Archive for the ‘Crime’ Category

Racist Mass Murder in Buffalo

May 17, 2022

Racist Mass Murder in Buffalo

A teenaged white supremicist has murdered 10 people in a supermarket in Buffalo, NY. He was able to legally purchase an assault-style firearm despite earlier threats to commit such acts. There have been 202 mass shootings in the United States so far this year. And it’s only May.

More:

“The victims: What we know about those killed, injured in Tops shooting,” Buffalo News

“The Buffalo Shooter Isn’t a ‘Lone Wolf.’ He’s a Mainstream Republican,” Talia Lavin, Rolling Stone

“Scrutiny of Republicans who embrace ‘great replacement theory’ after Buffalo massacre,” Richard Luscombe, The Guardian

“White Power, White Violence,” Kathleen Belew, The Atlantic

“Conservative media is familiar with Buffalo suspect’s alleged ‘theory,’” Paul Farhi, Washington Post

“‘No Way To Prevent This,’ Says Only Nation Where This Regularly Happens,” The Onion

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Federal Grand Jury Looks at Trump Document Tampering

May 13, 2022

Federal Grand Jury Looks at Trump Document Tampering

In January 2021, when he left the White House, Donald J. Trump sent 15 boxes of presidential documents to Mar-a-Lago instead of the National Archives, as required by law. Many of the docs were marked “Classified” and “Top Secret.” The Archives asked the Department of Justice to investigate the violation. On Thursday, the New York Times reported that a federal grand jury was convened to look into the matter:

“Federal prosecutors have begun a grand jury investigation into whether classified White House documents that ended up at former President Donald J. Trump’s Florida home were mishandled, according to two people briefed on the matter. The intensifying inquiry suggests that the Justice Department is examining the role of Mr. Trump and other officials in his White House in their handling of sensitive materials during the final stages of his administration.”

— “Prosecutors Pursue Inquiry Into Trump’s Handling of Classified Material,” Maggie Haberman and Michael S. Schmidt, New York Times

Another grand jury in Atlanta is investigating Mr. Trump’s efforts to interfere in the 2020 presidential election there.

More:

“Grand jury used in probe of classified documents taken to Mar-a-Lago,” Matt Zapotosky, Jacqueline Alemany, and Josh Dawsey, Washington Post

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Ivanka Invited to House Committee Meeting

January 20, 2022

Ivanka Invited to House Committee Meeting
The U.S. House Select Committee to Investigate the January 6th Attack on the United States Capitol requests the pleasure of the company of Ms. Ivanka Trump at a morning meetup. Attire: Business Fabulous.

The barely bipartisan House Select Committee investigating the Capitol insurrection has invited Ivanka Trump, former Senior Advisor to the former President, for a chat about her senior-advising of her daddy on January 6th, 2021.

The committee has already heard testimony from Keith Kellogg, a Pence adviser who was in the White House with Donald Trump during the riot, that the former President phoned Pence on the morning of January 6 and attempted to coerce him to overturn the election. Kellogg said Ivanka heard the call, too. The panel wants Ivanka Trump’s account of this conversation and any others she witnessed in which her father discussed obstructing or impeding the election certification process. The committee has lots of emails and phone data; perhaps Ms. Trump was on some of those exchanges, too.

Ms. Trump, married to slim slumlord Jared Kushner, has extensive private sector experience as a  sweatshop shmata merchant, book marketermultimillionaire wifenanny-hiring motherretail brand, and former runway model. As an hôtelièr, she earned millions by renting out rooms in a publicly-owned building her dad’s company leases in Washington.

More:

“Ivanka Trump asked to interview in Capitol riot inquiry,” Chris Marquette, Roll Call

“January 6 committee asks Ivanka Trump to talk with them,” Annie Grayer and Jeremy Herb, CNN

“Ivanka Trump asked to cooperate with Capitol attack committee,” Hugo Lowell, The Guardian

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Top image (Ivanka’s book-like object) by Mike Licht. Download a copy here. Creative Commons license; credit Mike Licht, NotionsCapital.com

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Gaetz Ex-Girlfriend Talks to Federal Grand Jury

January 12, 2022

Gaetz Ex-Girlfriend Talks to Federal Grand Jury

The ex-girlfiend of Florida Man and well-known congressional sleazebag Matt Gaetz (R, FL-1) testified to a federal grand jury investigating him on underage sex-trafficking and other charges. The young woman has been in talks for months with prosecutors about an immunity deal, NBC reports, hoping to avoid prosecution for obstruction of justice in return for testifying as to whether Gaetz paid a 17-year-old female for sex and violated a federal law prohibiting people for paying for prostitutes overseas. This testimony is seen as a sign that the grand jury is moving closer to indicting Trump idolator Gaetz.

