Thursday, April 19, 2018

Thursday's Themes

Most of them can be classified under the Next Day Update category:

Cosby accuser discussed framing a celebrity, witness says

On cross examination, prosecutors produced records of Jackson’s travel to other away games but not to the one at the University of Rhode Island, where she said the chat happened.

At least he didn't offer her a beer.

Looks to me like the Puerto Ricans have a legitimate claim of racism.

Senate votes to kill a policy warning auto lenders about discrimination against minority borrowers

At least the circumstances have improved for Tesla.

"The lawyer for a 71-year-old Marine Corps veteran charged with pulling a gun during a road rage confrontation in Massachusetts says the man only showed a weapon because he felt threatened. The Lowell Sun reports that an attorney for Roger Buonanno said his client felt threatened when he approached three men in a driveway in Billerica, one of whom was also armed. Prosecutors say Buonanno, of Tewksbury, had followed the men when he was cut off by their vehicle Saturday. Officers arrested Buonanno at the scene on charges including operating under the influence and assault with a dangerous weapon. He was held on $5,000 bail. The defense lawyer says Buananno didn't point his gun at anyone and disputes that Buonanno was drunk. Both men were licensed to carry."

That's why everyone should Uber.

‘White Lives Matter’ graffiti sparks outrage in Dudley Square

In all honestly, it looks like another in a long line of staged, self-serving, self-inflicted (at little cost), agenda-pushing events (especially when covered by my pre$$); however, if true the implication in the article is white lives matter not a lick.

Of course, blue lives matter most. That's the bridge you need to cross. Even the Globe would agree.

"Two former teachers at a prestigious Connecticut private school sexually abused at least eight students during their tenures, the school's current headmaster said. Adam Rohdie, headmaster of Greenwich Country Day School, sent an email Friday informing families and faculty of the findings of an outside law firm hired to investigate allegations first reported in September, The Greenwich Time reported. "We know that no action that we take today will erase the deep pain caused, but we do hope that our commitment, now and in the future, to confront all such behavior, may bring some healing," Rohdie said. The alleged inappropriate sexual contact occurred from the late 1960s through the 1990s. Neither teacher still works at the school. Jim Arden, who worked at the school from 1970 until 2001, abused at least three students, according to the investigation. Arden, who died in 2016, founded the Jim Arden Foundation to help children in Tanzania. Peter French, who worked at the school from 1961 until 1999, engaged in inappropriate sexual contact with at least five students, the investigation found. Police and child welfare officials have been informed of the investigation's findings, Rohdie said. Greenwich Country Day, founded in 1926, is a coeducational school with 900 students in preschool through ninth grade. Former President George H.W. Bush and actress Bryce Dallas Howard are among its alumni....."

That leads us into yesterday's other post:

Thornton Law Firm didn’t break state campaign finance laws, prosecutor says

Message: Campaign contributions and political corruption that favors Democrats is okay!

In-flight explosion creates pressure for engine inspections

Pilot who landed damaged Southwest plane Is Navy veteran with ‘nerves of steel’

Court blocks law that diverts money from Planned Parenthood

It's either that or hire a nanny later on.

‘Poop Train’ full of NYC sewage raises stink in Alabama town

Don't take it personally; they sh*t on everybody.

New York attorney general seeks power to bypass presidential pardons

"The move would serve notice that the legal troubles of the president and his aides may continue without Mueller," and isn't he a little out of his jurisdiction?

Prosecutors: Cohen raid materials to be shared by May 11

Why isn't the NY AG looking into that violation of the Constitution and federal overreach by a Gestapo-like government?

Beyond that, it is just more mud being thrown at this president.

"Barbara Bush: Devoted wife, mother, grandmother, and CEO" by Joan Vennochi Globe Columnist  April 18, 2018

Don’t be fooled by those humble descriptions of Barbara Bush as wife, mother, and grandmother.

She also ran a major corporation. It was called Bush Inc.

Also known as Murder Inc.

Barbara Bush, who died Tuesday at age 92, was devoted to family, and that devotion made her an invaluable political asset. Her white hair and wrinkles made her “normal” and relatable. Her candor was also a plus, especially since it stood out during the more restrained political times that framed the presidencies of her husband, George H.W. Bush, and her son, George W. Bush.

See: Barbara Bush In 2003: "Why should we hear about body bags and death? I mean, it's not relevant. So why should I waste my beautiful mind on something like that?"

