View Full Version : Sheldon Adelson

Magda Hassan
01-26-2012, 12:48 PM
Here He Comes Again! by ALEXANDER COCKBURN
Newt Gingrich is a one-man, made-in-America melting pot. Here’s a committed devotee of tooth-and-claw capitalism, vultures perched on both shoulders, advocate of 8-year old black children working as janitors – campaigning with a pro-worker film of which John Reed or Ken Loach would be proud, paid for by a rabidly anti-union billionaire who thinks Israel should bomb Iran and drive the Palestinians into the sea.
One has to feel for Romney, thrashing about amidst the Newt horror. Here comes the portly Georgian, brushing aside the Mormon priests guarding Mitt’s hotel suite, kicking open the bedroom door, seizing Romney by the throat…Aaaargh! And then Romney is awake, realizing that this is a cold-sweat nightmare that will last … maybe until they close in Florida on January 31, maybe until Super Tuesday on March 6, when nine states hold their primaries, maybe….
We left Romney amidst the supposed flush of victory in Iowa (now awarded to Santorum), and triumph in New Hampshire, with polls in South Carolina showing him a solid ten points ahead of Gingrich, who made a poor showing in New Hampshire on top of a fourth place in Iowa below Santorum and Ron Paul.
Gingrich burned for revenge for his rough treatment in New Hampshire by Romney’s campaign commercials. But how, on a tight timeline, to acquaint South Carolina Republicans with Romney’s infamies?
He needed money, lots of it, double-quick. Occupy Las Vegas!
Some things don’t change in American politics, and rich people sitting in Las Vegas with pots of cash is one of them. Joel McCleary, a friend, remembers fund-raising in Las Vegas when he was working for the Jimmy Carter campaign in 1976. The crucial Pennsylvania primary was coming up and the Carter people (their chief fundraiser was Morris Dees) needed a big wad of cash for the final push against Henry “Scoop” Jackson of Washington, known as “the senator from Boeing,” also running for the Democratic nomination and favored by powerful labor chieftains in Pennsylvania.
Joel was told the go-to guy for untraceable campaign cash was Hank Greenspun, publisher of the Las Vegas Sun. Greenspun was a notoriously tough egg, former gun-runner for the Haganah, the man who, in the midst of the Cold War witch hunts, outed Senator Joe McCarthy in the Sun as a homosexual. Joel was told to act manly. Greenspun duly received him in his office. “Why the hell should I get money for Jimmy Carter?” he asked.
“Because Jimmy Carter is going to be president,” Joel answered boldly, “and if you don’t support his campaign he’ll fuck you.”
Greenspun told Joel to come back in two hours. He returned to find Greenspan sitting at a table surrounded by other toughs. In the middle of the table was a paper bag. “So the Baptist fuck wants money,” Greenspun growled, as he pushed the bag over to Joel. “Remember, this comes from the state of Israel. Don’t you ever forget it.”
Greenspun was no doubt also sluicing money to Jackson, a particularly slavish errand boy for Israel. With Carter he was hedging his bets. Wisely, as it turned out. They called the odds right in Las Vegas. Carter won the Pennslyvania primary, beating Jackson 36 per cent to 27 per cent. Jackson pretty much gave up after that, saying frankly, “We’re out of money.” At least Greenspun, who died in 1989, didn’t live to know that he invested $100,000 in a man later to denounce Israel as an apartheid state.
Las Vegas paper bags notwithstanding, in former times there were certain pettifogging constraints on how much a billionaire could lavish on his favored candidate. But then came the “Citizens United” decision by the US Supreme Court ( split 5-4) , issued in January, 2010, ruling that the First Amendment, protecting free speech, prohibits the government from placing limits on independent spending for political purposes by corporations and unions. As Ralph Nader correctly pointed out at the time, “With this decision, corporations can now directly pour vast amounts of corporate money, through independent expenditures, into the electoral swamp already flooded with corporate campaign PAC contribution dollars.”
Enter 78-year old Sheldon Adelson, the world’s 16th richest man, a bit dented by the property crash in Nevada but still with $23 billion at his disposal. The sun rises on his empire in Las Vegas, sets on it in the east in Macao, with its zenith over the state of Israel, whence his second wife hails. On Israel Adelson entertains very harsh views about the advisability of negotiations of any sort with Palestinians and lately has been lobbying fiercely – he owns the free weekday Israel Hayom, the largest circulation newspaper in Israel – for an attack on Iran.

