Archive for the ‘Crime’ Category

Bob McDonnell Looking at 10 Years in Prison

December 15, 2014

Bob McDonnell Looking at 10 Years in Prison
Disgraced former Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell, convicted of 11 counts of political corruption, is due to be sentenced on January 6th. Based on Federal Sentencing Guidelines, the U.S. probation office is recommending at least 10 years in prison. His estranged wife, former NFL Cheerleader Maureen McDonnell was ultimately convicted on 8 counts, and will be sentenced on January 20th.

Prior to his arrest, many Republicans had proposed Mr. McDonnell for federal office, but he’ll be getting a federal prison cell instead. On the bright side, maybe he’ll get to play bridge with Bernie Madoff.

Ten years is a pretty long stretch, but it could have been worse for Bob McDonnell. He could have been caught selling loose cigarettes on the sidewalk. That’s punishable by death.

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Since Newtown

December 14, 2014

Since Newtown

It has been 2 years since the gunshot killings of 20 young school children and seven adults in Newtown Connecticut. It the that time there have been almost 100 more school shootings, about one a week. We don’t know how many gun deaths and injuries have occurred since the gun lobby had Congress forbid the CDC from compiling that public health data, and crowd sourcing can’t keep up with the numbers. Nothing has changed; another Newtown could happen any day.

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McDonnell Trial Soap Opera Continues

August 28, 2014

McDonnell Trial Soap Opera Continues

“The more that he describes his wife as crazy, then it begs the question of well, if your wife was crazy, why didn’t you stop her?” — Andrew Cowan, former federal prosecutor.

“But the fact is, is the juror thinking this guy is a cad, or been-there-done-that, ‘I have a wife just like that, I come home and this is all I hear?'” —  Attorney Barbara Van Gelder.

Quoted in:

“McDonnell’s ‘Crazy Wife’ Defense Is Totally Unprecedented,” Catherine Thompson , Talking Points Memo

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Bob McDonnell: Cad or Rotter?

August 25, 2014

Bob McDonnell: Cad or Rotter?

Former Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell testified on his own behalf last week in his corruption and bribery trial. The devoted husband and father of five of the 2009 gubernatorial campaign explained that all the unfortunate events in question could be blamed on his screaming lunatic harridan of a wife, Maureen McDonnell.

There’s no real political downside for Mr. McDonnell, who already lost any chance of getting women’s votes when he backed a vaginal probe clause in a proposed Virginia bill. On the other hand, what Real American Guy wouldn’t want to drive a Ferrari and own a Rolex and doesn’t blame stuff on his wife?

Right before the trial, Mr. McDonnell moved out of the house he shared with his wife of 38 years. He’s been living with his priest at the rectory of St. Patrick’s Church in Richmond. He’s probably thinking that, if the couple are convicted, he can claim sanctuary and Maureen can plead insanity.

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Who Watches the Watchers? Thieves.

August 22, 2014

Who Watches the Watchers? Thieves.

“The high-security building housing Interpol’s South Africa office has been burgled for the fifth time in three weeks.”

— “South Africa: Interpol building raided five times,” BBC News

The International Criminal Police Organization, (INTERPOL) is an intergovernmental organization with 190 member countries facilitating international police cooperation.

 “Our high-tech infrastructure of technical and operational support helps meet the growing challenges of fighting crime in the 21st century.”

— INTERPOL website

 The Pretoria office certainly inspires confidence in that.

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Image by Mike Licht. Download a copy here. Creative Commons license; credit Mike Licht, NotionsCapital.com

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Virginia Snake Oil: Love Potion?

August 7, 2014

Virginia Snake Oil: Love Potion Number 9?

In the soap opera that is the public corruption trial of former Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell and his former NFL Cheerleader wife Maureen, the defense claims the couple’s relationship was bad, so the Gov didn’t know the Mrs. had a crush on “diet supplement” peddler Jonnie Williams and tried to trade government favors in return for his high-priced gifts. Today, however, the focus shifted to the patent nostrum sold by said Mr. Williams, a snake oil named Anatabloc.

The active ingredient in Anatabloc is Anatabine, an alkaloid derived from tobacco. Star Scientific, Mr. William’s company at the time, sold discount cigarettes and smokeless tobacco through a subsidiary, but sales weren’t too good, so … right. Anatabloc was said to “reduce inflammation and support a healthy metabolism” but was marketed as a “dietary supplement” to avoid those pesky clinical trials required of drugs. That didn’t keep the firm from claiming that the crap could mitigate Alzheimer’s disease, multiple sclerosis, thyroiditis and traumatic brain injuries. You know, like a drug. Finally, the FDA caught them at it and issued a stern letter. Heavens to Betsy.

So that’s what Virginia First Lady Maureen McDonnell was shilling in the Executive Mansion in 2011 on behalf of love interest Jonnie Williams.  Mr. Williams claims he viewed the gifts of luxury items and loans of his vacation resort home and Ferrari sports car to the Governor and his wife as part of a business relationship, but Mrs. McDonnell’s lawyer claims she was smitten with Mr. Williams.

Wait a minute. Is romantic attraction a result of taking Anatabloc? That’s worth billions.

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Pistol Packin’ Pork Lobbyist

July 24, 2014

Pistol Packin' Pork Lobbyist

Ronald Prestage, President-elect of the National Pork Producers Council, went to the Cannon House Office Building on Capitol Hill Wednesday morning because, you know, pork barrel politics. Mr. Prestage, a veterinarian who runs a 170,000-sow swine operation, was carrying a Ruger 9mm pistol. You never know when you’ll run across a fierce feral hog on The Hill, or a raging, veggie-wearin’ PETA protester. Unsympathetic Capitol Hill Police arrested him. House Republicans want everyone in DC to pack heat, just not around them.

When Dr. Prestage realized he had his gun in his bag, you can imagine how he felt. He’s a former Chairman of the National Turkey Federation.

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Germany: Wurst Crime Ever

July 20, 2014

Germany: Wurst Crime Ever

Germany’s anti-trust agency (Bundeskartellamt) has fined 21 sausage manufacturers and 33 individuals $460 million for illegal price-fixing over two decades.  Gott im Himmel!

The ring is alleged to have met in Hamburg’s luxurious Hotel Atlantic. Wonder what they ate?

Sausages are central to the German identity, second only to beer. In related German crime news, thieves in the city of Krefeld broke into a warehouse and stole 300,000 liters (80,000 gallons) of beer. Ten truckloads. Worth $3 million. Right before Germany’s big World Cup celebration party.

More:

“German sausage makers in meaty fine over price-fixing,” BBC News

“Bundeskartellamt imposes fines on sausage manufacturers,” press release

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Short link: http://wp.me/p6sb6-jA0

Image by Mike Licht. Download a copy here. Creative Commons license; credit Mike Licht, NotionsCapital.com

Comments are welcome if they are on-topic, substantive, concise, and not boring or obscene. Comments may be edited for clarity and length.

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Taiwan Busts Racing Pigeon Kidnapping Ring

July 14, 2014

Taiwan Busts Racing Pigeon Kidnapping Ring

“Five people have been arrested in northern Taiwan for allegedly kidnapping dozens of racing pigeons for ransom, police said Tuesday. The suspects were accused of setting traps along racing routes to capture the pigeons before demanding up to Tw$10,000 ($333) per bird from their owners in ransom money, the Taipei City police department said.”

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‘I Stole Your Bike’

February 19, 2014

I Stole Your Bike

Christian, Stephon and Joshua White followed a bike thief around and shot the documentary I Stole Your Bike. Here’s the trailer:

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