3/15/2023: The Great Crab Con
PLUS: Lyin’ Biden; Once a Con, Always a Con; and Donald & Diana
Today is Wednesday, March 15, 2023.
It is the 74th day of the year.
291 days remain.
WHAT’S ON TAP
You, too, can own a part of SILICON VALLEY BANK history; you can also get some discount black market crab. More in HIT LIST.
More insight into the effects of persistent inflation in THE SWAMP.
FRANK ABAGNALE is the ultimate con man and BRIAN MAY gets knighted at Buckingham. More in SHOWBIZ.
LENNY KRAVITZ will host the 2023 iHeartRadio Music Awards and RYAN SEACREAST’s last day at “Live with Kelly and Ryan” has been announced. More in CASTING CALL.
Some relics from SILICON VALLEY BANK’s swag closet are fetching hefty price tags on eBay.
A fleece jacket is going for $1,000. Some SVB-branded drinkware is going for nearly $200 and a thermos for over $120. There’s even a cutting board for charcuterie with the SVB logo etched into it going for $200. [via WSJ]
A Russian fighter jet took out an American drone flying in neutral airspace over the Black Sea on Tuesday, sending the drone into the water.
In a statement, the US military said the Russian jet dumped fuel on the drone after multiple passes before hitting the drone’s propeller.
BY THE WAY: The military statement also noted that the Russian interference was “environmentally unsound,” so there’s that. [via CNN]
After weeks of rumors, META – Facebook’s parent company – has confirmed another round of layoffs that will cull 10,000 employees from their payroll.
This follows 11,000 job cuts last November, as MARK ZUCKERBERG has said he’s spending 2023 making his company more efficient. This also includes closing 5,000 current job openings.
Between salary reduction, ditching dead-end projects, and other efficiencies, the company expects to decrease expenses up to $92 BILLION this year. [via CNBC]
Earlier this year, the city of Newark, New Jersey signed a cultural trade agreement to become a sister city with the people of Kailasa, a Hindu nation near Asia’s subcontinent.
OOPS: Turns out Kailasa isn’t a real country. It’s the invention of a scam artist that tries to dupe dorks like Newark’s city leadership.
After realizing the screw-up, Newark’s city council rescinded the agreement while insisting no money was spent on their massive, incompetent oversight. [via CBS News]
Authorities in Washington State have busted an ongoing racket, in which a man stole more than $700,000 worth of Russian-imported crab from a warehouse.
The man posed as an employee for grocery chain Safeway, and made off with two shipments on two separate occasions using rented trucks.
Once the wholesaler and Safeway realized something was up, authorities staged a sting to catch the thief on January 25 – but only found a witless driver who was unaware he was part of a crime.
Days later, investigators connected the stolen crab to a distributor in Florida, selling the crustaceans for prices well below market, though it doesn’t appear that they were in on the fraud.
A few weeks later, on February 18, the investigators tracked the mastermind, a man named David Subil, to Miami. He had recently booked a one-way ticket to Colombia, but was arrested before he could get on the plane.
Local media has the whole story; it’s worth a read in full >
Top 5 Fiction & Nonfiction Books Currently on the New York Times Best Sellers List:
“Storm Watch,” C.J. Box
“Never Never,” Colleen Hoover and Tarryn Fisher
“It Starts With Us,” Colleen Hoover
“Lessons in Chemistry,” Bonnie Garmus
“It Ends With Us,” Colleen Hoover
“The Courage To Be Free,” Ron DeSantis
“Spare,” Prince Harry
“The Body Keeps the Score,” Bessel van der Kolk
“I’m Glad My Mom Died,” Jennette McCurdy
“Enchantment,” Katherine May
ITO MASATOSHI, the Japanese billionaire who turned 7-Eleven into a global powerhouse, has died.
He passed away on March 10 due to old age, read a statement from Seven & I Holdings, who operates 7-Eleven.
Masatoshi was 98.
Mass murderer HARVEY CARIGNAN has died.
He passed away inside a Minnesota prison earlier this month of natural causes.
Nicknamed “The Want-Ad Killer,” Carignan would lure unsuspecting women so he could rape and murder them with a hammer. During his 1975 trial, he claimed that God had ordered him to “kill whores and harlots.” He was ultimately found guilty and sentenced to life.
He was 95.
Former baseball player JOE PEPITONE has died.
He passed away Monday at his daughter’s home in Kansas City, Missouri. A cause of death is not yet known.
Pepitone played for the New York Yankees in the 1960s and was known for his flamboyant personality.
He was 82.
Disneyland designer ROLLY CRUMP has died.
He passed away Sunday at his home in Carlsbad, California, where he was under hospice care, according to the Facebook page of his autobiography, “It’s Kind of a Cute Story.”