When Newt Gingrich, fishing for Zionist money, abandoned his previous, relatively temperate posture on the Israel/Palestine issue, and declared that Palestinians were an “invented people”, he was directing his remarks to an audience of one.
Adelson was exceeding pleased and expressed his gratification in material terms, with a further $5 million, now staking Gingrich’s campaign ads in South Carolina. To date Adelson has donated about $13 million to Gingrich’s campaign – a US record. The ads put out by the Gingrich forces derive in origin from Senator Ted Kennedy’s successful effort to defend his US senate from Romney’s challenge back in 1994. The Kennedy campaign put together ferocious spots depicting Romney, erstwhile boss of the private equity firm Bain Capital, as one of the most vicious operators in the history of American capitalism, never happier than when taking over factories, destroying jobs, kicking workers into the snow, and sneering at the tears of their distraught wives and children.
Chunks (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_evS-T-c35M) of just such a film have been broadcast this week across South Carolina, airtime bought by a Political Action Committee backing the Gingrich campaign. They are brilliantly done, so effective that the New York Times – evidently worried for the overall reputation of capitalism – ran a very comical piece a fee days ago critiquing the commercials as going altogether too far and being marred by error. Gingrich announced piously that “I’m calling on them to either edit out every single mistake or to pull the entire film. They cannot run the film if it has errors in it.” But the nominally independent Political Action Committee refused, demanding a clarificatory interview with Romney.
South Carolina has been faring badly in the current national slump. Tough talk about job-killers, particularly Mormon millionaire job-killers, commands a sympathetic audience. By Tuesday the press was hailing Gingrich’s Monday debate performance as worthy of Edmund Burke, which indeed it was, since in its rancid racism towards black people it rivaled Burke’s slurs on the French revolutionaries.
It became clear by midweek the ads were taking their toll on Romney. By Wednesday the polls were showing the Mormon millionaire with 30 per cent support and Gingrich surging, with 27 per cent of the vote. By Friday, Gingrich was running ahead 32-30 in some polls, after his carefully rehearsed “Have you no shame, Sir” reproof to CNN’s John King following the latter’s opening question about the “open relationship” Gingrich’s second wife Marilyn says he proposed after disclosing his affair with Callista. Marilyn’s disclosure probably won Gingrich an extra slice of the state’s male vote, on ground that this is the sort of thing men blurt out when driven into a corner in a “her or me” confrontation with the Missus.
On Tuesday Romney finally lifted a corner of the previously tightly sealed file containing his tax returns. The partial disclosure won’t help him nor his evasiveness in the debate. He said his effective tax rate was “probably closer to the 15 percent rate than anything.” That 15 per cent is on investment income, — a huge perk for the very rich — as opposed to the higher rates on wages and salaries – up to 35 per cent – paid by many Americans. He also deprecated his speaking fees last year of $374,327 as “not very much.” This man definitely lacks the common touch. So much for my fears last week for the future of the election industry after what looked like an imminent Romney closeout.http://www.counterpunch.org/2012/01/20/here-he-comes-again/

