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We know that various lipstick metaphors are the most important issues in the 2008 presidential election following eight years of George W. Bush, but we feel we should mention something about this newHIT PIECE from the liberal Nation magazine. In the above picture, John McCain and his campaign manager Rick Davis are boarding a fancy boat to celebrate McCain's 70th birthday, 423 years ago. Ha ha, look at freakin' Walnuts trying to shimmy up that ramp. Anyway, who is that greasy Montenegrin convicted con artist playboy, the one who owned the boat?


The Nation describes this Rafaello Follieri as an "A List" con man, and who knows Balkan con man stratification charts better than the Nation? Yesterday, this dude pleaded guilty in a Manhattan district court to many counts of wire fraud, money laundering, and other rich mobster crimes. His "big thing" was posing as Vatican chief financial officer "in order to win friends and investments."

Now you'd think that an international businessman or politician trying to curry favor with the Vatican would at least check out the "Contact Us" tab on the Pope's website to confirm the identity of its chief financial officer -- you know, just in case the guy you're scheduled to go "yachting" with isn't really some slimy Montenegrin crook who'll trick you into investing into his dummy corporation and then promptly wire that money into his personal bank account.

But as we know, Rick Davis and John McCain don't much like to "vet," and obviously they fell for this guy:

It must not have seemed that way to Follieri. According to the Italian newspaper Il Sole 24 Ore, in January 2007 Follieri sent Rick Davis a packet of information on his companies Follieri Capital and Follieri Media, apparently hoping to get financing from Pegasus Capital Advisors, a hedge fund in Connecticut that Davis represented. "Follieri's proposal to Davis had two dimensions to it--first, as an investment opportunity for Davis's fund; but secondly, there was the political dimension, in which Follieri offered to help deliver Catholic votes to McCain," said Claudio Gatti, a reporter for Il Sole 24 Ore, who investigated Follieri for eighteen months.

This is easily the best explanation of how The Godfather: Part III ended that we've ever seen.

Oh and lest we forget: since this guy was a generic shady foreign playboy with money in the last five years, Bill Clinton obviously did business with him too.

The McCain-Follieri Love Boat [Nation]

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