Friday August 27th, 2010 05:53 Follow the Money: Could Mayor Bloomberg’s Media Business Interests in the Middle East Have Anything to Do with His Support of the Ground Zero Mosque?

Call us cynical but we wonder whether Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s passionate backing of the building of a controversial mosque near Ground Zero stems as much from Bloomberg’s belief in America’s “freedom of faith” as it might from the Mayor’s belief in the “virtues of Islamic finance?”

Does the Mayor’s unshakable support have anything to do with The Bloomberg (company) becoming a ‘single provider of information that caters to the Islamic business market’?  A Bloomberg five-year business plan for an Islamic finance portal via a Bloomberg hub at the Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC) is already a reality.

bloomberg-unleashed

Michael Bloomberg, has become a staunch supporter of the Cordoba House (Park51) Ground Zero Mosque.  In the process, the Mayor has lectured opponents on “religious liberty” and, by extension, implied that opposition to the mosque is largely based on bigotry.

Lately, Bloomberg has become so insistent on the mosque’s being built at its planned location that The New York Post has labeled him Pro-Mosque Mike.”

A defiant Mayor Bloomberg, saying there should be no compromise, insisted last night that a mosque be built near Ground Zero, declaring, “We must do what is right, not what is easy.

While Bloomberg hasn’t been shy about questioning the motives of those opposed to the mosque’s location, the media has shied away from the Mayor‘s motivations.  But what of the Mayor’s motives? What might they be? Does a strong passion for religious liberty explain all?

Some of Bloomberg LP’s officials may hold some clues.

On October 2, 2009, The Dubai Chronicle reported Chairman and President of Bloomberg LP Peter T. Grauer met with UAE Vice President, Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum at Maktoum’s Emirate office. According to the Dubai Chronicle, Grauer gave a presentation of Bloomberg future expansion plans in the ‘area of business information’ in the United Emirates, North Africa, and India. Grauer stated the UAE was a great place to expand, the UAE’s “logistic facilities” the ‘biggest incentive for investors and companies to expand their businesses in the country and the region beyond’.

michael-bloomberg-and-friends

“Particularly since the meltdown of the western capitalist system, there has been an increasingly large focus on the virtues of Islamic finance. Today, there is no one single provider of information that caters to the Islamic finance market. So by Bloomberg being here, we are in the process  of building out an Islamic finance product. We are very confident that we can build a product that meets the needs of the market right now.”

–Max Linnington, Regional Head of Bloomberg Middle East and South Asia on the company’s plan to build a Bloomberg hub in Dubai at the Dubai International Financial Centre(DIFC), October 29, 2009

Some details about the DIFC:

The DIFC is the world’s fastest growing international financial centre. It aims to develop the same stature as New York, London and Hong Kong.

It primarily serves the vast region between Western Europe and East Asia.

Could the plans of Bloomberg LP have an influence on Bloomberg the Mayor?

Recently he claimed, “We would send a signal around the world that Muslim-Americans may be equal in the eyes of the law, but separate in the eyes of their countrymen.”

Might the Mayor be more interested–even just the tiniest bit–in some parts of the world than in others?

Might Bloomberg’s speech have sent a signal to the Middle East – which by a great coincidence, is the site of the Dubai International Financial Centre, the location of one of Bloomberg LP’s ten worldwide hubs?

DIFC

On March 10, 2010, the Khaleej Times reported Bloomberg Set for Dubai expansion in bid to double revenues by 2014.

“Bloomberg, a leading global provider for financial data and news services, plans to “significantly boost regional operations from its Dubai hub as it is bullish about growth prospects of the emirate as a global financial center, a top executive said.”

The coincidences continue: the Mayor’s company is banking on “doubling revenues by 2014″ in a region that just happens to be largely populated by Muslims.

The Mayor, when he isn’t busy rallying support for a mosque opposed by a large majority in NYC and 70% of Americans at large, is in the newsgathering business. Bloomberg makes a lot of money providing financial news in a timely manner.

One more coincidence: if you do a search for financial news from Dubai and the Middle East, chances are, your only sources-outside the Mayor’s own Bloomberg.com — are The National, the Dubai Chronicle or the Khaleej News.

While we were able to easily access articles from the National, Dubai Chronicle or the Khaleej News about the Bloomberg Dubai hub, a search of Bloomberg.com came up empty.  Ten pages of results: nothing.

Does it concern the Mayor that Bloomberg.com is getting scooped on news about Bloomberg LP?

