March 23, 2010

The real vulture that is Eric Massa

Filed under: Uncategorized — Greg in cheeseland @ 7:29 pm

Rep. Eric Massa’s resignation created a week-long media buzz earlier this month amid allegations of a homosexual harassment scandal. ABC news asked on their web site, “should we be digging deeper?” Yes, you should, U.S. corporate media.

Instead of covering tabloid-like sex scandals 24/7, or trying to frame Massa’s resignation in the context of the health care reform debate, perhaps a real look at Massa’s ulterior motives for resigning are in order.

Today, investigative reporter Greg Palast published an article that does just that. Palast, however, like a real journalist, digs beyond the bovine excrement and superficial sound bytes that make up today’s television news, or the newspapers that are most useful for catching your pet’s droppings:

At first, [Massa] said he was quitting Congress because he has cancer. Then he said he resigned because a buck-naked Rahm Emanuel bullied him in the Congressional shower-room and then threatened him over his health care vote. (Foxhole wing-nut Glenn Beck fell for that canard.) Then Massa said he resigned because of an aide’s accusation that the Congressman tickled the aide in an “inappropriate” manner. (The mainstream press swallowed that one whole.)

The public persona of Eric Massa portrayed by the corporate media drew of a picture of a liberal progressive, but his private persona (aside from the tickling and snorkeling) paints a picture of yet another politician bought and sold by corporate interests, whose past finally caught him by the tail.

A “vulture fund” is a fund or investment company that purchases debt claims as a secondary lender. This means that vulture funds are not primary lenders, but rather are entities that have purchased the debt from some other source, such as a bank. Generally, these funds purchase debt involving highly distressed countries, such as Liberia or Argentina.

In the mid-1990s, Paul Singer invented vulture funds. Companies that practice this sort of predatory capitalism buy debts racked up years ago by the poorest countries on earth, almost always when they were run by kleptocratic dictators backed by the CIA, before most of the current population was born. They buy it for small sums, as little as 10 percent of its paper value, from the original holder.

The sellers of these debts usually are more than willing to rid themselves of these debts because many of these debts may soon come into default or face restructuring negotiations. Since the vulture funds purchase this debt as it is about to be written off, banks will write off loans as a loss if they believe that the borrower will no longer be able to repay the loans.

But back to former Rep. Eric Massa – how does he fit into all of this? Progressives and liberals like to claim that Republicans in congress are for sale. That may be true, but it may also be true that Democrats like Eric Massa are for rent, and when their leases expire they move on to another venue.

According to Palast:

The vultures had been looking for some morally challenged congressperson to front a bill to help them crank billions from the budgets of Third World nations. The law that could make demi-billionaire Singer a billionaire is called, “The Judgment Evading Foreign States Accountability Act” (H.R. 2493). In effect, the bill says that if Argentina (and other Third World nations) don’t pay Mr. Singer and his vulture buddies the billions they demand, then the US government will act as Singer’s enforcement arm, hanging out Argentina to dry, cutting off trade between our countries.

Palast also claims that two sources said, “Secretary of State Hillary Clinton was not amused at Massa’s weirdo attack on the financial lifeblood of US allies, nor does the White House favor a law which would provoke seizures of US assets abroad.”

It is unclear why Rep. Massa resigned, but if it was because he is a homosexual and tickled a staffer, or because he did not like the health care bill – then no problem.

Senator David Vitter (R-LA), known as “Vitter The __itter,” was caught getting diapered by the Washington Madame, and still remains in the Senate voting against what he calls Obama’s “immoral” program. And in case conservatives and Republicans think this is soley a democratic scandal, you may want to know that Rudy Giuliani’s campaign was primarily funded by money from organizations involved in these same vulture funds.

If Massa resigned, however, because of his connections with the players that work vulture funds and because that contradicts his TV image as a progressive. Or because the executive branch put some heat behind his tail due to his hypocrisy, then it makes more sense.

Read more here:
P.S. – Even though I’m in Orlando, I’m still a cheesehead!

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