Magda Hassan
01-26-2012, 01:17 PM
Adelson’s millions come tipped with missiles aimed at Iran http://mondoweiss.net/images/authors/alex-kane-36.png

by Alex Kane (http://mondoweiss.net/author/alex-kane) on January 23, 2012 35 (http://mondoweiss.net/2012/01/adelsons-millions-come-tipped-with-missiles-aimed-at-iran.html#comments)
Newt Gingrich's South Carolina win in the Republican primary (http://www.nytimes.com/2012/01/22/us/politics/south-carolina-republican-primary.html?ref=politics) thrusts the former speaker, and his benefactor Sheldon Adelson, back into the heart of the political discussion. And while much has been made of Gingrich's comments on Palestinians--they're "terrorists," (http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2011/dec/11/newt-gingrich-palestinian-comments-criticised) an "invented people" (http://thecaucus.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/12/09/gingrich-calls-palestinians-an-invented-people/)--less attention has been paid to Gingrich's evolving positions on Iran and Adelson's influence on the shift.
Wired's Spencer Ackerman has a comic (http://www.wired.com/dangerroom/2012/01/newt-vs-iran/#more-70269), if scary, look at Gingrich's proposed plans to overthrow the Iranian regime. But he also notes Gingrich's past, less hawkish position on Iran:

The irony is that Gingrich wasn’t always so bellicose. Back in 2002, he predicted that the Islamic Republic’s days were numbered, and outright dismissed the prospect of bombing. All it would take is a little diplomatic outreach to inspire Iran’s natural pro-American tendencies, he told an audience in Melbourne. “I believe you are likely to have a modernizing, democratic Iranian regime within a year or two, (http://www.wired.com/dangerroom/2011/12/newt-gingrich-boy-genius/?pid=977)” he said. Call it an evolving position.
So what happened between 2002 and now? Sheldon Adelson. Beginning in 2006, the wealthy Greater Israel advocate began to pour millions of dollars into a Gingrich PAC. Acclaimed investigative journalist Wayne Barrett has more in The Daily Beast (http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2012/01/18/is-gingrich-s-hard-line-on-palestine-paid-for-by-sheldon-adelson.html):

Gingrich also referred in the 2005 article to the threat of a nuclear Iran, but without urging any immediate American or Israeli action. While there’s no doubt this is a graver concern than it was six years ago, Gingrich said then that Iran was “believed by many countries to be secretly developing nuclear weapons.” He put this in the broader context of North Korea and Pakistan already having nukes, and Gingrich calling them and a chemical-weapon-armed Syria “hostile to Israel’s existence.” But he clearly saw it as a future threat, concluding that “another generation of continuing hatred and violence could culminate in a devastating attack” on Israel. No presidential candidate now, however, has done more saber rattling against Iran, another Adelson echo.
In Connie Bruck’s extraordinary New Yorker profile of Adelson, she reported that as early as June 2007, Adelson was so ready for war with Iran that he separated the men from the boys on the basis of their willingness to strike Iran. At a conference in Prague sponsored by his own Adelson Institute for Strategic Studies, he dismissed the son of the former shah because, he told one participant, “he doesn’t want to attack Iran.” He said he liked another Iranian dissident at the conference “because he says that if we attack, the Iranian people will be ecstatic.” He attributed his own lust for an attack to his love of Israel, adding that he didn’t care what happened in Iran.
Another U.S. group Adelson bankrolled, the now defunct Freedom’s Watch, listed Iran as one of its two top concerns on its website, and enlisted Gingrich as one of its prime defenders in 2008 when NBC refused to air its ads the network branded “too political.” Gingrich went on Fox calling for an NBC boycott. In addition, Israel Hayom, the Adelson-owned newspaper in Israel that’s become its largest daily, is simultaneously beating the drums for an Iranian attack and a Gingrich nomination. In an interview with its editor, Gingrich called a possible Israeli attack on Iran “an act of self defense.”
Gingrich has become a fount of anti-Iranian ideas—sabotaging their oil supply, funding every dissident group, and even assassinating their nuclear scientists, which he proposed way back in November, long before the recent murder in the streets of Tehran.
It's true that, even without Adelson's millions, Gingrich would have plenty of reasons to saber-rattle at Iran, like the fact that the Republican base contains some fervent Christian Zionists licking their lips at the thought of an Iran war. But as Barrett's piece shows, Gingrich has followed Adelson's line on Israel and Iran after the cash the speaker received. Expect more of that hawkish line as the campaign rolls on and Adelson's millions continue to shape the outcome.

