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Divernan's Journal
Divernan's Journal
September 28, 2014

"bit of legal trouble": convicted felon defrauded friends/family of $10 million.

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According to ABC News, Mezvinsky's downfall stemmed from an activity that has long been the subject of one of this site's most frequently-accessed articles, the ubiquitous Nigerian scam (also known as 419 fraud):
Despite being released in April 2008 after serving five years in prison, Mezvinsky remains on federal probation and still owes almost $9.4 million in restitution to his victims.

An ABC News investigation revealed that Mezvinsky, a former Democratic Congressman from Iowa, had been caught up in a series of Nigerian e-mail scams and began to steal from people to further his schemes.

"He was always looking for the home run. He was always trying to find the business deal that would make him as wealthy as all the people in his social circle," said federal prosecutor Bob Zauzmer. According to Zauzmer, Mezvinsky, who is now 72, will be on supervised release, the federal version of probation, until 2011.

Read more at http://www.snopes.com/politics/clintons/mezvinsky.asp#c670ll7ucVVw5rKs.99

Beginning in the early 1990s Mezvinsky fell prey to a wide variety of 419 scams. According to a federal prosecutor, Mezvinsky was conned by "just about every different kind of African-based scam we’ve ever seen."[10] In order to raise the funds needed to front the money for the fraudulent investment schemes he was being offered, Mezvinsky became, himself, a conman, tapping his network of contacts and dropping the name of the Clinton family to convince unwitting marks to give him money, “he would call and say, ‘I’m spending the weekend with the Clintons.’”

Read more: http://www.politico.com/magazine/story/2013/12/the-clinton-in-law-marjorie-margolies-100696_Page3.html#ixzz3Eackz3Hz


As to his former wife, Marjorie Margolies, who just lost a primary bid to run for Congress,
she is profiled in a Politico article by a writer for Philadelphia magazine, as follows:
The Clinton-in-Law
(Headline)Marjorie Margolies’s son married Chelsea Clinton. Is that enough to fuel her political comeback?

December 04, 2013

There’s no question that the scandal and its messy fallout were damaging to Margolies as well. When she filed for bankruptcy, a judge rejected her assertion of ignorance in a scathing decision that, depending on how you read it, either calls her feminism into question or suggests she knows more than she’s letting on. “Her consistent response to questions asked by her creditors about the disposition of her assets is lack of knowledge or ‘my husband handled it,’ a mantra that is completely at odds with her public persona, background, and accomplishments,” the judge wrote.

Toni Goldberg defends Margolies as a career woman who was too busy to pay heed to her husband’s schemes, but she says the judge’s indictment made sense to many at the time. “Whatever decisions that were made in the marriage, their life, political life, social life—Marjorie was the head guy,” she says. “And Ed adored her. And Ed just followed.” (Margolies declined to comment on the Fenton lawsuit or the bankruptcy case.)

In 1997, several years after their first Renaissance Weekend together, Chelsea Clinton decided to attend Stanford University, where Marc was already enrolled. Rumors of romance followed. (The two officially started dating in 2005, though Goldberg says that “they kept it undercover for many years” before that. Another friend, Nancy Chasen, says that they were just “best best best friends.”) However close Chelsea and Marc were, Ed Mezvinsky tried to use their bond to his advantage. During his trial, it came out that he had tried to woo investors by touting Chelsea’s relationship with his son. “When he thought it would help,” a federal prosecutor told the New York Times.

Read more: http://www.politico.com/magazine/story/2013/12/the-clinton-in-law-marjorie-margolies-100696_Page3.html#ixzz3EaUbInjd

(S)he filed for bankruptcy,[20] but failed to receive a discharge from her debts, based on 11 U.S.C. §727(a)(5). The court found Mezvinsky had failed to satisfactorily explain a significant loss of assets in the four years prior to her bankruptcy filing. The bankruptcy judge stated, in her published opinion, "I find that the Debtor has failed to satisfactorily explain the loss of approximately $775,000 worth of assets (the difference between the $810,000 represented in May 1996 and the $35,000 now claimed in her Amended Schedule B)." Sonders v. Mezvinsky (in re Mezvinsky), 265 B.R. 681, 694 (Bankr. E.D. Pa. 2001).

According to documents obtained by The Huffington Post, as Ed Mezvinsky's fraud was exposed, Margolies doubled her own salary as head of a small, largely taxpayer-funded charity into the six figures, attempted to have the charity renovate and lease a mansion in which she would live, billed the charity for her automobile lease and other expenses, and required charity staff to assist with her other responsibilities as a faculty member at a local university.

