Countdown Clocks

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Posts tagged "Crime"

h/t: Ian Millhiser at Think Progress Justice 

See also: DKos: Cliven Bundy: right-wing extremist domestic terrorist lawbreaker

h/t: Ian Millhiser at Think Progress Justice

Billionaire Sheldon Adelson has a history of illegal behavior and controversial comments — facts that were left out of mainstream print reporting on GOP candidates trying to win his favor last week.

The Republican Jewish Coalition met March 27-29 in Las Vegas, and the event was dubbed the “Adelson Primary" as GOP presidential hopefuls used the meeting to fawn over magnate Sheldon Adelson. Adelson is the chairman and CEO of Las Vegas Sands Corp., a casino and resort operating firm, who reportedly spent nearly $150 million attempting to buy the 2012 election with donations to a super PAC aligned with Mitt Romney and other outside groups (including Karl Rove’s American Crossroads). Before switching allegiance to Romney, Adelson had donated millions to Newt Gingrich. He has also given generously in the past to super PACs associated with a variety of Republican politicians, including Scott Walker, John McCain, Rudy Giuliani, George W. Bush, and Eric Cantor.

Hoping to benefit from Adelson’s largesse, potential 2016 Republican candidates including Gov. Chris Christie (R-NJ), Gov. Scott Walker (R-WI), Gov. John Kasich (R-OH), and former Florida Governor Jeb Bush gathered at Adelson’s casino to “kiss the ring.”

While Republicans’ efforts to court Adelson made big news in print media over the past week, none of the articles mentioning Adelson in The New York Times, Washington PostPolitico, or The Wall Street Journal mentioned that he has come under investigation for illegal business practices, including bribery, or his history of extreme remarks.

A search of the Nexis and Factiva databases from March 24 to March 31 turned up several articles in the papers ­mentioning the billionaire, none of which mentioned Adelson’s checkered past. The New York Times called Adelson “one of the Republican Party’s most coveted and fearsome moneymen” and detailed his current fight against online gambling, while The Washington Post's March 25 preview of the event simply reported that Adelson was “driven by what he has said he sees as Obama’s socialist agenda. He is a fierce opponent of organized labor and is currently embroiled in a fight to ban online gambling.”

In 2012, Adelson’s corporation came under three different investigations from the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Justice Department, and the Securities and Exchange Commission, for violating the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA), an anti-bribery statute. Additionally, the Times reported at the time that several of the company’s subsidiaries also “came under investigation by Chinese regulators.”

Adelson allegedly attempted to bribe the Chief Executive of Macau, where a substantial portion of his casino business was located, and reportedly instructed Sands Corp. to bribe a Macau legislator with about $700,000 in “legal fees.” (ProPublica reported that “several Las Vegas Sands executives resigned or were fired after expressing concerns” about the fee.) A former Sands Corp. executive also alleged that Adelson fired him after he refused to engage in illegal activity and protested the presence of Chinese organized crime syndicates in Sands’ Macau casinos.

Adelson initially insisted that he was being unfairly targeted, but Sands Corp.’s own audit committee ultimatelyadmitted there were “likely violations” of the anti-bribery law. And in August 2013, Sands Corp. agreed to pay the federal government more than $47 million in a settlement to resolve a separate money-laundering investigation, in which the casinos were accused of “accepting millions from high-rolling gamblers accused of drug trafficking and embezzlement.”

Adelson has been described as a “fervent Zionist” for his opposition to any Palestinian state, and his hatred of Islam goes so far that he has said ”You don’t have to worry about using the word ‘Islamo-fascism’ or ‘Islamo-terrorist,’ when that’s what they are. Not all Islamists are terrorists, but all the terrorists are Islamists.” He has suggested that all Palestinians “teach their children that Jews are descended from swine and apes, pigs and monkeys,” and said that “all they want to do is kill” Jews.

As Rick Perlstein has noted in Rolling Stone, Adelson is also vociferously opposed to unions. In 1999, when Adelson built a new casino, he failed to pay so many of his contractors that they filed a whopping 366 liens against the property, in addition to filing complaints with stage agencies and the FBI. When the new casino eventually opened, union workers protested outside — and Adelson twice demanded that police arrest the peaceful protestors (emphasis added):

Adelson told the cops to start making arrests; the cops refused. Glen Arnodo, an official at the union at the time, relates what happened next: “I was standing on the sidewalk and they had two security guards say I was on private property, and if I didn’t move they’d have to put me under ‘citizen’s arrest.’ I ignored them.” The guards once again told the police to arrest Arnodo and again, he says, they refused. The Civil Rights hero Rep. John Lewis, in town to support the rally, said the whole thing reminded him of living in the South during Jim Crow.