Magda Hassan
01-26-2012, 01:18 PM
Gingrich's Anti-Muslim Sugar Daddy Funded Film Shown To NYPD
—By Adam Serwer (http://motherjones.com/authors/adam-serwer)
| Tue Jan. 24, 2012 9:00 AM PST

http://mjcdn.motherjones.com/preset_16/thirdjihad.jpgScary Muslims Are Scary. Third Jihad Promotional Image
The New York Police Department, currently facing criticism from Muslim and civil liberties groups over a CIA-advised program (http://motherjones.com/mojo/2011/09/cia-investigating-its-collaboration-nypd) that involved "mapping" the city's Muslim enclaves, showed an anti-Muslim training video to thousands of officers, the New York Times reports (http://www.nytimes.com/2012/01/24/nyregion/in-police-training-a-dark-film-on-us-muslims.html?_r=1&pagewanted=all). The film purports to describe the centuries-long process by which Muslims are seeking to dominate the planet, and in particular the United States, by covertly subverting the Constitution and implementing Taliban-style Islamic law.
The story was first broken by the Village Voice (http://www.villagevoice.com/content/printVersion/2337684/), but the Times' piece connects the film, The Third Jihad, and its shadowy sponsor, The Clarion Fund, to the 2012 election:

The 72-minute film was financed by the Clarion Fund, a nonprofit group whose board includes a former Central Intelligence Agency official and a deputy defense secretary for President Ronald Reagan. Its previous documentary attacking Muslims' "war on the West" attracted support from the casino magnate Sheldon Adelson, a major supporter of Israel who has helped reshape the Republican presidential primary by pouring millions of dollars into a so-called super PAC that backs Newt Gingrich.
Adelson's donation to Gingrich likely has something to do with their shared anti-Palestinian views (http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/01/11/sheldon-adelson-newt-gingrich-israel_n_1195867.html), namely the notion that Palestinian national identity is "invented."
However, Gingrich isn't the only candidate with links to the Clarion Fund, who as Salon's Justin Elliott (http://www.salon.com/2010/11/16/clarion_fund_obsession_dvds/) and The Atlantic's Jeffrey Goldberg (http://www.theatlantic.com/international/archive/2008/10/the-jewish-extremists-behind-quot-obsession-quot/9006/) have written, is also tied to a radical Israeli settler group. One of Mitt Romney's Middle East advisers, Walid Phares, who spent much of the Lebanese civil war as a political and ideological adviser (http://m.motherjones.com/politics/2011/10/walid-phares-mitt-romney-lebanese-forces) to the leadership of a Christian militant group that committed atrocities, remains on Clarion's adisory board. The aforementioned former deputy defense secretary is birther Frank Gaffney (http://reason.com/blog/2008/10/14/frank-gaffney-obama-truther), who also sits on Clarion's advisory board and recently praised Gingrich (http://www.nationalreview.com/corner/288473/newt-s-right-sharia-frank-j-gaffney-jr) for saying he wouldn't appoint a Muslim to his cabinet unless he or she promised not to try and "impose [Shariah] on the rest of us."
While Gingrich's formal ties to the million-dollar Islamophobia industry (http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/plum-line/post/the-sharia-paranoia-industry-is-very-lucrative/2011/03/04/gIQALiKIgJ_blog.html) are stronger than Romney's, and Gingrich himself has endorsed the whole "stealth jihad" conspiracy theory, the former Massachussetts governor has nevertheless made an effort to quietly acknowledge those who believe American Muslims are quietly working to replace the Constitution with Taliban-style Islamic law (and force all of us to eat halal turkeys at Thanksgiving (http://motherjones.com/mojo/2011/11/pamela-geller-beware-stealth-halal-thanksgiving-turkeys)) by picking one of their more scholarly cohorts (http://m.motherjones.com/politics/2011/10/walid-phares-mitt-romney-lebanese-forces) as an adviser on the Middle East.

Jan Klimkowski
01-26-2012, 06:25 PM
The reality of Yankee democracy....

