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April 21, 2014

Andrew Silow-Carroll: Passoverkill? Suggestions to make next year's seders even more culturally sensitive

Sara Israelsen Hartley: Seeking the Divine: An ancient connection in a new context

Christine M. Flowers: Priest's execution in Syria should be call to action

Courtnie Erickson: How to help kids accept the poor decisions of others

Lizette Borreli: A Glass Of Milk A Day Keeps Knee Arthritis At Bay

Lizette Borreli: 5 Health Conditions Your Breath Knows Before You Do

The Kosher Gourmet by Betty Rosbottom Coconut Walnut Bars' golden brown morsels are a beautifully balanced delectable delight

April 18, 2014

Rabbi Yonason Goldson: Clarifying one of the greatest philosophical conundrums in theology

Caroline B. Glick: The disappearance of US will

Megan Wallgren: 10 things I've learned from my teenagers

Lizette Borreli: Green Tea Boosts Brain Power, May Help Treat Dementia

John Ericson: Trying hard to be 'positive' but never succeeding? Blame Your Brain

The Kosher Gourmet by Julie Rothman Almondy, flourless torta del re (Italian king's cake), has royal roots, is simple to make, . . . but devour it because it's simply delicious

April 14, 2014

Rabbi Dr Naftali Brawer: Passover frees us from the tyranny of time

Greg Crosby: Passing Over Religion

Eric Schulzke: First degree: How America really recovered from a murder epidemic

Georgia Lee: When love is not enough: Teaching your kids about the realities of adult relationships

Cameron Huddleston: Freebies for Your Lawn and Garden

Gordon Pape: How you can tell if your financial adviser is setting you up for potential ruin

Dana Dovey: Up to 500,000 people die each year from hepatitis C-related liver disease. New Treatment Has Over 90% Success Rate

Justin Caba: Eating Watermelon Can Help Control High Blood Pressure

The Kosher Gourmet by Joshua E. London and Lou Marmon Don't dare pass over these Pesach picks for Manischewitz!

April 11, 2014

Rabbi Hillel Goldberg: Silence is much more than golden

Caroline B. Glick: Forgetting freedom at Passover

Susan Swann: How to value a child for who he is, not just what he does

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Financial Tasks You Should Tackle Right Now

Sandra Block and Lisa Gerstner: How to Profit From Your Passion

Susan Scutti: A Simple Blood Test Might Soon Diagnose Cancer

Chris Weller: Have A Slow Metabolism? Let Science Speed It Up For You

The Kosher Gourmet by Diane Rossen Worthington Whitefish Terrine: A French take on gefilte fish

April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review August 6, 2010 / 26 Menachem-Av, 5770

No Shady Banking Buddy Left Behind

By Michelle Malkin




http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | First Lady Michelle Obama's latest overseas jaunt is getting all the headlines. But President Obama's money-grubbing junket to Chicago may cost taxpayers far more in the long run. With his Gaultier-clad wife sashaying around the Spanish seaside, the lonely fundraiser-in-chief returned to Illinois to take care of some birthday-week business. Job One: Filling the Senate campaign coffers of his corruption-tainted political protege Alexi Giannoulias.

Mission accomplished. Obama's Thursday afternoon campaign event for Giannoulias, the beleaguered state treasurer of Illinois, reportedly raked in $1 million. Lagging behind his GOP opponent, liberal Republican Rep. Mark Kirk, Giannoulias has coveted one-on-one, grip-and-grin time with Obama for months. In addition to the cash, photo-ops and video of the Obama fundraising event that Giannoulias will milk from now until Election Day, the White House has dispatched Vice President Joe Biden, White House senior adviser David Axelrod and White House campaign management guru David Plouffe to boost Giannoulias' bid. Plouffe proclaimed Democrats "all in" for Giannoulias, whom he described as "a great progressive champion."

Obama gave his own personal seal of ethical approval, telling deep-pocketed donors this week: "I appreciate his strong sense of advocacy for ordinary Americans. You can trust him — you can count on him." Uh-huh. And I've got a bridge to Hope and Change to sell you.

What would Giannoulias know about "ordinary Americans"? Giannoulias, 34, befriended Obama during pickup basketball games with an elite group that also included Michelle Obama's brother, Craig; Chicago edu-crat Arne Duncan (now Education Secretary); and hedge fund manager John Rogers (the ex-husband of the Obamas' ex-White House social secretary, Desiree Rogers). He spread his wealth and influence around early and often to support Obama's fledgling political career. He pitched in $7,000 in 2003-2004 to Obama's Illinois State Senate bids. He hosted fundraisers for Obama's U.S. Senate campaign in 2004 and for his presidential campaign in 2007.

Where'd the cash come from? Giannoulias' Greek immigrant family founded Chicago-based Broadway Bank, a now-defunct financial institution that loaned tens of millions of dollars to convicted mafia felons and faced bankruptcy after decades of engaging in risky, high-flying behavior. It's the place where Obama parked his 2004 U.S. Senate campaign funds. And it's the same place where a mutual friend of Obama and Giannoulias — convicted Obama fundraiser/slum lord Tony Rezko — used to bounce nearly $500,000 in bad checks written to Las Vegas casinos. This week, the Chicago Sun-Times revealed an additional $22.75 million Broadway Bank loan to a Rezko-owned business in 2006. Giannoulias held an ownership stake in the bank at the time.

Giannoulias served as Broadway Bank vice president and senior loan officer for four years. According to the Chicago Tribune, during Giannoulias' tenure, some $27 million of Broadway Bank's funny money went to mob crooks Michael "Jaws" Giorango and Demitri Stavropoulos. Giorango is a hustler who fronted a nationwide prostitution ring and was sentenced to six months in prison; Stavropoulos is behind bars for operating a multistate bookmaking ring. Giorango ran the $400-an-hour call girl operation out of high-rise luxury apartments in Chicago with the infamous "Gold Coast Madam," Rose Laws. Giorango and Stavropoulos used their Broadway Bank loans to start their own risky lending business for nontraditional borrowers unable to secure traditional bank financing.

Despite Giorango's criminal record exposed by the Tribune in 2004, Broadway Bank approved massive mortgages for him. Giannoulias' brother, Demetris, explained that as a "relationship bank," Broadway wouldn't just throw someone under the bus because of a "bad article." Instead, the bank went ahead and rubber-stamped a September 2005 loan for $3.4 million to buy a 32-unit Los Angeles apartment complex. The application falsely stated that the borrower, Giorango, had "not been convicted of a felony." Giannoulias oversaw the servicing of such shady loans totaling $11 million. Remember: He was no low-level staffer. He was, as he reminded supporters when he needed to deflect attention away from his youth, top management at Broadway Bank.

In January 2010, the bank entered a consent decree with federal and Illinois state regulators. It required Broadway Bank "to raise tens of millions in capital, stop paying dividends to the family without regulatory approval, and hire an outside party to evaluate the bank's senior management." The city's former inspector general blasted Giannoulias and his family for tapping $70 million worth of dividends in 2007 and 2008 as the real estate crash loomed. Broadway Bank was sitting on an estimated $250 million in bad loans. In late April, federal regulators shut it down. Cost to taxpayers: an estimated $390 million. Giannoulias refused to drop out of the race — and instead used the company failure to argue that it made him more qualified to serve in office: "I have a renewed vigor and a new perspective on just how horrible it is out there for so many people."

President Obama agrees: Abysmal failure should be rewarded with promotion. He's leaving no shady banking buddy behind.

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© 2009, Creators Syndicate

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