More:

“Matt Gaetz’s ex-girlfriend testifies to grand jury in sex trafficking probe,” Marc Caputo, NBC News

Update:

“Matt Gaetz’s ex-girlfriend granted immunity before testifying in sex trafficking probe,” Michael Kaplan, CBS News

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Image (based on Gaetz podcast logo) by Mike Licht. Download a copy here. Creative Commons license; credit Mike Licht, NotionsCapital.com

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January 6th

January 5, 2022

January 6th
America’a red-hatted MAGAheads will be celebrating January 6th, but not as the Feast of the Epiphany (which features swarthy, undocumented Magi immigrants) or as a national day of prayer and mourning for the near-death of American democracy last year. The right-wing paranoid and election-denying alt-right, GOP coup plotters, Proud Boys, QAnon, Boogaloo Bois, Oath Keepers, Trump loyalists, white nationalists and Infowars fanatics and their ilk will commemorate their deadly attack on the U.S. Capitol last year, when they attempted to overturn the presidential election, as directed by the election’s clear loser.

The Capitol Police seem more prepared for a lunatic onslaught this January 6th, so there may be decentralized right-wing assaults on other federal, state, and local government buildings and officials. There will certainly be plenty of right-wing attacks on the truth.

More:

“A Roundup of January 6 Anniversary Commemorations in DC,” Damare Baker, Washingtonian

“Right-wing and liberal vigils planned in D.C. on anniversary of Capitol riot,” Ellie Silverman, Washington Post

“At time of Capitol prayer service Jan. 6, Trump will deliver remarks doubling down on the ‘Big Lie,’” David Siders, Politico

“Bannon, Trump to counterprogram Dems for Jan. 6 anniversary,” Jonathan Swan, Axios

Updates:

“Ingraham, Graham talked Trump out of Jan. 6 press conference,” Axios

“Trump cancels Jan. 6 news conference at Mar-a-Lago, blames news media and House committee investigating attack on Capitol,” Felicia Sonmez and Josh Dawsey, Washington Post

Related:

“Every Day Is Jan. 6 Now,” New York Times editorial

“A year after Jan. 6 attack, Capitol Hill neighborhood still feels the effects.” Joe Heim, Washington Post

“A look back at Americans’ reactions to the Jan. 6 riot at the U.S. Capitol,” John Gramlich, Pew Research Center

“We’ve reached the ‘Yeah, it was pretty much an attempted coup, so what?’ stage of the Jan. 6 probe,” Aaron Blake, Washington Post

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

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Arsonist Torches Fox Fake Christmas Tree

December 13, 2021

A homeless man with a Bic lighter set the Fox News Christmas tree on fire last week. Fox is the HQ of fake news, so of course it was a fake tree. The 50-foot-tall tree-shaped object was really a graduated series of metal hoops festooned with green fringe, glass ornaments, and lights. God takes decades to make a 50-foot tree, but Fox put theirs together in 21 hours. Fox faked up a second “tree” 24 hours after the incineration.

Update:

Comedy Central claims Fox News covered the tree torching as “Pine-Eleven.”

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Music: “Christmas Tree On Fire,” written and recorded by Tom Heinl, 2003.

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13 Trump Officals Violated the Hatch Act in 2020

November 10, 2021

13 Trump Aides Violated the Hatch Act in 2020

The federal Office of Special Counsel has found that 13 high-level Trump Administration officals illegally used their government positions for political activities, campaigning for Donald Trump in the 2020 election. In addition to frequent offender Kellyanne Conway (previously caught in 2018 and 2019), the high-level officials include Trump’s secretary of state, Mike Pompeo, his acting homeland security chief Chad Wolf, his Secretary of Energy Dan Brouillette, Secretary of Everything Jared Kushner, national security adviser Robert O’Brien, White House chief of staff Mark Meadows, White House adviser Stephen Miller, White House deputy press secretary Brian Morgenstern, Mike Pence’s chief of staff Marc Short, White House communications director Alyssa Farah, and US Ambassador to Israel David Friedman.