Michael Bloomberg has made billions of dollars being a savvy businessman. Might a savvy businessman consider it prudent to maintain good relations in the Muslim world–a part of the world where the Mayor’s company hopes to “double revenues by 2014?”

How does Mayor Bloomberg’s support for the Ground Zero mosque — based, he says, on the issue of freedom of faith – square with the “virtues of Islamic finance” and an Islamic finance portal in Dubai with Bloomberg LP‘s aim of becoming “the world’s single provider of information that caters to the Islamic finance market?”

One more important question: will the NYC media ask Hizzoner if he has any potential conflicts to act as an impartial broker on Park51? Doesn’t it seem just that the survivors and families whose loved ones lost their lives on 911 receive some answers — before receiving any more lectures from the tiny, Boston-born Democrat turned Republican turned Independent turned Republican turned Whatever Mayor of the City of New York?

gracie_mansion_1

It’s easy to imagine the Mayor becoming enthusiastic over opportunities when billions of dollars are to be made. Enthusiasm is a hard emotion to contain.

Even when a majority of his constituents remain opposed to the latest object of Bloomberg’s enthusiasm.


Big Journalism

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Monday August 23rd, 2010 12:30 Rep. Jordan: If GOP wins the House, it won’t get anything done except frame the 2012 election.

Last Thursday, Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH) held a town hall with his constituents in Shelby, Ohio, and fielded questions on a variety of topics ranging from health care to the economy. At one point, a constituent asked him about Republicans’ plans to throw “a monkey wrench in the gears of everything Obama does” if they re-take the House of Representatives. Jordan replied by saying that “most of what [the GOP] can get done” if they happen to capture the House is “have the big fight, have the big debate, and have the framework for the 2012 election”:

AUDIENCE MEMBER: Assuming it’s accurate that Republicans will get the House, how effective will that be in throwing a monkey wrench in the gears of everything Obama does?

JORDAN: If we win, what will we get done? Mostly, I’ll be honest, most of what we can get done is have the big fight, have the big debate, and have the framework for the 2012 election.

Watch it:

Jordan’s comments are the latest piece of evidence that suggests that the GOP does not have a substantive policy agenda it plans to implement if it makes gains in the 2010 congressional elections. Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-MN) said that if the GOP wins, “all we should do is issue subpoenas.” And Rep. Peter King (R-NY) argued the GOP shouldn’t lay out an agenda because it might become “a campaign issue.”

Think Progress

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Sunday August 22nd, 2010 13:23 Is Meg Whitman’s Promise To Defend Prop 8 Anything More Than Pandering?

whitmanAlthough the Ninth Circuit stayed Judge Walker’s decision striking down Prop 8 last week, it also suggested that an anti-gay group’s attempt to appeal Walker’s decision must ultimately be dismissed unless the State of California agrees to join the suit.  Because both Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger (R) and Attorney General Jerry Brown (D) have refused to defend Prop 8, it’s reasonably likely that the unconstitutional ballot measure will cease to exist when the Ninth Circuit hears the anti-gay group’s appeal in December.

In a press conference on Friday, however, Republican gubernatorial candidate Meg Whitman announced that she would join the appeal supporting Prop 8 if she is elected governor of California:

“The issue right now is, as I understand is ‘Will Proposition 8 have the appropriate support to actually make an appeal to the circuit court of appeals?’ ” Whitman said. “And I think the governor, the attorney general today has to defend the constitution and has to enable the judicial process to go along and has to enable an appeal to go through. So if I was governor, I would give that ruling standing to be able to appeal to the circuit court.

Whitman’s decision to lend a hand to discrimination is unfortunate, but it is likely to prove futile.  Under the Federal Rules of Appellate Procedure, a party wishing to appeal an district court’s decision must file a notice of appeal “with the district clerk within 30 days after the judgment or order appealed from is entered.”  Yet, even if Whitman were elected governor, she would not be sworn in until January 3, 2011 — far too late to appeal a judgment that was entered in early August of 2010.

As the Supreme Court recently explained in Bowles v. Russell, “the taking of an appeal within the prescribed time is ‘mandatory and jurisdictional,’” and Bowles involved a much more compelling case for bending these rules than does the Prop 8 litigation.  In Bowles, a district judge incorrectly told a party that he had 17 days left to file an appeal, when in fact he only had 14 days to do so.  Nevertheless, the Supreme Court held, the deadline is unforgiving even when a party misses it solely because a federal judge gave them bad information.