It was the death of her dog that upset here, and never mind her husband endlessly repeating the Hill-Knowlton lie about Kuwait babies being thrown out of incubators onto the cold hard floor, etc, etc, in 1990-91.

But like all successful CEOs, Barbara Bush was also devoted to building a brand and doing what it took to market it. Promoting the Bush brand meant pushing important social causes, like literacy. It also meant playing along, when necessary, with some rough political hardball.

The elite fawning and rewriting of history is sickening! 

Btw, she couldn't have marketed it to well because the name is now sh*t (thanks to W, right?)

In 1984, when then-Vice President George H.W. Bush was Ronald Reagan’s running mate against Democrat Walter Mondale, Barbara Bush famously did what a male candidate couldn’t. She took a shot at Mondale’s running mate, Geraldine Ferraro, describing her as something that “rhymes with rich.” In the uproar that followed, Bush sort of apologized, saying she didn’t mean to insult Ferraro by calling her “a witch.”

Another moment of candor for everyone's beloved grandmother.

Civil rights were said to be a Barbara Bush passion. The New York Times writes that during a trip from Texas to Kennebunkport, Maine, she refused to stay at a hotel that would not accommodate two black family employees who were traveling with her.

OMG! She was civil rights warrior now because she stuck up for her black servants!! Forget the charges against both the son and the husband that their administrations were racist. Accused of being to WASPish, remember? All down the memory hole!

Also, when she became first lady, she insisted that her press secretary be black, a first for that position. None of that personal commitment led her to denounce, at least publicly, the nasty race-baiting campaign that George H.W. Bush ran against Democrat Michael S. Dukakis in 1988. As directed by Lee Atwater, an operative famous for the politics of attack, Dukakis was the target of a campaign advertisement about Willie Horton, a black convicted murderer who escaped from a Massachusetts prison during a weekend furlough and raped a white woman and stabbed her husband. That ad did to Dukakis what Atwater promised — to “make Willie Horton his running mate.” When Atwater died in 1991 of a brain tumor, then-President Bush said, “Barbara and I are heartsick about it.” He said he found Atwater’s near-death apology to Dukakis “interesting.”

In 2000, Bush history repeated itself. When George W. Bush was running for the Republican presidential nomination, robo-calls to South Carolina voters asked how they would feel about John McCain if they knew he had fathered an illegitimate child with a black woman. Those calls, inspired by the appearance of McCain’s adopted daughter from Bangladesh on the campaign trail, helped Barbara Bush’s son win.

Do you remember who they hired to do that?

Of course, W had changed by the time Katrina hit, right? Wasn't he accused of not caring about black people because of the negligent preparation and response?

Such political decisions are owned by the candidate, not by his wife or mother.

But if she was the CEO..... (sigh)????

But Barbara Bush remained publicly loyal to whatever it took to win. That makes her no different from any other spouse or parent who puts love ahead of principle. That’s reality.

Like other political wives, she also remained loyal to her husband, despite rumors of infidelity, which he denied. 

She stood by her man, huh?

She was a strong woman with strong opinions, who kept some of them to herself, if they could be used by political opponents. For example, after her husband left office, she said she supported legal abortion.

Like a good wife should, she seems to be saying.

The commencement speech she gave in 1990 at Wellesley College highlighted the conflict that still reigns to some degree over Barbara Bush’s role in life and politics. Students protested her selection as speaker, since she had dropped out of Smith College to marry Bush. A signed petition complained that to honor her “is to honor a woman who has gained recognition through the achievements of her husband.” But the speech she gave wowed the crowd.....

--more--"

Related:

When Barbara Bush wowed Wellesley College

Kennebunkport recalls Barbara Bush as a generous, friendly neighbor

Thankfully, their time has passed.

So when is the cremation?

Also see:

13 Democrats want to replace Niki Tsongas

City Councilor Michelle Wu has her supporters, and State Senator Stan Rosenberg has withdrawn from the race.

Secret Pompeo mission to North Korea shows Trump’s trust in spies over diplomats

Bolton was in on it, too.

Gunmen Shot at U.N. Team Near Site of Reported Chemical Attack, Official Says

It's the U.S. proxy terrorists that are keeping them from getting so they can claim the non-existent evidence evaporated before they got there and then blame the Iranians for it.

