Richard Silverstein

Sheldon Adelson: Buying Politics, and U.S. Allegiance to Israel

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Gamblers around the world have made Sheldon Adelson not just rich, but super-rich. Forbes ranks him 8th wealthiest in the U.S. and 14th in the world. Having greased a few palms along the way in Macao and Las Vegas helped him build his monuments to greed, avarice and addiction. Now, Adelson proposes to shower a bit of that manure on the American political process.

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I say “a bit” only because the $100+ million he’s whispering about donating is such a paltry part of his overall $25-billion fortune. In fact, a $100-million gift by Adelson would be equivalent to a $400 gift from an American of more modest means ($100,000 net worth). Gives you an idea of what sort of wealth we’re talkin’ about here.

The Huffington Post has the latest numbers on Adelson’s gifts and pledges to Gingrich, Romney and the Republican super-PAC machine. We’re now at $71-million and counting.

There was the roughly $20 million that he’d already sunk into pal Newt Gingrich’s failed imitation of a Republican Don Quixote. Now, Republican operatives have bruited gifts and/or pledges to Karl Rove’s super-PAC ($10-million) , Romney’s ($10-million), Eric Cantor’s ($5-million), John Boehner’s ($5-million), and the Koch Brothers ($10-million).

The Chamber of Commerce is raising $50-million in campaign contributions for a pro-business Republican push of which Adelson is expected to give a sizable portion. He historically gives a few million each election cycle to the Republican Jewish Coalition, which says it plans to spend at least $5-million.

All told, the current sum is $71-million, but that’s not all. Not by a long-shot. The campaign is young, and Citizens United has been very, very good to men like Adelson, who wish to remake the American political landscape into a mirror image of their own particular mix of avarice and extremism.

The talk is that he’ll give $100-million “at least,” by the end of the campaign. That’s what I used to think and wrote here a few months ago when he’d only given $20-million. But I think Adelson is a bit like his own gambling customers. Not only is he addicted to far-right politics, he’s going to sink more money into this campaign as it sucks him in even deeper, in order to prevent an Obama victory.

All of which is likely to have been in vain since it appears fairly likely at this point (barring any possible Obama screw-ups) that Romney will lose. I wouldn’t put my money on it (Shelly might take my bet!), but it appears likely. Adelson isn’t putting all his money on one horse though. Just in case Romney tanks, he’s going to sink a lot of dough into turning Congress even redder than it already is (‘red’ as in Republican, not as in socialist, God forbid).

Frankly, I think we’re now talking north of $150-million, maybe even $200-million for Adelson.

How many rubes are there out there who actually believe that any of this embarrasses the SCOTUS solons who brought us this new sort of politics as casino gambling? And do Americans even care that this is prostituting our political process? I guess they care, but not enough to do anything about it.

The biggest zinger of today’s news is that John McCain (remember that Oldie, but goodie the McCain-Feingold Act?). He called Adelson’s donations “foreign money.” At first, my anti-Semitism meter was deep in the red zone, thinking he was calling Jews a foreign element in American political life. Of course, given that McCain comes from a ramrod straight, WASP military family, there might be a healthy dose of anti-Semitism creeping in his closet.

But after reading the Washington Post version of the story, I realized McCain was attacking the origin of much of Adelson’s wealth–Macao and China’s nouveau riche. In this, he has a valid point. Imagine that China has an urgent interest it needs addressed in its relations with the U.S. Why wouldn’t it turn to Adelson as its water carrier? If, like me, you’re deeply suspicious of Chinese motives on a variety of issues, it’s not at all far-fetched to see Adelson as an agent of a foreign power. Can he afford not to carry water for China when it’s the moving engine of his gambling empire?

Regarding Adelson’s obsession with Israel, McCain’s comments are also dead spot on. He is an ardent supporter of Bibi Netanyahu and his maximalist ultranationalist political agenda. He will bend any Republican candidate he backs into an abject, slavish supporter of such an uber-Israel agenda.

Not that the Republicans have ever been lacking in fealty to Aipac. Just that for Adelson, even this isn’t enough. He doesn’t just want support for Israel, he wants support for a Pax Israeliana in the Middle East. That is, a Middle East in which Israel dominates the region and sets the military and economic agenda. Any power that threatens Israeli hegemony, whether it be Iran or Turkey, will be swatted down viciously.

That’s the sort of Middle East Adelson imagines.

Today’s political news brings a further reminder of this. Speaking to Ralph Reed’s new evangelical political vehicle, the Faith and Freedom Coalition, Romney said that given a choice between an Iranian bomb and an Israeli attack on Iran, he’d gladly choose the latter:
Romney got applause when he said he would be “the opposite” on U.S. relations with Israel and Iran to President Obama. “He’s [Obama] almost sounded like he’s more frightened that Israel might take military action than he’s concerned that Iran might become nuclear,” Romney said.

And John McCain has the temerity to think that Republicans might have a few other valid items on their agenda that might depart from this obsession of Adelson’s!

On one thing McCain and I agree: Sheldon Adelson does have an agenda that involves promoting the interests of a foreign power (two, actually) inside the American political system. But unlike a lobbying group that might be required to register as an agent of a foreign power, Adelson will eventually own the entire political discourse (if we’re not careful).

Of course, what’s hypocritical in this is that if McCain were running for president this year, he’d be crawling hat in hand to Adelson’s suite at the Las Vegas Sands, just as Romney has done.

As Jess Unruh said decades ago: “Money is the mother’s milk of politics.” Sheldon Adelson may not have breasts, but he sure has the money and the power.