The Hatch Act is designed to prevent government officials from using their offices for political purposes, but as the OSC report observes, “the Hatch Act is only as effective as the White House decides it will be. Where, as happened here, the White House chooses to ignore the Hatch Act’s requirements, then the American public is left with no protection against senior administration officials using their official authority for partisan political gain in violation of the law.”

Read the full OSC report here.

More:

“Probe finds Trump officials repeatedly violated Hatch Act,” Jill Colvin, Associated Press

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The Sins of Hobby Lobby

September 29, 2021

The Sins of Hobby Lobby

The 5,000 year old Gilgamesh Dream Tablet, an ancient clay artifact looted from Iraq and owned by Steve Green, the evangelical entrepreneur who heads Hobby Lobby craft stores and the so-called Museum of the Bible, has been returned to the Baghdad museum it was stolen from.

Uber-evangelical Mr. Green runs a $5 billion, 932-store retail chain which claims to be “Honoring the Lord in all we do by operating the company in a manner consistent with Biblical principles.” He was caught buying 11,500 looted artifacts (“Thou Shalt Not Steal”), and smuggling them into the country with forged invoices (“Thou Shalt not Bear False Witness”) because he really, really wanted them for his Museum of the Bible (“Thou Shalt Not Covet”). Money paid for many of Iraq’s looted antiquities was used to fund terrorism (“Thou Shalt Not Kill”).

Hobby Lobby closes on Sundays, so that sabbath-observing thing is covered, anyway.

(more…)

Felony Failure to Return VHS Rental Tape

April 28, 2021

Felony Failure to Return VHS Rental Tape

“It was an honest mistake from a bygone era, but neglecting to return a Sabrina the Teenage Witch VHS tape rented 22 years ago earned an Oklahoma woman a criminal record for felony embezzlement.

Caron McBride, 52, discovered the charges earlier this month after she got married and applied for a driver’s license under her new last name in Texas.

She was told to call the Cleveland county district attorney’s office in Oklahoma, which told her there was a warrant for her arrest for failing to return the video of the children’s show that records indicate she rented in 1999.

‘I have never watched that show in my entire life, just not my cup of tea,’ McBride told Fox25. ‘Meanwhile, I’m a wanted felon for a VHS tape.’”

— “Unreturned Sabrina the Teenage Witch VHS leads to US woman’s arrest warrant,” Richard Luscombe, The Guardian

More: 

“Overdue VHS Tape From 1999 Leads to Warrant for Embezzlement,” Neil Vigdor, New York Times

“She never returned a VHS copy of ‘Sabrina the Teenage Witch,’ DA’s office said. 20 years later, she faced a felony.” Jaclyn Peiser, Washington Post

“Overdue Sabrina the Teenage Witch VHS Rental Leads to Felony Charge 21 Years Later,” Brian Cronin, CBR

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Image by Mike Licht (who knows the shop in question wasn’t a Blockbuster). Download a copy here. Creative Commons license; credit Mike Licht, NotionsCapital.com

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Dr. Trump’s Last Prescription: Pardon Florida Healthcare Fraudsters

January 22, 2021

Dr. Trump's Last Prescriptions: Pardon Florida Healthcare Fraudsters

On January 20th, before fleeing to Palm Beach (where his neighbors don’t want him) lame duck grifter Donald Trump granted clemency to fellow Floridians convicted of engaging in the Sunshine State’s flourishing industry, Medicare and Medicaid fraud:

Philip Esformes, a nursing home system operator convicted of a $1.3 Billion Medicare fraud, largest in the the nation’s history, won comutation of his 20-year prison sentence.

South Florida eye doctor Salomon Melgen was serving a 17-year sentence for a $73 million Medicare fraud conviction, was pardoned by Mr. Trump, a Florida neighbor.

Also pardoned: Todd Farha, Thaddeus Bereday, William Kale, Paul Behrens, and Peter Clay, former executives of Florida’s WellCare Health Plans, were convicted of defrauding the state’s Medicaid program of over $35 million.

This should make him welcome in his new retirement home, a state represented by a Republican senator once involved in a $1.7 billion Medicare fraud.

More:

“The doctors Trump pardoned for defrauding the government,” Anjalee Khemlani, Yahoo Finance

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