The Huffington Post earlier reported that over the past several years, Margolies was paid an unusually large salary given the size of her charity, Women's Campaign International, whose revenue in recent years was in the very low millions. In defending that salary in December, WCI noted that the charity's board of directors determines compensation -- not Margolies, who still runs the charity.

That explanation, however, elided one critical detail: For the first three years of WCI's existence, and at a crucial board meeting at which the decision about her salary was made, Margolies was herself the chairman of the (3 member) board.
September 20, 2014

Mistrial Declared For Governor's Former Son-In-Law

Source: CBS-Philly

PHILADELPHIA (AP) — A jury in Philadelphia could not reach a verdict on theft charges against Gov. Tom Corbett’s ex-son-in-law.

Authorities say the 44-year-old took bait money from a vehicle during an FBI sting on Jan. 31, 2013. Gibson, then a narcotics officer, had been told the car belonged to a suspect.

His attorney argued at trial that Gibson planned to turn in the money at the end of shift, but was confronted by investigators before he could do so.

A judge declared a mistrial Friday after jurors couldn’t reach a unanimous verdict on counts of theft, obstruction and receiving stolen property.

Read more: http://philadelphia.cbslocal.com/2014/09/19/mistrial-declared-for-governors-former-son-in-law/

The Judge set a new trial date for January 26th and the prosecutors have stated they WILL retry him. He was a narcotics officer; the governor's daughter, Katherine was and is a deputy attorney general for state's AG office, and was appointed to that position by the woman whom Corbett had appointed head of the Attorney General's office. She has remained with the AG's office after a Democrat was elected AG, and is most recently (August 25, 2014) reported as working on the Attorney General's Drug Strike Force Section. workinghttp://www.attorneygeneral.gov/press.aspx?id=8075

I've been wondering what happened to Gibson. He was caught by the FBI in a joint sting operation with the internal affairs unit of the Phillie police dept. back in January of 2013, suspended in February by the PD, and ordered to trial in August of 2013. News coverage currently refers to Kate Corbett Gibson as Gibson's ex-wife, or subsequently divorced, but I have found no report of a divorce per se.

Here's some background:
An FBI agent has testified that former officer Gerald Gibson, the son-in-law of Pennsylvania governor Tom Corbett, took $140 in marked money from the bait car but didn’t turned it over until confronted later by the FBI agent and Philadelphia police investigators (see related story).

Defense attorney A. Charles Peruto Jr. concedes that Gibson, who was sent out on another assignment before he was questioned about the money, violated policy by not turning in the money in right away, but says his client is innocent of any serious crime.

“No intent to steal,” says Peruto. “There was absolutely no intention here. There’s been no evidence that he intended to leave his shift that day without doing this paperwork. And you heard the testimony of the sergeant: many officers do their paperwork on all their jobs at the end of the day.”

When Gibson was arrested and subsequently fired earlier this year, police said he had been targeted for the sting because of suspicions that he was taking money and other items from crime scenes.

http://philadelphia.cbslocal.com/2013/08/13/trial-ordered-for-former-philly-cop-son-in-law-of-gov-corbett/f See also: http://www.post-gazette.com/news/politics-state/2013/02/02/Sting-followed-many-suspicions-about-honesty-of-Corbett-in-law/stories/201302020264

2 comments: first, the wheels of justice turn awfully damn slow in systems bogged down by massive numbers of criminal laws (the reason the US leads the world in percentages of citizens incarcerated). Guess if you're going to privatize the prisons for profits, the next step would be to privatize the judiciary. Wonder if that's on the One Percent's agenda.

Second, sounds like the FBI screwed the pooch in arresting the guy before the end of his shift. All they needed to do was wait until he'd turned in his paperwork for the day. Then he'd either have turned in the money or not.
September 17, 2014

Anthony Weiner calls Sen. Warren's comments "overblown" and "petty"

Excerpt from column by Senator Warren on Huff Po:


Anthony Weiner and the Revolving Door
When former House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.) took a job with the investment bank Moelis & Co. earlier this month shortly after resigning his Congressional seat, he became the latest example of the tight-knit relationship between Wall Street and Washington. In an interview, I called this out for what it is: another sign that the revolving door still spins freely in Washington. Cantor had little experience in financial services, and the value of people like him to Wall Street firms is influence peddling, plain and simple.

