Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Dirty Harry and Uncle Sheldon

Senators Graham and Reid kiss the...uh, feet...of their political benefactor, Sheldon Adelson.

I had just started to relax a bit.  RAWA was dead for 2014, and while I knew 2015 would be another battle, there was time to savor the initial victory.  Then I saw it - the interview with Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid in last Friday’s Review-Journal, and while the picture was taken at a different time, it was the pic combined with the first paragraph that got my blood boiling.  

It read:  “Reid said Friday that Congress next year will take up legislation to outlaw Internet gambling, and he plans to support a ban while trying to gain an exemption for online poker.”  And Reid was smiling.  Not a “say cheese” smile, but a “shit-eating, I just won the lottery” smile.

I thought he was on OUR side.

No more had I tossed something heavy across the room than my computer beeped, signaling “incoming message.”  It was Mike Qualley, PPA’s Minnesota State Director.  It had the words “Reid,” “Two-faced,” and “Adelson” so I knew I was not alone.

“It’s bad enough Andy Abboud talking about the cake already being baked, and then I read where Reid says, ‘I think the proliferation of gambling on the Internet is not good for our country,’” I screamed. “Mike, what the hell kind of cake was he baking?”

“At this point a very stale cake!” Mike replied.  “Andy Abboud, who is still in a haze about technology from last summer, was trumpeting this rhetoric in late November and early December, this quote from him in WAPO November 20th:  ‘Speaking with Nevada television journalist Jon Ralston, Abboud expressed confidence that a federal ban would be considered in Congress soon, either this year or next year. “The die is cast on this,” Abboud told Ralston. ’the cake is baked.’”

“Worse, Reid thinks that the ONLY way legalized poker can pass Congress is if it is coupled with legislation that prohibits other forms of online gaming.  Like horse racing, maybe?,“ I said with a snark.

Mike met snark with snark.  “Reid has two faces these days on many issues, iPoker included. One face for example, hammering Citizens United and the Koch Brothers for being a big part of CU. Then there's the other face of Reid, in an interview where he went on about Sheldon and how, ‘we all should leave Adelson alone’ and that ‘Adelson wasn't in this for the money.’ I'll get back to this second comment in a minute. Reid seems as confused on overzealous billionaires trying to buy elections and legislation, as Andy Abboud was on technology last summer.”

“Reid says the so-called “gentleman’s deal” with Adelson doesn’t exist,” I said.

Mike laughed…loud and long.  “Gentlemen's deal, there's a laugher!  Adelson can't be trusted in a deal where his name appears on a contract, let alone a handshake. Harry's out in two years!  I mean, look - about Adelson not being in it for the money; if not money, then what exactly is ‘it’ Harry? If you're talking about business, I know of no billionaire or successful businessman/woman who isn't in ‘it’ for the money.  By the way, how’s Harry's bank account these days?”

So it looks like, maybe, Uncle Sheldon has another washed-up politician on his side, I said.  Doesn’t matter - we will prevail - facts over fear.

Mike agreed.  “There isn't much in that area that gets by us, we're fully loaded with facts, and more on the way.” 

And hey - it looks like we’re not the only ones.  ICYMI, here, here, and here.  And from LAST year, Nolan Dalla here.

Just one more reason to stay vigilant.

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