Afterwards, Adelson went so far as to allegedly attempt to pay off a hospital when it announced it would honor the head of the Vegas hotel workers union.

Adelson told The Wall Street Journal that the Employee Free Choice Act, a bill which would allow workers to unionize a workplace with majority sign-up, was “one of the two fundamental threats to society.” The other was radical Islam.

If print outlets are going to devote space to the fight among Republicans to win Adelson’s favor (and money), they owe it to readers to give a more accurate picture of the man holding the wallet.  



Rush Limbaugh's Latest Conspiracy: Democrats Using FBI To Weed Out Bad Apples Before Midterms

Rush Limbaugh must be boozing it up on the air because he’s been coming up with all sorts of weird conspiracies emanating outside his bubble. The last one I wrote about was Liberals wanting to hijack Mass transit so they can control the population’s movements or something insane like that. His latest one is just as kooky. Supposedly, the FBI is taking orders from Obama’s honchos to weed out all their corrupt pols before the midterm election so that people will forget about them.

How many people think that the FBI is a bastion of Liberal thinking? I bet they lean Republican 90% and I doubt they would fall in line with orders like that, but to Limbaugh, since State Senator Leland Yee was arrested, he believes they are involved in a lefty conspiracy.

Limbaugh: Now folks, if this is strictly Democrats which so far it is, we don’t know if there are other investigations to be revealed. The FBI has been working on all of this for years, not a peep folks.

I don’t know it’s hard to conclude otherwise. The FBI has been working secretly behind the scenes since Obama was elected and if this sweep is strictly Democrats, which, so far it is. What does that mean? What does that tell you, does it tell you anything?

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Conservative news outlets are hyping a minor website change to suggest that the FBI is distancing itself from the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) - a group that monitors hate speech and violence - in response to criticism from anti-gay organizations. But the FBI has issued a statement debunking that narrative and continues to publicly touts its partnership with SPLC on its website.

On March 26, Washington Examiner reporter Paul Bedard asserted that the FBI was ending its relationship with SPLC, noting that a link to the group had been scrubbed from the FBI’s Hate Crime “resources” page and calling it a “significant rejection of the influential legal group”:

The Southern Poverty Law Center, which has labeled several Washington, D.C.-based family organizations as “hate groups” for favoring traditional marriage, has been dumped as a “resource” on the FBI’s Hate Crime Web page, a significant rejection of the influential legal group.

The Web page scrubbing, which also included eliminating the Anti-Defamation League, was not announced and came in the last month after 15 family groups pressed Attorney General Eric Holder and FBI Director James Comey to stop endorsing a group — SPLC — that inspired a recent case of domestic terrorism at the Family Research Council.


The FBI had no comment and offered no explanation for its decision to end their website’s relationship with the two groups, leaving just four federal links as hate crime “resources.” The SPLC had no comment.

Bedard’s report has been touted by a number of right-wing media outlets, including The Daily CallerBreitbartWorldNetDaily, and The Blaze, which have framed the change as evidence that the FBI is ending its relationship with SPLC in response to criticism from right-wing anti-gay groups. It’s also being celebrated by a number of extreme anti-gay organizations - like the Family Research Council (FRC) and American Family Association (AFA) - that have long resented SPLC for labeling them “hate groups.” (Contrary to Bedard’s report, those groups have been labeled “hate groups” for peddling falsehoods about LGBT people, not for “favoring traditional marriage.”

But the claim that the FBI is ending its relationship, or even its website’s relationship, with SPLC in response to right-wing outrage is false. As Good As You’s Jeremy Hooper noted, the FBI continues to list SPLC as a partner in the fight against hate crimes on its website.

The right-wing narrative is also contradicted by an official statement from the FBI. In a statement to The Daily Caller, and FBI spokesperson said:

"Upon review, the Civil Rights program only provides links to resources within the federal government," an FBI spokesman told The Daily Caller. "While we appreciate the tremendous support we receive from a variety of organizations, we have elected not to identify those groups on the civil rights page."

The FBI’s statement makes sense, given that - as Bedard’s own report noted - a link to the Anti-Defamation League, which focuses primarily on combating anti-Semitism, was also scrubbed from the FBI’s “resources” page.

But a total lack of evidence wasn’t enough to stop The Washington Examiner's Bedard from peddling wild theories about an imagined rift between SPLC and the FBI. And it wasn't enough to stop right-wing media outlets, always hungry for an excuse to smear SPLC and vindicate the reputations of their hate group allies, from running with the story. 