Germany’s Merkel condemns attack on 2 Jewish men in Berlin

You read the account of the alleged victim and it's the same old story.

Raúl Castro Prepares to Resign as Cuba’s President, Closing a Dynasty

The new guy is a blank slate, or so I am told.

Saudi Arabia to show ‘Black Panther’ to mark cinema opening

You can also see the film in the United Arab Emirates, as the butcher of Yemen is going to make the country fun and entertain the masses with sports!

Erdogan calls for early elections in Turkey 

He's "probably preoccupied by signs of a worsening economy and the country’s ongoing military operations against Kurdish groups in Syria and Iraq, but....."

Here is the bigger picture:

"French rail workers, airline employees, and students staged another string of strikes and sit-ins Wednesday despite French President Emmanuel Macron’s insistence that protests won’t prevent him from trying to overhaul the economy. Rail workers resumed a strike set to disrupt traffic off-and-on through June. National railway company SNCF said one out of three high-speed trains is running. International train traffic to Britain, Germany, Italy, and Spain was also disrupted, with the exception of the Thalys train to Belgium and the Netherlands, which was running normally. The striking workers, whose number was down slightly from previous protests, are demonstrating against plans to revoke a special status that allows them to retain jobs and other benefits for life. On Tuesday night, France’s Assembly approved the bill, meant to prepare French rail for competition. The text will now be debated by the Senate."

That is the peril lurking within!!!

I don't mean to strand you, but I've got to get running:

"At Downtown Crossing Roche Bros., skipping the longer line can cost you" by Sean P. Murphy, Globe Staff April 18, 2018

The Roche Bros. Market in Downtown Crossing is so inviting with its wide selection of groceries and prepared foods that customers frequently wait in long lines to check out, but Ken Leeser and others have discovered they can often save time by taking the escalator upstairs and paying there, in the part of the store devoted to take-out food.

The trouble is that by doing so they pay a 7 percent tax on items that, under the law, are simply not taxable. It creates a windfall for the state, which, not surprisingly, is responsible for perpetuating it.

“This is a problem for people like me who want to grab a few items after work and get home without spending a long time waiting in line,” said Leeser, who works on nearby Franklin Street and lives in the Seaport District. 

In recent years, the Seaport has transformed into an enclave for high-end living, dining, and entertainment. That's why I call it the Bo$ton Globe now.

Almost everywhere we shop the checkout systems are coded to distinguish what we buy and add on the appropriate taxes. It’s not an issue at a Stop & Shop in Quincy or Wegmans in Natick or Roche Bros. Market in West Roxbury.

RelatedWegmans opens in Natick this month

Nor is it an issue at the 22 registers in the downstairs portion of Roche Bros. in Downtown Crossing, in space once occupied by the fabled Filene’s Basement, but upstairs, in a much smaller, street-level space, the seven registers charge a 7 percent meals tax on everything. That’s the part of the store crammed with a soup and salad bar, plus sandwiches, cut fruit, cookies, and drinks. There are a few places to sit and eat, inside or outside.

Dena Kowaloff, the head of marketing for Roche Bros., a locally owned family business, told me the company would rather code all of its registers to recognize the taxable and the nontaxable, but the state is standing in the way. The state has deemed the upstairs portion of the store to be a restaurant and mandates that the registers there treat all sales as taxable, she said.

As it is, Roche Bros. tries to discourages customers from taking their groceries upstairs because it doesn’t want them paying more in taxes than they owe. But it’s hardly practical to do so when the store is swarming with customers, especially after work. (Frankly, if they had more cashiers downstairs this wouldn’t be as big an issue.)

At this point, I just want to get out of here, too. 

Between the Bush slop and this, I'm full up.

The solution is for the state to allow all of the registers to distinguish a hot cup of bean soup (taxable) from a cold can of beans (nontaxable). The Department of Revenue can probably do this simply by dropping its designation of the upstairs portion as a restaurant.

Kowaloff said those like Leeser who feel put out by the current arrangement are encouraged to “contact their state senator or representative to lobby for a change.”

A spokeswoman for the Department of Revenue declined to comment.....

Did you see in whose pockets that money will be going?

How do you defend that?

--more--"

He then goes on to read the fine print of his AT&T Wireless bill while checking his RealID.

Was going to go play a round of golf but "the prolonged winter weather is giving golf a chill."

