Archive for the ‘Crime’ Category

Petraeus Pillow Talk Plea

March 3, 2015

Petraeus Pillow Talk Plea

David Petraeus, who resigned as CIA director after 2012 revelations that he’d shared classified information with Paula Broadwell, his mistress and biographer, will plead guilty to a single count of unauthorized use of classified material, and faces up to a year in jail. Perhaps General P. can continue to advise the White House on Middle East policy from prison, since that’s a pretty secure location.

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A Year and a Day in Prison for Maureen McDonnell

February 21, 2015

A Year and a Day in Prison for Maureen McDonnell

Maureen McDonnell, former NFL cheerleader and estranged wife of disgraced former Virginia governor Bob McDonnell, has been sentenced to one year and one day in federal prison for her conviction on 8 felony counts of corruption. The former First Lady of the Old Dominion accepted lavish gifts from nutritional supplement manufacturer Jonnie Williams and helped him shill his snake oil, even staging a promotional event at the state’s Executive Mansion.

Mr. McDonnell, the first Virginia governor convicted of committing a felony while in office, has been sentenced to 2 years in prison and 2 years of federally supervised release for convictions on 11 counts of political corruption. Mr. &  Mrs. McD are both on the loose while appealing their convictions, and the ex-Governor is bunking with his parish priest.

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Bob McDonnell Gets 2 Years in the Big House

January 6, 2015

Bob McDonnell Gets 2 Years in the Big House

Disgraced former Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell, convicted of 11 counts of political corruption, was sentenced to 2 years in prison and 2 years of federally supervised release today. Prior to his arrest, many Republicans had proposed Mr. McDonnell for federal office, not a federal prison cell. In December the U.S. probation office had recommended at least 10 years in prison, and Pat Robertson’s charity had tried to wangle a no-prison-time community service deal.

Mr. McDonnell will enter the pokey on February 9th. His estranged wife, former NFL Cheerleader Maureen McDonnell, who was ultimately convicted on 8 federal counts, will be sentenced on January 20th. In another big Republican crime story today, Rep. John Boehner was sentenced to 2 years as House Majority Leader.

Related:

“Unforgivable: The Governor and the Teen-ager,” Evan Osnos, The New Yorker

Updates:

“Court: Ex-Virginia Gov. McDonnell will be free during appeal,”  Michael Felberbaum, Associated Press

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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.

Update:

“Pat Robertson’s Charity Tries To Make A Deal For Bob McDonnell’s Freedom,” Larry O’Dell, AP via Talking Points Memo

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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.

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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Image (“Old Glory”) 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 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

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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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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