Peter Lemkin
01-28-2012, 06:22 AM
JUAN GONZALEZ: We turn now to the issue of money and politics. Over the past two weeks, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich won the South Carolina primary and has surged in the national polls. Many analysts say Gingrich’s rise would not have been possible without the backing of one man: multi-billionaire casino mogul Sheldon Adelson. With a net worth of over $20 billion, he is the world’s 16th richest person, according to Forbes.

Ahead of the South Carolina primary, Adelson donated $5 million to the pro-Gingrich super PAC, Winning Our Future, which ran a series of ads attacking Gingrich’s opponent Mitt Romney. On Monday, it was revealed his wife, Miriam Adelson, gave another $5 million to the pro-Gingrich super PAC. Under the nation’s campaign finance laws, the Adelsons could give the super PAC an unlimited amount of money in the coming months.

In a recent interview with Ted Koppel on NBC, Newt Gingrich was asked about why the Adelsons would give so much money. Gingrich admitted it came down to a single issue: Israel.

TED KOPPEL: But what do these multi-millionaires expect?

NEWT GINGRICH: They want—they want—they want—

TED KOPPEL: When you give someone five million bucks—

NEWT GINGRICH: They want their candidate to win.

TED KOPPEL: But there has to be a "so what" at the end of that. So, if you win, what does Adelson get out of it?

NEWT GINGRICH: Well, he knows I’m very pro-Israel. And that’s the central value of his life. I mean, he is very worried that Israel is going to not survive.

AMY GOODMAN: Sheldon Adelson is the owner of Israel’s largest daily newspaper, a financial supporter of Birthright Israel, and a close friend of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Adelson has also supported the Clarion Fund, which produced The Third Jihad film, which we just discussed.

The Washington Post reports Adelson and Gingrich met when Gingrich was House speaker and Adelson was lobbying to move the U.S. embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. Gingrich raised this very issue at last night’s debate when he was questioned about his past claims that the Palestinians are an "invented" people.

NEWT GINGRICH: It was technically an invention in the late 1970s, and it was clearly—it was clearly so. Prior to that, they were Arabs. Many of them were either Syrian, Lebanese or Egyptian or Jordanian.

There are a couple of simple things here. There were 11 rockets fired into Israel in November. Now imagine, in Duval County, that 11 rockets hit from your neighbor. How many of you would be for a peace process? And how many of you would say, "You know? That looks like an act of war." You have leadership, unequivocally—and Governor Romney is exactly right—the leadership of Hamas says, "Not a single Jew will remain." Well, you’re not having a peace negotiation then. This is war by another form.

My goal for the Palestinian people would be to live in peace, to live in prosperity, to have the dignity of a state, to have freedom. And they can achieve it any morning they are prepared to say, "Israel has a right to exist. We give up the right to return. And we recognize that we’re going to live side by side. Now let’s work together to create mutual prosperity." And you could, in five years, dramatically improve the quality of life of every Palestinian.

But the political leadership would never tolerate that. And that’s why we are in a continuous state of war, where Obama undermines the Israelis. On the first day that I am president, if I do become president, I will sign an executive order directing the State Department to move the embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.

AMY GOODMAN: To talk more about Newt Gingrich and Sheldon Adelson, we’re joined by Gal Beckerman, who is the opinion editor at the Jewish newspaper, The Forward. He recently wrote an article called "What Sheldon’s Money Buys: Adelson Millions Ensure Gingrich Steers to Far Right on Israel." Still with us, Linda Sarsour, director of the Arab American Association of New York.

Gal, explain what it is, this Adelson-Gingrich relationship, why he supports him.

GAL BECKERMAN: Well, he supports—the relationship is really symbiotic, in a way. It developed, as you said, in the mid-'90s over issues of union busting. Adelson wanted some help; Gingrich was able to offer it. And it developed as time went on. It seems to have helped kind of in Gingrich's evolution in terms of his pro-Israel stance. Wayne Barrett recently reported in The Daily Beast that, you know, if you look at what Gingrich was saying about Palestinians and Israel in 2005, even, as recently as 2005, it was kind of a different line. He was talking about investing in their ancestral lands. He was really speaking a much different language. This is now changed. You won’t hear Gingrich saying anything like that anymore. And it’s not—you know, one can’t draw a direct causal link, you know, find the telephone call in which Adelson said, you know, "I want you to say this." But it’s not hard to imagine that if your political life depends on a man who has very extreme-right views when it comes to the conflict between Israelis and Palestinians, that you’re going to hear that same language come out of that candidate’s mouth.