Yes, "the end is near," readers.

Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Haspel and Haley

Someone call the State Police:

More hidden State Police pay surfaces. This time: millions in perks

At bottom, the Globe expose is a self-serving attempt to get jurisdiction over the Seaport District turned over to the Boston police. That doesn't excuse the decades-long, open secret of corruption and looting at the State Police.

Barbara Bush, matriarch in a political dynasty, dies at 92

I'm sure some are saying ding-dong, the witch is dead, and she won't be getting any new body parts.

Maybe I'm being callous and cruel, but I don't think so. I don't think the procreator and wife of war criminals deserve reverence. The elite pre$$ does, of course, and I'll see you on the flip side.

UPDATE: Barbara Bush In 2003: "Why should we hear about body bags and death? I mean, it's not relevant. So why should I waste my beautiful mind on something like that?"

The Globe seems to have missed that one, and she was joking to the end (W hopes you don't feel sorry for him).

George H.W. Bush says to ‘cross the Bushes off your worry list’ following Barbara’s death

They were never on my "worry" list, and did he say that before or after he decided to Dave a Cop and Feel?

"This year Massachusetts becomes ground zero in the latest round of the nation’s culture wars. A November ballot question asking voters whether to keep or repeal the state’s 2016 antidiscrimination law is expected to be the first statewide referendum on transgender rights, taking the national temperature on a fiery hot social issue. If bluer-than-blue Massachusetts votes to repeal transgender rights, said Andrew Beckwith, one of those pushing for repeal, “it will send a real message to the rest of the country that this is just too much. It’s pushed beyond what common sense will allow.”

And common decency, for that matter. 

As for bluer than blue, doesn't the state have a Republican governor?

(flip)

1,200 artworks were stuffed into a 3-story Quincy home. Now a collection is unveiled

At least it's a happy ending.

"Trump CIA pick faces rocky confirmation over torture role" by Liz Goodwin Globe Staff  April 17, 2018

WASHINGTON — The CIA, which generally prefers to stay out of the public eye, is now in the midst of a highly public campaign to defend President Trump’s choice of longtime operative Gina Haspel as the agency’s first female director.

That must be a switch for the Deep State scum, huh?

This unusual mission is more overt than covert, and it is pulling the CIA into risky political waters. Haspel and her backers in the intelligence community must overcome deep skepticism among many senators about her record, in particular concerns about her role in Bush-era torture policies that threaten to torpedo her nomination. And in trying to do so, the CIA’s public relations efforts are further highlighting just how much the public will probably never know about the nominee’s track record from Africa to Asia.

Yup, we will never know the horrors of the black site torture chambers and the praise for Bar seems a little misplaced.

After Trump selected Haspel in March, the CIA praised Haspel, currently its deputy director, as a pathbreaker for women in a lengthy thread on Twitter that also described her 33-year career in oddly vague terms. Haspel had led a small station in “an exotic and tumultuous capital” that goes unnamed by the agency, after a stint in an unspecified African country in the waning days of the Cold War. She survived a coup, but the CIA doesn’t say where.

Are you sure she is not a ballbreaker?

The fact that such a position is considered pathbreaking for a woman shows how absurd is all this equality feminism. Rather than look to emulate the worst of men, why don't they celebrate their superiority in the giving of life? That's why they are eulogizing Barbara Bush.

The agency also credits her with catching two terrorists linked to an embassy bombing, and (in her official biography) notes she keeps a 5-foot-tall poster of Johnny Cash behind her desk. Former CIA directors under both Barack Obama and George W. Bush praise her as an apolitical professional and a capable leader.

A professional torturer, great, and didn't Obama say he was going to close down Gitmo?

Nowhere in the agency’s PR blitz, however, is it mentioned that Haspel played a key role in a controversial interrogation program after 9/11 — a fact that will likely dominate her confirmation hearing before the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence. The hearing has not yet been scheduled.

The committee’s Democrats are pushing the CIA to peel back the curtain and let the public know more about Haspel’s past, slamming the agency’s spin as “superficial” and insulting.

“Under the title ‘Get to Know our Deputy Director,’ the CIA issued a press release that included a superficial narrative about Ms. Haspel without providing the public any meaningful information about her 33-year career at the CIA and what it demonstrates about her suitability to serve as director,” Senators Dianne Feinstein, Ron Wyden, and Martin Heinrich wrote to CIA Director Mike Pompeo this week. 