Whitman’s case presents none of the sympathetic facts present in Bowles.  California has ample notice that one of its laws has been declared unconstitutional, and its duly elected officials decided not to contest this declaration.  Moreover, if Whitman were allowed to join the Prop 8 appeal in January, she would have to file a notice of appeal months after the deadline had passed.  It is exceedingly unlikely that the courts will tolerate such delinquency.

In other words, it’s unlikely that Whitman’s promise to appeal Judge Walker’s decision is anything more than empty pandering.  She may succeed in turning out her anti-gay voters this way, but she cannot restart a stopwatch that will have already run out of time.

Wonk Room

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Thursday August 19th, 2010 07:54 Things You Won’t Read in the MSM: The Children Of Illegals Have No Business Demanding Anything

They took their protests right to the steps of Congress. Hundreds of students, including ten from Georgia, lobbied at the nation’s capitol for “The Dream Act,” which offers undocumented students a chance to become legal citizens.

I contend we don’t need “Immigration Reform” but “Enforcement Reform,” meaning the federal government should do its job and enforce the existing laws on the books. However, the children of illegal aliens believe they should get a pass because they didn’t do anything wrong.

Here’s my analogy on this situation….

Let’s say one day a family wakes up to the sound of the front door of their home being bashed in. The father is handcuffed and escorted out of the home by federal law enforcement officials and is charged with embezzlement. The family is told they have five minutes to gather their most personal belongings and then vacate the premises because their home and automobile are being seized because stolen money is believed to have purchased said assets.

The family soon finds out their bank accounts have been frozen because they too may contain monies as a result of the father’s possible theft.

Who should the family be mad at, the federal government that suspected the father of theft or the father for putting the family in the precarious position they find themselves in now? I suspect the wife would be rightfully furious with the husband, as would be the kids. But when it comes to parents who knowingly violated our sovereign border, no blame is being issued to them by their children. No, it’s the federal government’s fault for not letting those kids have their way and let them operate freely in a country they are in illegally.

mexican-anchor-babies

For this reason (as lacking in compassion as is sounds) I have no sympathy for the offspring of illegal aliens who are being denied in-state tuition for colleges, or admittance at all. They have no business protesting a college, state legislature, congress or citizenry of a state or the nation. If anything, these kids should demand their parents explain why they decided to break the law and hide out for decades knowing it could hurt them in the long run.

The federal government wouldn’t drop the charges against an embezzler because it would inconvenience his or her family.

Illegal aliens aren’t deserving of amnesty and their kids are in no position to make demands.

And that’s something you’re not likely to read in the MSM.


Big Journalism

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Tuesday August 17th, 2010 06:09 Young couple killed by stoning in Afghanistan; Karzai objects to execution without trial — anything else?

Choosing his words very carefully, and revealingly so. It’s not just the story reproduced below, but other sources from Reuters to RTTNews, that show he condemns the fact that there was no trial, but stops short of condemning the idea of Sharia punishments (lashes or stoning) for “adultery,” and of condemning the cruel, unusual, and barbaric punishment that stoning is. There are, after all, influential clerics to please.

The Taliban are flourishing in Afghanistan and Pakistan. Corruption is omnipresent, Sharia is enshrined in the constitution of Afghanistan, and al-Qaeda’s top leadership continues to go about its business while the president of Afghanistan panders to the jihadists and their sympathizers.

But let’s all step back, take a deep breath, and remember why this conflict began, and what we’re fighting for.

The right to build roads?

No, that can’t be it. Surely, there must have been something else… An update on this story. “Stoning deaths by Taliban condemned by Afghan president,” by Jill Dougherty and Mati Matiullah for CNN, August 17:

Kabul, Afghanistan (CNN) — Afghan President Hamid Karzai condemned the stoning deaths of a young man and woman in northern Afghanistan over the weekend, calling the executions by the Taliban “unforgivable.”

“Executing these two young people without trial is a crime, an act of inhumanity, and is counter to Islam,” the president said in a statement Tuesday.

Again: Not a word about the idea of stoning, or execution for adultery.

The Taliban stoned to death a man and a woman in northern Afghanistan for allegedly having an affair, officials said Monday.

The stoning took place Sunday in Dasht-e-Archi district, in the village of Mullah Qali — a village dominated by the Taliban in Kunduz province.

The pair was accused of having an illicit sexual relationship, a spokesman for the Kunduz governor said.

The woman was about 20 years old and the man was about 27, said Mohammed Ayuob, district governor of Amam Sahib, which is also in Kunduz province. The woman was engaged, and the man was married to another woman. The two had been held by the Taliban for about a week, Ayuob said.

Jihad Watch

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