JUAN GONZALEZ: And Adelson has a determined opposition even to a two-state solution in the Middle East, doesn’t he?

GAL BECKERMAN: He does. I mean, in my column, I quote him from last year speaking to The Jewish Week, saying, "I believe" — and I’m paraphrasing here, but "that a two-state solution is a stepping stone to the destruction of Israel and the Jewish people." So, you know, this is even more further to the right than the current Israeli government is, which is engaged now, whether, you know, successfully or not, in talks in Jordan with the Palestinians. You have a prime minister who, you know, whether he wants a two-state solution to eventually happen, he’s speaking the language of a two-state solution. He’s talking about the need for a Palestinian state. So, you know, Adelson really, in the spectrum of political belief in Israel, really falls, you know, to the right even of the current government.

AMY GOODMAN: AIPAC, where does Sheldon Adelson stand on his views on the American Israeli Political Action Committee?

GAL BECKERMAN: Right, well, here’s another example where you—

AMY GOODMAN: Public Affairs Committee.

GAL BECKERMAN: Right. Here’s another example where you can see that Adelson really kind of is on that right side of the spectrum, because he broke with AIPAC in 2007 over a congressional initiative that AIPAC was backing, and that the Israelis actually were backing, as well, to provide more economic aid to the Palestinians. He didn’t feel that this was a good idea.

AMY GOODMAN: Adelson and super PACs?

GAL BECKERMAN: I mean, the one thing that should be said is that, you know, we can talk about Adelson’s influence, you know, all we want, but there’s nothing illegal about it. I mean, the real problem here is this vehicle that he’s been allowed, through super PACs, to be able to have this kind of outsized influence, which really wasn’t the case before the Citizens United case two years ago.

JUAN GONZALEZ: And Linda Sarsour, as we’re talking here about the influence of Sheldon Adelson—we were just discussing how he helped fund the group that produced the jihad film—your reaction?

LINDA SANSOUR: I’m also—I happen to be Palestinian, too. And listening to a couple of debates ago and having my children sit in front of the TV and playing on their laptop and hearing, you know, our potential presidentials talk about the "invented" people and hearing Palestine, and stopping and saying, "What does he mean by we’re invented people?" and having to explain that to, you know, a 12-year-old and 11-year-old, it’s just so disappointing in this country that money is what buys power in this country and buys influence.

And we actually agree. One-state solution, one-state solution over here. One-state solution, for me, is the only way to go. And that’s an equal state for all, for justice for all. So, we can agree on that area, as well. But really, the views that Newt Gingrich is spouting in these debates, he’s making George Bush look like a walk in the park. I mean, it’s getting—I mean, we’re not—we’re supposed to be progressing in the peace process. We’re supposed to be moving forward. And what we are doing, and the GOP is doing, is moving back. So if the American people have any sense, we cannot let this guy go forward.

AMY GOODMAN: Linda, I wanted to get your response to this issue of the "invented" people. You heard it last night at the debate. Last month, Gingrich defended his claim the Palestinians are an invented people. The former speaker of the House made the comment during an interview with the Jewish Channel.

NEWT GINGRICH: Jewish people have the right to have a state, and I believe that the commitments that were made at the time—remember, there were—there was no Palestine as a state. It was part of the Ottoman Empire. And I think that we’ve had an invented Palestinian people, who are in fact Arabs, and who were historically part of the Arab community. And they had a chance to go many places. And for a variety of political reasons, we have sustained this war against Israel now since the 1940s, and I think it’s tragic.

AMY GOODMAN: That was presidential candidate Newt Gingrich. Linda Sarsour?