Then the problems must be serious because the CIA never addresses such matters in the press or anywhere else (don't really have to, if you know what I mean).

The senators said that through their own review of the classified facts about her career, they’ve grown “more disturbed” by Haspel’s past.

“I’m concerned because through our torture report her name is all the way through it and that’s a problem for the signal it sends,” Feinstein said Tuesday.

The “torture report” is a 6,000-page classified document crafted by the Senate Intelligence Committee more than six years ago that details the abuses of the CIA’s interrogation program after 9/11, including the use of waterboarding, sleep deprivation, rectal feeding, and forced nudity.

See: Senate Torture Report

It's a good thing you can't see the sites because then you would hear the screams.

Wyden told the Globe he believes the administration is trying to “cover up” Haspel’s past and is making a mockery of the confirmation process by not declassifying more.

“I think it’s odd that they’re out spinning about how she’s a terrific nominee without giving the Senate the information to make the evaluation,” Wyden said.

CIA spokesman Ryan Trapani said the agency will share Haspel’s classified record with all senators during the confirmation process. “Prior to last year, Deputy Director Haspel’s entire career at CIA was classified, including the fact she worked at CIA,” Trapani said. “Through the confirmation process, the American public will get to know her for the first time.”

They may not want to.

At issue is Haspel’s alleged role, reported in the media, of overseeing a “black site” in Thailand while a terror suspect was waterboarded there. Haspel also advocated for and wrote a cable ordering the shredding of 92 tapes showing waterboarding and other harsh interrogations, according to a memoir written by the former general counsel for the CIA. CIA officials have said she was acting on orders from her boss in directing the destruction of the tapes.

She said the VCR ate them, and the Nuremberg defense has already been discredited (thanks for implicating W, though).

The math looks tough for her. Republicans, who hold 51 seats in the Senate, almost surely would need Democratic votes to confirm her. Republican Senator Rand Paul came out against Haspel last month, with another Republican, John McCain, expressing grave concerns.

McCain, who was tortured as a prisoner of war in Vietnam, sent a letter to Haspel asking her to provide details about, and a rationale for, the destruction of the tapes, along with other pointed questions that suggest he’s leaning against her nomination.

“There’s an intense level of concern,” even among some Republican senators, about her involvement in the interrogation program, said Chris Anders, the deputy director of the ACLU’s legislative office in Washington. “If I were in the Trump White House, I would look at this and say, ‘Wow, this [nomination] is in trouble.’ ” 

Time to withdraw her name and begin a grand jury investigation to indict.

A litany of CIA officials, including former directors Michael Hayden, Leon Panetta, and John Brennan, endorsed her, along with dozens of other intelligence officials, in a letter to the Senate Intelligence Committee last week.

“Haspel did nothing more and nothing less than what the nation and the agency asked her to do, and she did it well,” wrote Hayden, who led the CIA between 2006 and 2009.

The ruling and political cla$$ in this country are monsters!!!

“The CIA likes having directors who come from the family — it makes them more comfortable,” said Mark Lowenthal, a former assistant director of Central Intelligence and now a professor at John Hopkins University.

And H.W. BUSH served a year

I was told "presidents were expected to set a national example, and what a sad commentary that is about our country," huh?

But Haspel’s opponents are hoping the Senate won’t be cowed by the intelligence community.

The last time they were not, the CIA spied on them.

Anders of the ACLU is using the vote count for the 2015 McCain-Feinstein amendment banning torture as his lobbying road map, theorizing that at least some of the 78 senators who voted to outlaw waterboarding are potential “no” votes on Haspel. That includes two Republican members of the Senate Intelligence Committee, Senator Susan Collins from Maine and Senator Richard Burr of North Carolina. Burr supports Haspel’s nomination, but Collins has not yet made a determination.

“I wouldn’t know what kind of call to make on whether or not she makes it through,” said Lowenthal.

It’s unclear if there’s appetite among all Senate Democrats for this particular fight. Senator Chuck Schumer said last month that he’s not urging the caucus to vote against Haspel, and a handful of Democrats — including Senator Joe Manchin of West Virginia and Senator Bill Nelson of Florida — have sounded open to her nomination. Haspel has been meeting with senators on the committee and attempting to assuage their concerns about her role in the destruction of the interrogation tapes in particular.