H/T:  Carlos Maza at RWW


Dumbest NBA tweet of the day —the week? the month?— goes to…*drumroll*…Republican Rep. Pat Garofalo of Minnesota. (pic via @CJZERO)



1. America is becoming too dangerous for children to play outside.

2. Americans are buying guns because of “reckless government actions” and because the “entire fabric of society” is in “jeopardy.”

3. The national media is one of America’s “greatest threats.”

4. “Knockout game” and “haters” are just two reasons we need unlimited rifles, shotguns, and pistols (Bonus part: “waves of chemicals” could collapse society at any moment).

5. There is a “bare-knuckled street fight” with the opposition to the NRA. But the NRA “will not go quietly into the night.” (Bonus: this is from the movie Independence Day).

Watch the full speech here. 

h/t: Kyle Mantyla at RWW

h/t: Ian Millhiser at Think Progress Justice

From the February 24 edition of Premiere Radio Networks’ The Rush Limbaugh Show:

LIMBAUGH: What we have here is a portion of the play-by-play of the Brooklyn Nets center Jason Collins, the first openly gay player to actually play in a professional sports game. It happened last night. The Brooklyn Nets against the Los Angeles Lakers. This is the Nets play-by-play announcer Ryan Ruocco, as Jason Coll — who by the way took number 98 in solidarity with Matthew Shepard, who was, it’s now been proven didn’t happen, but reputed to have beaten up by a bunch of anti-gay bigots.

Mr. Doctor-Shopper, the murder of Matthew Shepard IS a Hate Crime!


Mel Reynolds embarrasses Illinois once again

NOTE: Part of an Associated Press article blockquoted in this blog post contains the British English word “offence”, which is spelled “offense” in American English.

Former Democratic Congressman Mel Reynolds, who resigned from Congress back in 1995 after, among other things, being caught having sex with an underage campaign volunteer, has embarrassed Illinois once again.

This time, Reynolds has been arrested for allegedly being in possession of pornography and overstaying his visa in Zimbabwe, a country where possession of any kind of pornography is illegal.

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 A Florida jury found Michael Dunn guilty on four of the five charges in a case in which he was accused of shooting a teenager to death over loud music, but they could not come to a decision on the murder charge and a mistrial was declared on that count.

Dunn, 47, had faced a first degree murder charge for the shooting death of Jordan Davis, 17, in a Jacksonville convenience store parking lot on Nov. 23, 2012.

The judge had instructed the jury that they could consider lesser charges, including second degree murder, manslaughter, justifiable homicide or excusable homicide, but they said the could not come to an agreement on any of those charges.

Dunn was found guilty of four three counts of attempted second degree murder for shooting at other teens in car and one count of firing a gun into a car.

Prosecutors alleged that Dunn fatally shot Davis after he asked the teen and his friends to turn down their music.

Dunn testified that he feared for his life and thought Davis was going to kill him, prompting Dunn to pull out his gun and fire nine times at the car that the teenagers were sitting in.

Assistant State Attorney Erin Wolfson told jurors that Dunn “fired round after round after round” at Davis and his friends as they sat in their car. She said Davis was inside the SUV when he was killed. Dunn claims the teen had gotten out of the vehicle.

In his closing argument, Dunn’s attorney Cory Strolla said that his client had a right to “meet force with force.” He said the state has the burden to prove that Davis didn’t brandish a gun at Dunn, as Dunn has claimed.

How the fuck do you “brandish a SHOTGUN” that wasn’t there. Where the fuck would they have hidden a SHOTGUN. I want you all to really take in the fact that the supposed weapon was a fairly large weapon…..that fucking wasn’t there!!!!! The state proved that. Testimony proved that.
That child was shot for daring to defy that asshole. There is nothing else to it.

I agree with you generalbriefing, Dunn got away with murdering Jordan Davis. Davis was never a threat, ever. Dunn is a f*cking racist asshole.

Bob Jones University stifled sex abuse claims: ‘If you report it, you hurt the body of Christ’ (via Raw Story )

A conservative Christian university abruptly dismissed the consulting firm it had hired to look into its handling of sexual assault investigations. Until recently, students at Bob Jones University who sought counseling for sex abuse were told not to…


Then you have to admit that Trayvon was following the stand your ground law
He felt threaten
Did everything to avoid Zimmerman
Was confronted by Zimmerman
And then defended himself
So either way it goes Zimmerman was in the wrong
And you’re still a racist asshole

(via socialistexan)