Wall Street's outsized influence in our nation's capital is something I've talked about for a long time -- long before I even thought about running for office. But where I see a problem -- an infestation, really -- a lot of others in Washington, both Democrats and Republicans, seem to see government working just fine.

So when former Congressman Anthony Weiner -- a Democrat from New York -- dismissed my concerns, it was business as usual. Identifying himself as a liberal, Weiner called my criticism of the revolving door culture "overblown" and "petty."

Warren's HuffPo column procedes to decimate Weiner's position, chapter and verse.

I thought the deal was that Huma Abedin promised her boss, HRC to keep her husband, Anthony on the down low, i.e., out of the public eye until if & when Hillary got elected to that office for which she is not yet officially running. Did Weiner run that column past Huma/Hillary ahead of time? But here's Weiner calling Warren's criticism of the Wall Street revolving door "overblown" and "petty". Those 2 adjectives are better applied to the family jewels in the selfies Weiner posted.

Here's the link to the Business Insider web page where Weiner mouthed off. Hmmm. Perhaps Hillary & Huma are not as confident as HRC's supporters that Senator Warren will not be running for president.
September 11, 2014

Poll: Likely voters strongly back Wolf for Pa. gov

Source: Tribune-Review

PHILADELPHIA — A poll of voters likely to cast ballots in Pennsylvania's gubernatorial election shows they prefer Democrat Tom Wolf over Republican incumbent Tom Corbett by a 24-point margin.

The Quinnipiac University poll released Thursday shows Wolf, a wealthy businessman, is favored by 59 percent of likely voters compared with 35 percent for Corbett.

At least half said Wolf would do a better job handling the issues of jobs, education, government spending and taxes. Fifty-four percent said they believe Wolf is honest and trustworthy but they were tied at 43 percent over Corbett.

Quinnipiac culled the 1,161 likely voters from more than 1,500 registered voters, based on their stated intentions and voting records, in telephone interviews between Sept. 3 and 8. The sampling error margin is plus or minus 2.9

Read more: http://triblive.com/state/pennsylvania/6776768-74/voters-wolf-likely#axzz3Cvs3eS9M

Hoping Corbett's unpopularity within his own party will depress GOP turnout (it definitely did in the primary) and help dems capture some state legislative seats.
September 9, 2014

Long before Larry the Cable Guy there were The Beverly Hillbillies

Way back when that first aired, around 1962, I wrote (back then one wrote long letters to absent friends) to my former high school physics lab partner/good friend that I was disgusted by this program. She wrote back agreeing. We had gone through our teenage years watching the Golden Age of television in the 1950's: Yes the technology was primitive by today's standards, but the quality of writing, directing and acting on these programs was light years better than today's standard pap. The Beverly Hillbillies marked the strip mining of American Culture. How appropriate that the nouveau riches of the Clampets came from oil, i.e., Black Gold/Texas Tea.

Jethro from The Beverly Hillbillies seems to be the perfect role model of who the networks wanted to cater to with his "sixth-grade-educated-brain." Jethro was just smart enough to be able to read, willing to accept any media fads pushed at him, and had plenty of disposable income at hand. The perfect American television viewer.

Here are a couple of excerpts from a great article discussing the marvelous quality of the Golden Age of Television (and don't forget the underlying element of tension/excitement because these shows were brjoadcast live).

"As crucial as these elements were, perhaps the most important reason leading to the success of this nascent television art form was the high caliber of talent on both sides of the video camera. Whereas many well-known actors from the stage and screen participated in live television dramas as the 1950s progressed, it was the obscure but professionally trained theater personnel from summer stock and university theater programs like Yale's Drama School who launched the innovative teletheater broadcasts that we now refer to as television's "golden age."
. . . . . . . .