What good are Democrats if they aren't going to take a stand here?

If nothing else, the hearing will drag back into the spotlight a painful chapter of US history, rehashing the Bush administration’s decision to green light torture in the aftermath of 9/11. Obama decided not to launch an investigation into that period when he took office, saying he wanted to “look forward.”

Yeah, "if nothing else" it will make the CIA look bad -- never mind the painful chapters endured by their victims.

The green light means the red light needs to go on for the eulogies for Bar, and Obama proved his cowardly cravenness early on.

McCain sent a strongly worded letter to Haspel with tough questions that preview what she’ll likely face at her hearing. He asked for her to explain whether she ever directed “enhanced interrogation” techniques including waterboarding, forced nudity and humiliation, slapping, stress positions, and sleep deprivation for more than 48 hours.

“We now know that these techniques not only failed to deliver actionable intelligence, but actually produced false and misleading information,” McCain wrote. “Most importantly, the use of torture compromised our values, stained our national honor, and threatened our historical reputation.”

What he is most worried about is the image.

Good thing he will be dying soon, huh? 

Maybe the next guy won't be so hard on Haspel.

--more--"

She looks like she would cut your balls off as soon as the lights went out without giving it a millisecond of thought.

**********

Passenger dies after being partly sucked out of plane amid engine failure

One person died and seven others were injured after an engine blew apart, sending shrapnel into the plane and forcing a Southwest Airlines flight to make an emergency landing at Philadelphia International Airport on Tuesday. It was the first passenger fatality on a U.S. carrier since 2009, federal officials said, and the first passenger fatality in Southwest’s 51-year history.

Photos and footage posted to social media showed the aftermath of the apparent explosion, which sprayed shrapnel and caused a plane window to be blown out in a chilling episode that one passenger streamed live on Facebook.

I'm surprised they didn't holler terrorism to deflect from the defective equipment.

Neil Gorsuch breaks tie as Supreme Court partially strikes down deportation law

Potential impeachment of Missouri’s governor clouded by legal ambiguities

Related:

"In New England, residents either love their governors or hate them. And they aren’t shy about telling some stranger on the phone exactly how they feel. A recent Morning Consult poll of the approval ratings for all the nation’s governors finds the region’s are unusual standouts: They are among the most popular and the least. Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker (above) is once again the nation’s most popular governor among his constituents, while Connecticut’s Dannel Malloy brings up the rear as the nation’s least popular. Overall, of New England’s six governors, three made the top five as most popular, while the other three ranked in the bottom seven. Overall, of New England’s six governors, three made the top five as most popular, while the other three ranked in the bottom seven. The governor most at-risk is Rhode Island’s first-term Democrat, Gina Raimondo. According to the new poll, only 39 percent of residents approve of Raimondo’s job performance, while 50 percent disapprove. How bad is that number? Missouri Governor Eric Greitens, who was indicted in February on a number of felony charges and faces impeachment, has a 40 percent approval rating. Raimondo faces a Democratic primary in her reelection, and if she makes it to the general election she will face a Republican nominee as well as a strong Democratic-leaning independent challenger....." 

That's an indictment of her right there!

Yup, our red governor in bluer-than-blue Ma$$achu$etts is the nation's most popular.

I don't want to ‘‘scare the hell out of you’’ by yelling fire, but:

New York Mice Are Crawling With Dangerous Bacteria and Viruses

The “real message is that these things are everywhere.”

"Large majority supports tougher Russia sanctions, Post-ABC poll finds" by Scott Clement Washington Post  April 18, 2018

WASHINGTON — Despite support for penalizing Russia, 52 percent of adults say Trump should invite Vladimir Putin to the White House in an effort to improve US-Russia relations, while 42 percent say Trump should not do so, because it would grant Putin legitimacy.

Look at the naive American people, still believing peace is possible, and whether he comes or not he is a legitimate world leader.

The Post-ABC poll finds uncommonly broad support for tougher sanctions on Russia, with Democrats along with Republicans and independents favoring tougher penalties.

On Monday, Trump pulled the plug on sanctions aimed at Russian companies behind the equipment related to Syrian President Bashar Assad’s alleged chemical weapons attack, after the sanctions were announced Sunday by Nikki Haley, the US ambassador to the United Nations.

Oh, yeah

Now why would he do that?