6 Responses to Sheldon Adelson: Buying Politics, and U.S. Allegiance to Israel

  1. Smith Sampson 25/06/2012 at 11:35 AM

    The truth about Rev. Moon and The Unificaiton Church is this: He is a visionary of the highest caliber, and The Unifiction church is a gift from God. But, and here’s a challenge; don’t believe what I say, or what C. Mills, has to say. Find out for yourself.

    Visit us at, and learn how to build a life and family of love and purpose.

    Be sceptical, that’s good, but, be very wary of anyone that want’s to do your thinking for you, by filling your mind with fear.

  2. C. Mills 25/06/2012 at 2:14 AM

    In Response to Christopher D. Osborn: Whether or not Sun Myung Moon “likes” Mitt Romney, and whether he has held a fund-raiser for Pres. Obama, if Mitt Romney becomes president, Moon will find ways to steer Romney regarding domestic issues and foreign affairs – perhaps through members of the Christian Right. Romney has indicated that, if elected, he will be the most anti-Communist president in 20 years. So now the issue is “How ‘far’ to the right will Romney move to convince the Christian Right that he has in him no love of Communism or Communists? Moving to the extreme right will put him in bed with hate groups; so then what will he be willing to do? Most Nazis, including Hitler, were no-holds-barred anti-Communist; and most were Christian.

    The extreme left, which can include flaming Communists, is just as dangerous to democratic freedoms as the extreme right. Much of the money which Moon has given to people to influence them over his “ministry” has come from persons on the extreme far right. In his article, “Hypocritical Obama-Nazi Slur,” Robert Perry has written “Sun Myung Moon built his international religious-business-media empire in collaboration with Japanese fascist war criminals and with operational assistance from ex-Nazi SS officer Klaus Barbie, the so-called ‘Butcher of Lyon.’ The 89-year-old Moon also has had close ties to later generations of neo-Nazis and right-wing murderers, especially in Latin America where Moon-related organizations threw in their lot with brutal military dictators including some involved in cocaine trafficking.”

    It is exceedingly important that Mitt Romney not be drawn in by Sun Myung Moon, no matter how much Moon and his friends contribute to the presidential campaign or what they try to do with Romney afterwards. Moon is dangerous – to “all” nations.

    Below are some quotes:

    + “The whole world is in my hand, and I will conquer and subjugate the world.” (Sun Myung Moon, Master Speaks, 5/17/73)

    + “Of course, in order that the ministers feel at home, you must declare your love to Brother Jesus, but at the same time do not forget you goal, which is to bring them to the Lord of the Second Advent.” (The Victory of Love, 1992, pp. 65-66)

    + “In the Medieval ages, they had no separate cities-statesmanship from the religious field- because people were corrupted at the time. But when it comes to our age, we must have an automatic theocracy to rule the world. So we cannot separate the political field from the religious.” (Sun Myung Moon, Master Speaks, May 17, 1973, p.12)

    + “So from this time of peak every person or every organization that goes against the Unification Church will gradually come down or drastically come down and die. Many people will die, those who do against our movement.” (Sun Myung Moon, Master Speaks, February 14, 1974)

    Also see: Bizarre World – Christian Right and the Moonies at
    Also see a 6-part documentary, “Sun Myung Moon and the Unfication Church Part 1 of 6 (BBC)” which is at Educate Yourself

  3. Christopher D Osborn 22/06/2012 at 11:03 AM

    Sun Myung Moon isn’t just interested in Republicans, he’s interested in influencing all people to move towards Godism. The Unification Movement has also been in touch with the Clintons (tried to assist in the peace talks between Isreal and Palestine). In addition, Sun Myung Moon’s daughter, In Jin Moon, who is president of the Unification Movement in the USA, held a fundraiser for the Obama campaign at the Manhattan Centre in New York, and Sun Myung Moon himself has said that America having an interracial president is an important part of God’s worldwide providence. So actually, I’m not sure that the Moon’s want someone to replace Obama. Father Moon was actually rather displeased that President Bush wasted so many lives and so much money on the Iraq war instead of using more resources towards world peace.

  4. ???????????Î? ??? (@BlazePhoenix_) 22/06/2012 at 2:01 AM

    Billionaire Sheldon Adelson: Buying Politics & U.S. Allegiance To Israel For $200 Million…for starters #tcot #p21 #p2

  5. Sheldon Adelson: Buying Politics, and U.S. Allegiance to #Israel election2012

  6. C. Mills 19/06/2012 at 12:57 PM

    Mr. Adelson is apt to have very serious competition from Sun Myung Moon for Mitt Romney’s attention.

    Sun Myung Moon, founder of the Unification Church. a worldwide religious cult, considers himself to be the Messiah. Moon purchased relationships with several Republican US presidents and numerous leaders of the Christian Right. Moon is in a position to influence what gets reported in The Washington Times, since it is owned by the Unification Church.

    “The main textbook of Unification Church beliefs – the Divine Principle – has been accused of containing antisemitic references. Statements by Sun Myung Moon that Jewish victims of the Holocaust were paying indemnity for the crucifixion of Jesus have been described as antisemitic.” (Wikipedia) He has preached that Jews brought on the Holocaust by betraying Jesus, and that the U.S. Constitution should be scrapped in favor of a system he calls “Godism” — with him in charge. Moon also has purchased influence and friendships with numerous leaders of the Christian Right, who believe that an attack on Iran would lead to a Holocaust, and that the Holocaust would lead to the deaths of millions of Jews.

    If Moon has not yet contacted Mitt Romney for the purpose of creating a mutually useful relationship, he probably will do so shortly.

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