"In 1949, 24 year-old Marlon Brando starred in "I'm No Hero," produced by the Actors' Studio. Other young actors, such as Susan Strasberg (1953), Paul Newman (1954), and Steve McQueen, made noteworthy appearances on the Goodyear Playhouse. Among some of the most prominent writers of "golden age" dramas were Rod Serling, Paddy Chayevsky, Gore Vidal, Reginald Rose and Tad Mosel. Rod Serling stands out for special consideration here because in addition to winning the 1955 Emmy for "Best Original Teleplay Writing" ("Patterns" on Kraft Television Theater), Serling also won two teleplay Emmys for Playhouse 90 (1956 & 1957), and two "Outstanding Writing Achievement in Drama" Emmys for Twilight Zone (1959 and 1960) and for Chrysler Theater in 1963. Serling's six Emmys for four separate anthology programs over two networks unquestionably secures his position at the top of the golden age pantheon. For television, it was writers like Serling and Chayevsky who became the auteurs of its "golden-age." Gore Vidal sums up the opportunity that writing for television dramas represented in this way: "one can find better work oftener on the small grey screen than on Broadway." Chayevsky was more sanguine when he stated that television presented "the drama of introspection," and that "television, the scorned stepchild of drama, may well be the basic theater of our century."
. . . . . . .
"In addition to actors and writers, some of the most renowned Hollywood directors got their big breaks on television's anthology dramas. John Frankenheimer directed for the Kraft Television Theater, Robert Altman for Alfred Hitchcock Presents, Yul Brynner and Sidney Lumet for Studio One, Sidney Pollack for The Chrysler Theater (1965 Emmy for "Directoral Achievement in Drama&quot and Delbert Mann for NBC Television Playhouse. These are but a few major directors who honed their kills during television's "golden age."
September 4, 2014

Yes I'd feel the same if 6'4", 210 lb. woman sexually assaulted a 5'5",150 lb. man

who was peacefully jogging on a public trail AND/OR when learning that the target of her assault was a law officer, then attacked him again. But wait . . . wait. . . .that NEVER happens, does it?

And, no, I don't want to live in a world where violence is permissible and most women will lose "Badly". That was the whole point of this incident, you see. A really large man physically assaulted and then charged at a much smaller woman. This man is charged with previously assaulting another woman that day. Why we don't call that asshole the one indulging in "sexist hate", since he doesn't assault men, but only women.

Query: Is it fair to call what the federal marshal did "violence"?
Response: NO!
The legal definition of "violence" is the unlawful exercise of physical force or intimidation by the exhibition of such force.

https://www.google.com/search?q=violence+definition&ie=utf-8&oe=utf-8&aq=t&rls=org.mozilla:en-US fficial&client=firefox-a&channel=fflb

She offered him the chance to stop running and surrender to a law enforcement officer. He responded by charging at her. Her further self defense was absolutely legal and proportional . . . . and also effective. Only HIS actions would qualify as legally violent.

You want to throw "sexist hate" into this discussion. Oh, I absolutely agree that sexism is involved and hatred is involved, and it is all on the side of the male assailants. Here's just one recent example from a major American city:

The Los Angeles Police Department says women shouldn't be walking alone in two popular public parks

Investigators say there have been five physical and sexual assaults in recent months.

All of them have happened during the day at Griffith Park and Debs Park in Montecito Heights.

Police say they're looking for two Latino men. One is between 20 and 25 years old with a slight build. The other guy is 5'7" and between 30 and 35 years old. Both were riding bikes at the time of the assaults.

Read more: http://www.kfiam640.com/onair/bill-handel-30603/los-angeles-park-sexual-assaults-12650914/#ixzz3CO1vDwR4
Golly gee! Do find me a report of men being assaulted by women in public parks.

So I'm not enjoying violence. I'm celebrating justice!
September 3, 2014

5'5" female Federal Marshal takes down 6'4" male who grabbed her ass while she was jogging.

This is a really sweet report. I mean it's SWEET! Did I say S-W-E-E-T ?

Yup - she ran him down and took him out.


A federal agent ran down the man she said yanked on her clothes and kicked him when he tried to charge her Tuesday in the North Side. Pittsburgh police charged Robert Flynn, 19, of Spring Garden with indecent assault, aggravated assault, escape and false identification to law enforcement. He is being held in the Allegheny County Jail in lieu of a $500,000 bond, online court records show.

The deputy U.S. marshal told police she was jogging along the river trail parallel to River Avenue near the 16th Street Bridge shortly after 5 p.m. and passed by a man, identified as Flynn. She said he ran up behind her and grabbed her running shorts, a criminal complaint said.

The marshal began to chase Flynn, telling pedestrians to call 911 and yelling for Flynn to stop, identifying herself as a federal marshal, the complaint said. The marshal, who police said is 5-feet, 5-inches tall and 150 pounds, cornered the 6-foot, 4-inch Flynn, who weighs 210 pounds.

Flynn tried to charge her and she kicked him, grabbed his shoulder and punched him in the face, the complaint said. The officer said in the complaint that Flynn “became somewhat compliant,” after that.

Based on the women's self-defense class I took while teaching night classes in Oakland, I can picture exactly where she kicked him, causing the 6'4" thug to bend over in acute pain, whereby this short woman could grab his shoulder and punch him in the face. Hint: it wasn't his shin.

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