LINDA SANSOUR: I mean, he must have been politically asleep for the first 50 years of his life. And he talks about us being invented in the '70s? Like, what is he talking about? I mean, it's just—I mean, for me, when I watch this, it’s just that—it’s like a comedy. It’s like Saturday Night Live. It’s like, where have you been all this time? And for the Palestinian people, we’ve been—I mean, we’ve been talking about the Palestinian-Israeli conflict at least for the past 60 years. So, for me, honestly, I just laugh, and I think that, unfortunately, the way that our political system is set up is you talk about issues that are going to get you elected depending on who gives you money. So you talk about immigration because you want Latino votes. You talk about Israel because you want Jewish votes. I mean, it’s all, for me, a scam. And for me, I don’t know about anybody else, but it doesn’t—it doesn’t do anything for me.

JUAN GONZALEZ: And Gal, I’d like to ask you about the impact of the Adelson money on the general tenor of the foreign policy debate among the Republican candidates. It almost seems that he has single-handedly been able to shift the entire debate more to the right on a variety of issues.

GAL BECKERMAN: Right. Well, I mean, and this is what I think is the much bigger concern, is that, you know, if you have Gingrich saying the things that he believes Adelson wants him to say, nobody wants to be outflanked to the right, and so everyone is going to kind of move in that direction. And you get kind of this dynamic where it’s kind of like toughness for toughness’s sake, you know, on a range of issues, any time that talk turns to foreign policy, whether it’s Cuba or, you know, when you talk about Afghanistan. Romney was asked twice what he would do with the Taliban, whether he would negotiate with the Taliban, and he said, "No, we’re going to beat them," which, as far as I’m concerned, is what we’ve been trying to do for the last 10 years without much effect. So, you know, he—there is—and then Iran, of course, is the ultimate example, where everyone is trying to just kind of have this kind of belligerent language that doesn’t really kind of offer any alternative solutions, that doesn’t kind of look at all the full implications of some of the things that they’re saying. It’s just kind of, you know, let’s talk as tough as possible. And it pushes people into a corner.

AMY GOODMAN: Go very quickly, the newspaper in Atlanta, where the editor was just forced out.

GAL BECKERMAN: Right, right.

AMY GOODMAN: Can you explain what happened?

GAL BECKERMAN: This was an editor of a very small—about 2,500, I think, was their circulation—newspaper, one of two or three Jewish newspapers in Atlanta, who wrote this incredibly, extraordinarily inflammatory column that said that one of the things on the table, in terms of dealing with Iran, should be a possible assassination of President Obama. And this was kind of roundly condemned by everybody. The guy eventually came out himself, you know, in this kind of half-an-hour tearful confession a few days ago, saying he doesn’t know what he was thinking. And, you know, I think it’s possible to see this as just the production of one crank, you know, who’s—you know, but underneath—underneath it is a real kind of, I think, irrational fear that you see among some people in the Jewish community that Obama and his policies towards Iran is somehow harming Israel.

AMY GOODMAN: Thirty seconds, how did Adelson get his fortune?

GAL BECKERMAN: He is a casino magnate, built a lot of casinos in Vegas and, in the last 15 years, has grown even richer through building the same types of resorts and casinos in China.

AMY GOODMAN: We want to thank you both for being with us. And that editor, the publisher of the Atlanta Jewish Times, named Andrew Adler, said Israel should consider assassinating President Obama, quote, "take out a president deemed unfriendly to Israel." We’re going to end it there. Gal Beckerman, thanks so much for being with us, opinion editor at The Forward, author of When They Come for Us, We’ll Be Gone: The Epic Struggle to Save Soviet Jewry. And Linda Sarsour, director of the Arab American Association of New York, also with the National Network for Arab American Communities. She was just named a "Champion of Change," honored at the White House, a Palestinian-American activist. Thanks much for both for joining us. This is Democracy Now! When we come back, we look at immigration and the primaries. Stay with us.

