1. The Hollywood reference seems kind of weak, considering it was a major plot point of The Godfather. That wasn’t a cheese manufacturer who ended up with half a horse in his bed.

  2. Anything with cash makes sense, like jukeboxes, vending machines, arcades, etc. It’s an easy way to launder money.

    I’m a little surprised by the gay bars, though. Yeah, it also makes sense, because bars would be cash only, particularly back then, but I just wouldn’t have thought of it.

    • Protection money was a huge revenue stream for mobsters. Protection from corrupt cops was a competitive advantage for some mobs because then they could outsource enforcement.

      When it came to African American neighborhoods the Mafia and older ethnic mob outfits like Irish gangs often struggled. White cops generally steered clear of those areas, and they didn’t have much sway with the few Black cops assigned to segregated areas. Which was one of the things that led to a lot of revenue for African American organized crime.

      But cops had no issues with going to places like Greenwich Village to collect.

    • One of the things that drove the Stonewall riots was that the owners were paying off the Mob, who were paying off the cops, but something went wrong and the previously un-raided Stonewall Inn got raided, and the patrons fought back. Mob-controlled gay bars have (or had, I guess) been a thing for decades. I used to go to one, [REDACTED], whose owner was found dead under extremely mysterious circumstances back in the early 90s. The police declined to investigate.

      You have to remember though: a few gay people congregating used to be on par with illicit gambling or prostitution, so there were payoffs galore. As recently as 1994 Bill Clinton signed the Defense of Marriage Act (this caused great merriment among my gay friends and I) and in 2008 Presidential candidate Hillary Clinton proclaimed that she believed a marriage should be between one man and one woman. Shrieks of delight from my gay friends and I, who all went on to vote for Barack Obama (who pretty much said the same thing, but he didn’t have a history of rape and sexual abuse, and if he so much as looked the wrong way at a woman I’m sure Michelle would have had something to say.)

  3. Oh my God, I wish I could pull a Congressional-type insider trading scheme. I just overheard Better Half on the phone with…I’m not even going to think about it. I wonder if I passed along a tip to Nancy “The Wolf of Wall Street” Pelosi or whoever’s handling Dianne Feinstein at this point we’d get immunity from prosecution. Probably not. The two of them are on their way out. I wish I knew the Republicans better.

    Oh well, we will continue living our ethical, law-abiding ways, financially disadvantageous as it might be.

    • Paul Pelosi has always struck me as a guy who is two or three steps ahead of the inside traders, who are the ones who get caught. There’s an art to reading the tea leaves to tell when a company is going to start faking its financials before they even do it.

      Which is not to say he doesn’t benefit from intel a lot of people don’t have, but by the time the hot tip comes about an SEC investigation comes in, he doesn’t need it. He’s pieced it together from which CEO is taking a long sailing vacation with poor internet connectivity that gives him plausible deniability about being in the loop, and which law firm his company has just hired.

      • There’s also the fact that the nation’s great-aunt Nan was the one who decided what investigations to bring to the House floor, and how the deliberations were going to go. I could be married to Jeff Bezos or Mark Zuckerberg or Elon Musk (yuch, on all three counts) but I wouldn’t know if a House investigations committee was going to look into their companies. And whether it would proceed. And how the (pre-determined) findings would be played out in the compliant press. There is such a thing as “going long” and short selling. Nan and Paul seemed to be very good at this. And this on top of the fact that Paul seems to enjoy driving around his Wine Country vineyard area smashed and having run-ins with intruders at his palatial estate that seems to have less security than my own humble condominium does.

        • I think it is awful the other way too, in that policy choices get made all over different levels of government in order to protect investments that people own. It may well be stock someone bought legitimately and owned for a decade before they were in office and hold for a decade after they were out, it’s still an influence.

          The answer is basically blind trust requirements and forcing investments into broad mutual funds instead of specific stocks or properties. It’s absolutely crazy that judges and legislators can invest the way they do.

  4. Hailing from Montreal, I’m not surprised by any of this (see Saputo cheese co.). On top of the nightlife/restaurant scenes (not just the gay ones) the mafia also run the performance venues/stadiums and ticketing/scalping for it. Also not mentioned is real estate and construction.

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