During his time at Disney, Crump made crucial contributions to several attractions, including the Haunted Mansion, It’s a Small World and the Enchanted Tiki Room.
He was 93.
LINDSAY LOHAN, 36, is expecting her first child with husband, businessman BADER SHAMMAS, 35,.
The actress announced the news on Instagram, sharing a photo of a onesie reading “Coming Soon.”
Lohan and Shammas tied the knot last July.
In an interview for “The Daily Show,” President JOE BIDEN says he changed his views on gay marriage when he was a senior in high school, and saw “two well-dressed men in suits kiss eachother” after his dad dropped him off at school.
If Biden was born in 1942, and 18 when he was a senior, this means he saw this and changed his beliefs around 1960.
BUT WAIT: In 2006, Biden said on “Meet the Press”: “Marriage is between a man and a woman, and states must respect that.”
In 1996, as a Senator, Biden voted for the Defense of Marriage Act.
WORTH REMEMBERING: As recently as 2008, Democrat front-runners BARACK OBAMA and HILLARY CLINTON said on a debate stage that marriage should be between a man and a woman.
WORTH NOTING: Pointing this out has nothing to do with views on gay marriage and everything to do with the president’s pathological lying and the media’s total disinterest in pointing it out.
MEANWHILE: If that hasn’t dried out your mouth enough, during a speech Tuesday, Biden said this about getting his budget passed: “Congressional Republicans should pass my budget instead of calling for cuts to these services or defunding the police.”
WORTH ASKING: What planet are you orbiting to accuse Republicans of wanting to defund the police?
You know that thing rich people do where they turn money into more money – usually through the power of compounding interest?
Heading into President JOE BIDEN’s third year, look what happens when inflation compounds annually.
February 2023 inflation came in at 6%. The year before it was 7.9% and the year before that it was, as was typical for the Trump years, under 2%.
Here’s what that means: Something that cost $10 in 2020 now costs $11.63.
Another way to look at it: If you were spending $200 a week on groceries in February 2021, the same shopping trips would cost nearly $130 more over the course of the month.
IT GETS WORSE: While inflation was up 6% year-over-year in February, wages were only up 4%.
WORTH REMEMBERING: The definition of inflation – which is agnostic of anyone’s politics – is an expansion of the money supply, either in terms of actual dollars and/or credit. Nearly 40% of all debt ever incurred by the federal government has been added in the last thirty-six months. Of course there is inflation and of course it’s because of borrowed government spending.
BY THE NUMBERS
📈 The DOW added 336 point (1.06%) to close at 32,155 on Tuesday. The S&P added 63 points (1.65%) to close at 3,919 and the NASDAQ added 239 points (2.14%) to close at 11,428.
🛢 WEST TEXAS INTERMEDIATE closed at $71; BRENT CRUDE at $77.
⛽ The national average price of a GALLON OF GAS was $3.46 yesterday.
₿ BITCOIN was up more than 2.5% again on Tuesday.
🛩 There were nearly 5,000 FLIGHTS delayed within, into, or out of the United States on Tuesday and more than 1,150 such cancellations.
💰Tonight’s POWERBALL drawing will be for a $63 million jackpot or a $33.2 million cash payout.
It turns out FRANK ABAGNALE, the conman depicted by LEONARDO DICAPRIO in “Catch Me If You Can,” is a bigger fraud than initially thought.
Known for writing bad checks, Abagnale also claimed to have impersonated a Pan Am pilot, posed as a doctor in Marietta, Georgia, a professor at Utah’s Brigham Young University, and a lawyer in the attorney general’s office in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.
Author ABBY ELLIN, who wrote “Duped,” a book about serial liars, says she has been working on proving that Abagnale lied about his illegal extracurricular activities. While he did at one point masquerade as a pilot, he never flew to 82 countries like he claims, she writes. He also never posed as a professor or a doctor or a lawyer, says Ellin, who spoke with Abagnale’s former speaking agent, MARK ZINDER.
“He was a two-bit criminal. I’m embarrassed that I ever associated with the man,” Zinder stated.
Additionally, ALAN C. LOGAN, author of “The Greatest Hoax On Earth,” says the conman could never have cashed 17,000 checks worth $2.5 million or completed his other illegal activities between the ages of 16 and 21, like Abagnale claims, because he was behind bars for the majority of that time.
“The time he wasn’t in some prison or jail amounts to about 14 months. Cashing 17,000 checks during that period is 40 checks a day,” Logan writes.
Abagnale, who is now 74, and has spent the past few decades working to help catch fraud and cybercrime for banks, department stores and the FBI, says that the years since his crimes should be enough for people to forget and forgive. The issue with that is he still makes money off of telling his embellished stories. [via NY Post]
For her 100th book club pick, OPRAH WINFREY has chosen ANN NAPOLITANO’s “Hello Beautiful.”