Magda Hassan
01-30-2012, 03:19 AM
Gingrich's billionaire campaign backer under federal investigation after lawsuit alleges he hushed possible ties to Chinese organized crime

Sheldon Adelson is the founder and CEO of Las Vegas Sands Corp., which owns the Sands Macau in China
Adelson has given $10 million to bolster Gingrich's campaign and has promised up to $10 million more
The Department of Justice and SEC are investigating whether Las Vegas Sands violated federal bribery laws
Adelson has denied any wrongdoing

By Michael Zennie (http://www.dailymail.co.uk/home/search.html?s=&authornamef=Michael+Zennie)

The billionaire casino mogul who has breathed new life into Newt Gingrich's presidential campaign with millions of dollars in donations is facing a federal investigation over whether his company violated the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, which prohibits bribing foreign officials.

The investigation stems from a lawsuit filed by a former executive at the Sands Macau in China, the company has said. Steven C. Jacobs claims he was told the keep quiet about investigations of local officials and the possible presence of the triads - Chinese organized crime - in the casino.

Sheldon Adelson, who founded and runs Las Vegas Sands Corp -- one of the largest casino and resort companies in the world, has denied the allegations in the lawsuit and said the company is cooperating with federal investigators.


Big supporter: Sheldon Adelson (left) has propped up Newt Gingrich's campaign with $10 million in donations to the former House Speaker's super PAC

Adelson has donated an estimated $10 million to Gingrich's super PAC 'Winning our Future' and promised to give up to $20 million.

Worth an estimated $21 billion, Adelson is the eighth richest man in America and has almost single-handedly financed Gingrich's second campaign surge.


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The large donation has allowed Gingrich supporters to buy TV ads in key states, helping the former House Speaker to defeat Mitt Romney in the South Carolina Republican primary.

But the attention has brought Adelson's business practices into the spotlight. The lawsuit was filed in October 2010 and the company announced the federal inquiry in March of last year.
http://i.dailymail.co.uk/i/pix/2012/01/28/article-2093158-117FD14C000005DC-841_468x286.jpg Allegations: The former head of the Sands Macau casino (pictured) filed a lawsuit against Adelson's company after he was fired

Adelson addressed the concerns at a public forum last year saying the investigation is 'not a serious matter.'
'When the smoke clears, I am 1,000 percent positive that there won't be any fire below it,' he said, according to ABC News.
The Securities and Exchange Commission and the Department of Justice began looking into Las Vegas Sands Corp. as a result of allegations about its practices at Sands Macau casino and hotel, which operates on the Chinese island that has become the largest gambling mecca in the world, the Las Vegas Sun reported.

Jacobs, who ran the resort, says in his lawsuit that he was wrongly fired from the company after he objected to allegedly illegal actions that he was asked to perform.

Among them: Jacobs claims Adelson wanted him to hire a Chinese lawyer to dig up 'negative information' on local Macau officials that the company could use as leverage, the Sun reported.

http://i.dailymail.co.uk/i/pix/2012/01/28/article-2093158-117FD154000005DC-325_468x286.jpg Lit up: Adelson's best-known property is the Venetian Resort Hotel and Casino on the Las Vegas strip

Jacobs says he also disagreed with Adelson over increasing the casino's use of junkets -- trips to Macau by groups of high-rolling gamblers organized by third-party groups.
Some junkets in Macau have been organized by members of Chinese organized crime syndicates.
Reuters reported in 2010 that alleged triad crime boss Cheung Chi-tai, who was connected with a junket to the Sands Macau, was running one of the VIP rooms at the casino, according to witnesses.

That information came out at a trial of four men convicted of breaking a Sands dealer's arms and legs, allegedly on Chi-tai's orders, according to Reuters.

In his lawsuit, Jacobs says Adelson ordered him to keep Chi-tai's name and any information about possible triad involvement secret from the casino's board of directors.

The Las Vegas Sands Corp. has strenuously denied Jacobs' claims and says he was fired for striking unauthorized deals and violating company policy.

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2093158/Newt-Gingrich-backer-Sheldon-Adelsons-company-federal-investigation.html#ixzz1kuL0KkxF