Mercury Rising 鳯女

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Archive for July 17th, 2012

No one will care if President Romney got his cash from Chinese Triads

Posted by Charles II on July 17, 2012

(Image of Adelson from Propublica. Image of Mitt from Obama’s Dog)

A new report from Matt Isaacs, Lowell Bergman, and Stephen Engelberg of Propublica shows that Willard Romney’s main campaign donor, Sheldon Adelson, was rescued from potential bankruptcy (or at least the closure of his Macao gambling palaces) by bribery and corruption, potentially involving organized crime syndicates:

Now, some of the methods Adelson used in Macau to save his company and help build a personal fortune estimated at $25 billion have come under expanding scrutiny by federal and Nevada investigators, according to people familiar with both inquiries.

Internal email and company documents, disclosed here for the first time, show that Adelson instructed a top executive to pay about $700,000 in legal fees to Leonel Alves, a Macau legislator whose firm was serving as an outside counsel to Las Vegas Sands.

The company’s general counsel and an outside law firm warned that the arrangement could violate the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act. …

Federal investigators are looking at whether the payments violate the statute because of Alves’ government and political roles in Macau…. [and] whether the company made any other payments to officials. An email by Alves to a senior company official, disclosed by the Wall Street Journal, quotes him as saying “someone high ranking in Beijing” had offered to resolve two vexing issues — a lawsuit by a Taiwanese businessman and Las Vegas Sands’ request for permission to sell luxury apartments in Macau. Another email from Alves said the problems could be solved for a payment of $300 million. There is no evidence the offer was accepted. Both issues remain unresolved.

The documents shed new light on … the company’s difficulties in avoiding contact with Chinese organized crime figures as it built its casino business in Macau.

Nevada law bars licensed casino operators from associating with members of organized crime.

Allegations about the company’s dealings with Alves as well as its purported ties to organized crime are prominently mentioned in a 2010 lawsuit filed by Steven Jacobs, former CEO of Sands China.

In the suit, Jacobs contends he was fired after multiple disputes with Adelson, which included the continued employment of Alves and the company’s dealings with junkets.

Anyone remember Bill Clinton, Maria Hsia, John Huang and James Riady? If there was a firestorm over a minor donor being related to the Chinese government, surely that means there will be no comment by our press about a man potentially linked to Chinese organized crime and governmental corruption funding supporting Willard’s campaign to the tune of tens of millions of dollars.

Because these things are totally different! Just ask Brooks Jackson!

Posted in 2012, corruption, crimes, cronies, Mitt Romney | 2 Comments »

No one will care if a few kids get buggered, so long as we win those football games/keep the pews full

Posted by Charles II on July 17, 2012

Chris Hayes has a new book, Twilight of the Elites, whose title he calls “aspirational,” and I think he’s sold me a copy. The point of the book is that people who can get away with things are doing so at an alarming rate. There’s a word for this which we learned from Honduras: impunity. Hayes ties together the Catholic pedophilia/ephebophilia scandal with the Penn State pedophilia/ephebophilia scandal as examples of how elites have come to believe that no matter what they do, there will be no consequences. From DemocracyNow:

CHRIS HAYES: It’s such a perfect example, again, of this concept of social distance, right? I mean, the people like Robert Gnaizda and the folks at the Center for Responsible Lending down in North Carolina that were working among communities that were on the wrong end of the subprime crisis, right, that were seeing their homes foreclosed on, that were seeing equity stripped out, that were seeing these serial refinancing with fees and fees and fees—the folks working there started ringing the alarm bells in 2002, 2003, publishing reports saying, “We’re going have 10 million foreclosures. This is going to be a total disastrous thing.” And they were meeting with the Federal Reserve, and they were waving charts in their faces, right? They were giving them data. And the Federal Reserve didn’t act.

So the question is, why didn’t the Federal Reserve act? And there’s a whole bunch of complicated reasons. But I think, partly, at the core of it, is that they, the folks in the Federal Reserve—Frederic Mishkin; Ben Bernanke, who was a Fed governor, who was saying, “Don’t worry about subprime,” more or less; Alan Greenspan, the Fed chair—were just completely removed from the world in which subprime finance was metastasizing and wreaking havoc. And that removal allowed them to sort of go along doing what they were doing, doing the things that they thought were ideologically justified or justified by the data. When they didn’t—they were not embedded in that world. And the thought experiment I have in the book is, if Ben Bernanke or Alan Greenspan were in a neighborhood where this was happening, if they were walking down their street every morning and seeing the foreclosures signs, if they had a neighbor who had been through one of these serial refinancing and had all the equity stripped out and now faced foreclosure, I can’t help but think the Fed would have cracked down much earlier and with much more vigor.

Bingo. If the elites had to see the consequences of their decisions in the lives of their neighbors, they might very well make better decisions. As long as it’s someone invisible who is getting thrown on the street or denied medical care, anything goes.

Our job is to make America’s suffering visible.

Posted in financial crisis, impunity, The Plunderbund | Comments Off on No one will care if a few kids get buggered, so long as we win those football games/keep the pews full

No one will care that a federal agency has a massive wiretapping operation

Posted by Charles II on July 17, 2012

So what will the FDA do if you get in the way of GE marketing an unsafe colonscopy device? You can read the full megillah here (or in the NYT), or get the executive review from DemocracyNow:

STEPHEN KOHN: Yeah. What they did was they put spyware into the computers. We’re not sure how far it moved. We know it went into thumb drives. It went into their own property. And this spyware enabled them to do keystroke analysis, so they could get all the private passcodes of the scientists. So they could get into their—so they had the ability to get into their medical records, their financial records, their confidential Google-to-Google communications—all that capability, they had.
Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in FDA, science and medicine, wiretapping | 1 Comment »

Happy Birthday, Henry!

Posted by Phoenix Woman on July 17, 2012

Just because.

Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Happy Birthday, Henry!

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