Posts Tagged ‘bribery’

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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McDonnell Trial: All In The Family

August 11, 2014

McDonnell Trial: All In The Family

Before he was Virginia’s Governor or Attorney General, Robert Francis McDonnell wrote a Masters Thesis at CBN (Christian Broadcasting Network) University, now called Regent University. The thesis: “The Republican Party’s Vision for the Family: The Compelling Issue of The Decade” (1989). It’s in the Regent U Library, but the Washington Post posted it online during the 2009 Virginia gubernatorial campaign.

On page 65 of the thesis (page 71 of the PDF) Mr. McConnell lists the “real enemies of the traditional family” as “materialism, irresponsibility, feminism, lust, and ultimately selfishness….” Well, the McDonnell corruption trial hasn’t involved feminism so far, anyway. On the other hand, the author of that thesis did acknowledge that his wife Maureen provided “expert clerical support” for the 94-page document ….

More:

“Focus on the Family,” Daliah Lithwick, Slate

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Image (“McDonnell Defense, In One Bumper Sticker”) 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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McDonnell Trial: The Soap Opera Defense

August 1, 2014

McDonnell Trial: The Soap Opera Defense

The former NFL cheerleader had feelings for the shady millionaire snake-oil salesman, who gave her gifts, favors, and cash in order to influence her husband, the state’s Governor. That’s the Exculpatory Soap Opera Theory introduced by the defense in the corruption trial of former Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell and his wife Maureen, and they’re sticking to it.

Political tragedy? Please. More like campy, middle-age melodrama.

More:

“Ex-First Couple’s Defense in Virginia: The State of Their Union,” Trip Gabriel, New York Times

“McDonnells pin acquittal hopes on bad marriage in Virginia trial,” Michael Muskal, Los Angeles Times

“Testimony seems to back up ‘bimbo defense’ in McDonnell corruption trial,” Mark Holmberg, WTVR-TV News

“Trial of Virginia Ex-Governor and His Wife Is an Amazing Soap Opera,” Erin Gloria Ryan, Jezebel

“Star witness in Bob McDonnell corruption trial refutes ‘crush’ defense,” David Sherfinski, Washington Times

Related:

“10 gifts U.S. wants ex-Va. governor, wife to forfeit,” USA Today

“Virginia’s First Lady-elect Maureen McDonnell was a Former Redskins Cheerleader,” UltimateCheerleaders.com

“Of Course! Disgraced Gov. McDonnell Is Now Teaching At Liberty U,” karoli, Crooks & Liars

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Shortlink:  http://wp.me/p6sb6-jFH

Image (Midday Melancholy, after Constance Charpentier) 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.

Walmart Introduces Foreign Aid Program

April 25, 2012

Walmart Introduces Foreign Aid Program

Stung by bad publicity because of its Chinese sweatshops, Wal-Mart Stores Inc. decided to institute its own foreign aid program, beginning south of the border with its Wal-Mart de Mexico branch. The corporation generously donated $24 million to our southern neighbor. Unfortunately, the financial assistance consisted of illegal bribes to obtain construction permits for its stores across the country, which currently number 2,099.

Who says? Sergio Cicero Zapata, the lawyer who was in charge of making Wal-Mart’s bribes. These payments aren’t just against Mexican law; they’re illegal in the USA under the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, the law prohibiting bribes to officials of other countries.

How did Wal-Mart react when an internal investigation found this pattern of corruption? With a cover-up.

More:

“8 Revelations From Walmart’s Mexican Bribery Scandal,” Andrew Carter and Matthew DeLuca, Daily Beast

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Short Link: http://wp.me/p6sb6-d3O

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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Berlusconi Jailbreak!

February 25, 2012

Berlusconi Jailbreak!

The bribery case against former Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi was dismissed today in a Milan court. Mr. Berlusconi, a billionaire, stayed out of jail the same way Mafia chiefs do, by running out the clock. Unlike every other European country, Italy keeps the statutory limitation clock running during trials, so rich defendants just stall the proceedings, drawing their trials out until they reach the limit and the cases are thrown out of court.

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John Ensign Ethics Report: Hot Off the Press

May 13, 2011

John Ensign Ethics Report: Hot Off the Press

Adulterous Nevada Republican John Ensign resigned his U.S. Senate seat before the Senate Ethics Committee issued a report that would have led to his expulsion. The last time the U.S. Senate expelled a member: 1862.

The Ensign ethics report is out, so add it to your summer reading list. Some may think it’s not a romance novel, but Mr. Ensign’s web of deceit involved a long-term affair with His Neighbor’s Wife (an employee and spouse of an employee), which he covered up with hush money drawn from campaign funds.

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Say It Ain’t So, Sumo

February 6, 2011

Say It Ain't So, Sumo

This week’s big story in sports is the sumo wrestling scandal. It’s heavy: sumo wrestlers weigh in at over 300 pounds. The scandal: athletes have been fixing matches for Yakuza gangsters in return for cash payoffs. The repercussions: the grand tournament of Japan’s national sport has been cancelled for the first time since World War II.

Some sumo wrestlers have fixed matches by texting on their cell phones. The fingers of these huge pro athletes are so fat that some use iPads as cell phones.

In other sports news, three Pakistani cricket players have been banned from world play for cheating, and there is some kind of indoor football match in Texas.

Bonus: The Sumo Success Diet.

Secrets of the sumo wrestler’s diet,” Monami Yui, CNN City Pulse

It’s really not much of a secret. Eat lots of this with big hunks of meat.

Want to know how you’d look as a sumo wrestler? There’s an app for that.

 

Image (“Say It Ain’t So, Sumo, after Utagawa Kuniyoshi”) 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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U.S. Funds Afghan Warlords

June 22, 2010

U.S. Funds Afghan Warlords
A new Congressional report outlines U.S. protection payoffs to Afghan warlords. Warlord, Inc.: Extortion and Corruption Along the U.S. Supply Chain in Afghanistan was just issued by the House Subcommittee on National Security and Foreign Affairs, chaired by Rep. John Tierney (D, MA-6). The subcommittee will hold hearings on the topic today.

Truck convoys supply Forward Operating Bases throughout Afghanistan under DOD’s $2 billion Host Nation Trucking (HNT) program, and the contractors are responsible for providing their own security. They end up “hiring” the warlords and insurgents who would be prone to attacking them.

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