American politics has a single couple given more money to a single candidate and had a bigger impact-- all courtesy of the Supreme Court and its grotesque decisions that speech is money and corporations are people under the First Amendment.

Good points, but Adelson doesn't care about visiting the White House or turning the Old Executive Building into a casino. As a friend of mine who is connected to the Mossad told me last night, "Adelson wants to turn Iran into a glass ashtray. That's the reason he'll pour whatever he has to into Gingrich." Justin Elliott at Salon came a little closer than Reich did. "The Adelsons," he writes. "once pulled their money out of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) because of that group’s putative softness on the concept of a peace deal with Palestinians." He quotes the infamous and exhaustive 2008 New Yorker exposé on Adelson extensively. Like here:
Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice was organizing a major conference in the United States, in an effort to re-start the Israeli-Palestinian peace process, and her initiative had provoked consternation among many rightward-leaning American Jews and their Christian evangelical allies. … A short, rotund man, with sparse reddish hair and a pale countenance that colors when he is angered, Adelson protested to Bush that Rice was thinking of her legacy, not the President’s, and that she would ruin him if she continued to pursue this disastrous course. Then, as Adelson later told an acquaintance, Bush put one arm around his shoulder and another around that of his wife, Miriam, who was born in Israel, and said to her, “You tell your Prime Minister that I need to know what’s right for your people—because at the end of the day it’s going to be my policy, not Condi’s. But I can’t be more Catholic than the Pope.”

And he points out Gingrich's transformation on the subject of Israel. "Gingrich was as recently as 2005 praising the Palestinians, referring to 'their ancestral lands' in historic Palestine, and, amazingly, inveighing against 'the desire of some Israelis to use security as an excuse to grab more Palestinian land.' ... Gingrich even used the phrase Israeli 'land grab' in that 2005 essay... Fast forward to the current election cycle, of course, and Gingrich has veered way to the right, famously questioning the very peoplehood of the Palestinians and blasting calls to end Jewish settlements as a 'suicidal step' for Israel. (Adelson, by the way, personally praised Gingrich’s claim that the Palestinians are an 'invented people.')"

Hard to imagine that hard-core Southern racists and teabaggers who are flocking to Gingrich's banner could take a close look at what Adelson is and not recoil in horror. For that matter, what real American wouldn't?

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At 10:11 AM, Anonymous Bil said...

Yikes! Thanks Howie.

At 7:31 PM, Anonymous me said...

Holy shit. Our country is in deep, deep trouble.


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