Concerning Paul Ryan’s activity today, this is in the NYT:
Paul Ryan . . . traveled to Las Vegas to meet with Sheldon Adelson, the casino mogul who has pledged to spend up to $100 million to defeat the president.
Wow. To kiss the gambler’s ring, presumably. The irony is rich here. Paul Ryan wants to gamble senior security on a voucher program for Medicare even as he meets with a gambling mogul.
And do you know what Sheldon Adelson wants to gamble on especially? Iran. He wants a preemptory strike on its nuclear program. It’s his signature issue. It’s why he’s pouring money into the American presidential race.
Lots of gambling going on.
Here’s a bit of background on Sheldon Adelson from the Financial Times earlier in the year:
Then there is Sheldon Adelson, the Las Vegas gaming mogul, whose $10m donation to a “super-political action committee” has kept Newt Gingrich in the Republican race. Mr Adelson, who is worth an estimated $22bn, has said he would fully support whoever was the Republican nominee. There are no limits on what Mr Adelson can spend to influence the general election. The Obama campaign is still informally hoping to raise $1bn – less than five per cent of Mr Adelson’s wealth.
In contrast to most Americans, who know of Mr Adelson through his super-Pac largesse, Israelis see him as one of Mr Netanyahu’s closest allies. Mr Adelson owns Israel Hayom (Israel Today), the influential daily newspaper, which is a strident Netanyahu supporter. “Netanyahu is a Republican,” says Daniel Levy, a former adviser to Ehud Barak, the Israeli defence minister. “Sheldon Adelson is his friend.”
Mr Adelson’s impact on the Republican debate has been direct. On most issues candidates have been driven by grassroots sentiment. On Iran, Mr Adelson leads a smaller electorate. It does not come in pastel shades. “If Obama is re-elected, Iran will get a nuclear weapon,” says Mr Romney, who last week had what was described as a friendly meeting with Mr Adelson. “If you elect me Iran will not have a nuclear weapon.”