Speaking to The Associated Press about her selection, Winfrey revealed that she uses her instincts to pick books, asking herself: Does the story move her? Does she think about it for days after? In a work of fiction, do the characters seem real to her?
Oprah’s book club debuted in 1996. [via AP News]
QUEEN guitarist BRIAN MAY was knighted by KING CHARLES on Tuesday during a ceremony at Buckingham Palace.
He was honored for his service to music and charity.
Other musicians who have been awarded the prestigious honor include SIR PAUL MCCARTNEY, SIR RINGO STARR, SIR MICK JAGGER, SIR ELTON JOHN, SIR ROD STEWART and SIR TOM JONES. [via People]
The TOM BRADY-signed American Flag that was part of a lawsuit last year with the Patriots Hall of Fame will be for sale on Ebay later this month.
The backstory of the flag is that it flew over Foxboro Stadium during the year Brady took over as a starter with the New England Patriots; he then signed it years later. It was then owned by Dan Vitale, who sued the Patriots organization last year, claiming that they allegedly ruined it after putting it on display in the team’s Hall of Fame. Specifically, Brady’s signature faded after Vitale claimed the HOF didn’t properly store it. Brady has since re-signed the flag.
Now, Vitale is ready to part ways with the piece of memorabilia and will give a portion of the proceeds to help support those with autism, including his youngest daughter, who is on the spectrum.
The asking price starts at $299,999. [via TMZ]
Fans now know why TOM CRUISE was MIA from Sunday night’s Oscars.
A source told the Daily Mail that the actor skipped the event to “avoid an awkward run-in” with NICOLE KIDMAN, whom he divorced 20 years ago. Meanwhile, Cruise’s camp said his absence was “not personal,” but the result of a scheduling conflict.
Cruise’s flick “Top Gun: Maverick” was nominated six times, though only won for Best Sound. [via Daily Mail]
“Bachelorette” alum TYLER CAMERON revealed that he was low on cash while dating model GIGI HADID in 2019.
Speaking on fellow “Bachelor” star JASON TARTICK’s podcast, “Trading Secrets,” Cameron shared that he only had about $200 to his name at the time. He also said that he would ask his dad for money to take Hadid out on dates in NYC.
Nowadays Cameron gets by thanks to his modeling career. [via TMZ]
“Creed III” star TESSA THOMPSON has never eaten a hamburger and only recently tried eggs for the first time.
The 39-year-old shared the shocking tidbit with journalist AMELIA DIMOLDENBERG who asked her if she was a vegetarian.
“I eat other things,” Thompson explained. “I’ve just never had a hamburger…It’s the only thing extraordinary that I can still claim.” [via Page Six]
RYAN SEACREST’s last day hosting “Live with Kelly and Ryan” will be on Friday, April 14.
His replacement, KELLY RIPA’s husband, actor MARK CONSUELOS, will take over the vacant seat immediately, TV Line reported Tuesday.
Secrest will continue his hosting gig on “American Idol,” which he has done since the show debuted in 2002. [via TV Line]
LENNY KRAVITZ will host and perform at the 2023 iHeartRadio Music Awards.
Other performers include LATTO, PINK, KELLY CLARKSON, KEITH URBAN, COLDPLAY, and PAT BENATAR.
The iHeartRadio Music awards show will air live from the Dolby Theatre on March 27. [via People]
MATTHEW MCCONAUGHEY and WOODY HARRELSON are reuniting for a new Apple TV+ comedy series.
The two play versions of themselves who, along with their families, attempt to live together on McConaughey’s Texas ranch.
The streamer describes the yet-to-be-titled show as “a heartfelt odd couple love story revolving around the strange and beautiful bond between McConaughey and Harrelson.”
The two actors previously starred together in HBO’s “True Detective.” [via Variety]
A Los Angeles judge has decided to drop the charges that the jury could not agree on in HARVEY WEINSTEIN’s 2022 trial.
Last year, jurors were unable to reach a unanimous decision on all of the counts against the disgraced movie mogul and the judge declared a mistrial on three of the seven. After conversing with the prosecution, who stated they would not be proceeding with the remaining charges, the judge has decided to drop them.
It’s not like Weinstein is getting away with anything. He was sentenced last month to 16 years for his conviction in Los Angeles, which he will serve in addition to the 23-year sentence for his 2020 rape and sexual assault conviction in New York.
The L.A. judge also announced Tuesday that Weinstein will be sent back to NY to serve out his prison time, though an exact date was not given. [via Variety]
THE DAILY KARDASHOPUS
CAITLYN JENNER was the first to distance herself from her “I’m A Celebrity…Get Me Out of Here!” castmates as soon as filming wrapped, according to “Good Morning Britain” journalist KATE GARRAWAY, who starred alongside her.
