There Are No Mr. Smith’s In Washington Any More

Bitter partisan politics played out today as President Donald Trump sparred with Democratic leaders Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer over a variety of issues, with Vice President Mike Pence present as well. Things became incredibly heated when Trump pressed for Congress to fund the building of the U.S. – Mexico border wall, and threatened to shutdown the government if his request was denied. Pelosi reportedly mocked the President behind closed doors and in essence stating he was throwing a tantrum.

Don’t care which way you vote or which way your ideology leans, everyone in the U.S. government is a crook. Most certainly all of the people in the picture above. Thousands of federal employee paychecks are at risk come Christmas time, but all they care about is the power play.

A Simple Plan

20 years ago, on December 11th, 1998, the movie “A Simple Plan” starring Bill Paxton, Bridget Fonda and Billy Bob Thornton was released. It was directed by Sam Raimi. Although a fictional, neo-noir, crime thriller, it certainly has the feel of a true crime story ripped straight from the headlines. Four people, three men and one of the men’s wives, discover 4.4 million dollars in cash in the remains of a crashed plane. Being in remote wilderness, they scheme to hide the money away from authorities and split it up at a later date. However, each person soon becomes suspicious of the others leading to betrayal, deceit and murder. “A Simple Plan” was a commercial and critical success in 1998 and still packs a punch today.

Ohhhhhhhh Stormyyyyyy

In a setback for porn star Stormy Daniels and her attorney Michael Avenatti, a judge today ordered Ms. Daniels to pay back approximately $300,000 in fees to Trump’s attorneys in the defamation case brought about by the President.

Guilty verdict = criminal action

(We know; we’ve played this song before – but we love it and it fits the piece!)

The Birth Of The Ponzi

If someone had never heard of a Ponzi scheme before, they knew all about it after December 11th, 2008 – 10 years ago today, when financier Bernie Madoff was arrested for bilking his clients out of millions of dollars. A Ponzi scheme is a form of fraud which lures investors and pays profits to earlier investors by using funds obtained from more recent investors. The victims are led to believe that the profits are coming from product sales or other means, and they remain unaware that other investors are the source of profits. A Ponzi scheme is able to maintain the illusion of a sustainable business as long as there continue to be new investors willing to contribute new funds, and as long as most of the investors do not demand full repayment and are willing to believe in the non-existent assets that they are purported to own. Madoff is the confessed operator of the largest Ponzi scheme in world history, and the largest financial fraud in U.S. history. Prosecutors estimated the fraud to be worth $64.8 billion based on the amounts in the accounts of Madoff’s 4,800 clients as of November 30, 2008. On June 29, 2009, Madoff was sentenced to 150 years in prison, the maximum allowed.

Looks Like It’s True Crime Tuesday!

40 years ago today, on December 11th, 1978, the Lufthansa heist took place at JFK Airport in New York. An estimated $5.875 million ($22.1 million today when adjusted for inflation) was stolen, with $5 million in cash and $875,000 in jewelry, making it the largest cash robbery committed on American soil at the time. The heist was reportedly planned by Jimmy Burke, an associate of the Lucchese crime family, and carried out by several associates. The heist’s magnitude made it one of the longest-investigated crimes in the United States; the latest arrest associated with the robbery was made in 2014. It has also become a part of pop culture with several made for TV movies about the heist having been made as well as serving as a main plot point in Martin Scorsese’s 1990 film “Goodfellas”.

A Couple More Movie Release Anniversaries

Wayne’s World 2, the hit sequel to the feature film based on the Saturday Night Live skit starring Mike Myers and Dana Carvey, premiered 25 years ago today on December 10th, 1993.

And

10 years ago, on December 10th, 2008, the dramatic World War II era, Holocaust drama, “The Reader” starring Kate Winslet and Ralph Fiennes was released. It would be Winslet the Best Actress Academy Award that year.

It Keeps Going And Going And Going…

The NASA Voyager 2 space probe which was launched in 1977 and was only supposed to last for 5 years has reached interstellar space. It is now more than 11 billion miles from Earth, the agency said Monday. This is the second time a human-made object has reached this part of space.

Voyager 2 is now NASA’s longest-running mission, with 41 years under its belt, and it continues to send data back to Earth.