Garraway explained that Jenner stopped communicating with her co-stars right away, telling her “GMB” co-hosts, “Literally as the plane took off, [she] removed herself from the WhatsApp group.”
FOR WHAT IT’S WORTH: Jenner was reported to have been one of the highest paid celebrities on the show in 2019, earning more than $530,000. [via Express]
WE’LL NEVER BE ROYALS
Former president DONALD TRUMP wanted to date PRINCESS DIANA following her 1996 divorce from then-PRINCE CHARLES.
According to the 2022 biography “The King: The Life of Charles III,” Trump “aggressively pursued” Diana.
Journalist Selena Scott also spoke about Trump’s attempts with People Magazine in 2015, saying, “He bombarded Diana at Kensington Palace with massive bouquets of flowers, each worth hundreds of pounds. Trump clearly saw Diana as the ultimate trophy wife.”
In Trump’s own book “The Art of the Comeback,” he wrote: “I only have one regret in the women department -- that I never had the opportunity to court Lady Diana Spencer.” [via SheKnows]
WORTH NOTING: Letters from Diana to Trump will be featured in his forthcoming book “Letters to Trump.”
DAY OF THE YEAR
World Contact Day
True Confessions Day
National Brutus Day
World Speech Day
National Napping Day
World Consumer Rights Day
ON THIS DATE
44 B.C. - Brutus stabs Caesar in the Roman senate.
As many as 60 men were in on the assassination.
They wanted to get at the ruler before he left to fight another war. Caesar had already appointed governors to rule in his absence.
Authentic accounts have Brutus stabbing Caesar in the groin, and the emperor's last words being, in Greek, "You too, my child?"
It was Shakespeare's play that immortalized the Latin phrase, "Et tu, Brute?"
1783 - General George Washington arrives in New York to end a feud between military leaders and the Continental Congress.
The soldiers were upset over having not received adequate compensation for fighting in the American Revolution.
They were promised a lifetime pension of half pay, but instead Congress bought them out with five years of full pay.
Ultimately, Washington persuaded his men to have confidence in the emerging American government.
1820 - Maine becomes the 23rd state.
It had been under the control of Massachusetts as a province since 1647.
Maine became a state in part of a deal struck with Southern senators, who agreed to enter Missouri into the Union as a slave state.
1917 - Czar Nicholas II of Russia is forced to surrender the throne.
As the February Revolution knocked the royals out of power, Nicholas gave up control to the leftist revolutionaries.
With the Russian Empire dead, it was quickly replaced with the Soviet Union, and a communist dictator.
1970 - Bobby Orr becomes the first NHL defenseman to score 100 points in a season.
He knocked in 4 goals against the Detroit Red Wings to reach the milestone.
He finished the season with 120 points -- a ridiculous number for a defensive player, let alone a player on offense.
1972 - "The Godfather" debuts in theaters nationwide.
The 3-hour epic film followed the lives of the Corleone family.
Based on a bestselling novel by Mario Puzo, the film starred Marlin Brando, who for years had not had a hit movie, and was known for erratic and uncontrollable behavior on set. But director Francis Ford Coppola fought for Brando -- who would win a Best Actor Oscar, which he declined to accept.
1991 - Four officers with the Los Angeles Police Department are charged with excessive force over the beating of Rodney King.
The encounter occurred earlier in the month and was caught on amateur video footage, sparking mass outrage.
The officers would be acquitted the following year, leading to riots and unrest in the streets of LA.
2020 - European countries impose restrictions on gatherings and borders as COVID death rates rise. On this day Italy reported 1,809 deaths, Spain had 288 and France tallied 120.
On this day in the US, the CDC reports 1,629 cases and 41 deaths attributed to the virus.
Connor Ball - bassist, The Vamps - 27
Lyndsey Gunnulfsen - rock singer, PVRIS - 29
Jordan Feliz - gospel singer - 34
Lil Dicky - rapper - 35
Kellan Lutz - actor, “Twilight” films - 38
Brian Tee - actor, “Chicago Med” - 46
Eva Longoria - actress, “Desperate Housewives” - 48
Will.i.am - rapper - 48
Mark Hoppus - rock singer, Blink-182 - 51
Kim Raver - actress, “Grey’s Anatomy” & “24” - 54
Mark McGrath - pop singer, Sugar Ray - 55
Bret Michaels - rock singer, Poison - 60
Dee Snider - metal singer, Twisted Sister - 68
Born On This Date
Ruth Bader Ginsburg - Supreme Court Justice - 1933 (d. 2020)
Andrew Jackson - 7th POTUS - 1767 (d. 1845)
Saint Nicholas - religious leader known for gift-giving - 1270 (d. 1343)
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