The Post reported that administration officials said Haley made an error and said it was unlikely that Trump would approve any additional sanctions without another triggering event by Russia.

I don't think so. I think they hung the neocon skank out to dry to make her look bad.

Trump is like Caeser right now. He's surrounded by enemies.

Trump’s chief economic adviser said Tuesday that Haley ‘‘got ahead of the curve’’ when she said new sanctions against Russia were imminent.

The director of the National Economic Council, Larry Kudlow, told reporters Tuesday during a briefing in Florida that there ‘‘might have been some momentary confusion’’ about the issue.

I now realize Kudlow was brought in because he is someone Trump trusts, plus he is outside of the neocon, Israeli-first crowd subverting this president and trying to push him into an invasion of Syria.

Related"President Trump’s top economist blasted the Congressional Budget Office on Tuesday, dismissing the scorekeeper’s recent projections that the Republican tax law would push America’s annual deficit over $1 trillion. ‘‘Never believe the CBO. Very important: Never believe them,’’ Larry Kudlow, director of Trump’s National Economic Council, said during an interview on ‘‘Fox & Friends.’’ ‘‘They’re always wrong, especially with regard to tax cuts.’’ Kudlow’s remarks reflect the widespread belief in the Republican Party that the CBO has failed to adequately account for higher economic growth when estimating the tax law’s impact on the deficit. Several other nonpartisan studies, as well as Wall Street analysts, have also disputed Republicans’ contention that the tax law will pay for itself....." 

Also see: "The invitation-only, official White House event — billed as a town hall — is part of the White House’s larger effort to talk up what it says are benefits in the new tax law. “Town halls are a catch-22 for this administration. If they have a real town hall, they will undoubtedly face questions about scandals that have nothing to do with taxes . . . about Russia, Mueller, Michael Cohen, Sean Hannity, Stormy Daniels, et cetera” said Joshua Dyck, codirector of the Center for Public Opinion at UMass Lowell. “However, the optics of doing a partisan event in a state so reputed for its independent thinking are not good.” When the event turned to the audience, a Dover, N.H., hair salon owner declined to pose an inquiry about the law, instead thanking the duo for the tax overhaul and asking Ivanka Trump for a hug. (She obliged and mentioned that she needed to stop by the salon sometime.)"

More on the tax plan and its effects later.

On Tuesday, Haley fired back at the White House, denying that she had been confused when she announced Sunday that the Trump administration would impose new sanctions on Russia.

“With all due respect, I don’t get confused,” she told Dana Perino of Fox News.

OMFG! 

The insubordination to a president that she serves at his pleasure is a fireable offense in my book.

The White House has been struggling to explain Haley’s comments, amid reports that Trump put the brakes on the new sanctions. Several administration officials are disputing that characterization, saying Haley was out of the loop.

GOOD, and we know the REAL REASON WHY

Maybe he should replace Pence, too.

A senior administration official said that under a plan conceived last week the sanctions would have been announced Friday night, at the same time US, French, and British forces launched a missile strike on Syrian President Bashar Assad’s chemical weapons facilities. But the sanctions were not ready in time for Trump’s 9 p.m. Friday statement.

The official said the sanctions were reevaluated over the weekend as the administration watched the Russian government’s response to the strikes, and they were put on hold once Russia’s response was deemed less robust than anticipated. The official was not authorized to discuss private administration deliberations publicly and spoke on condition of anonymity. 

Sort of like a reward for not sinking the fleet or exposing AmeriKa's weakness.

Russia analysts said the whipsaw policy shift once again highlighted an administration struggling to find a coherent and consistent voice in dealing with Russia, which in the past four years has annexed Crimea, intervened in eastern Ukraine, sought to influence the US election in 2016, allegedly poisoned a former Russian spy living in Britain, and propped up the murderous government of President Bashar Assad in Syria.

Okay, they didn't annex Crimea so that is a WAComPo lie. Given that, it is a safe to assume that the other three floggings are just as fake -- or at best, distorted.

Trump has mostly spoken hopefully of his efforts to forge a friendship with President Vladimir Putin of Russia, including congratulating him on a reelection widely denounced as a sham and even suggesting a White House meeting. At the same time, the Trump administration has imposed two rounds of sanctions against Russia in the last month, expelled 60 of Moscow’s diplomats, and closed a consulate in retaliation for the poisoning attack in Britain. 

Well, the AmeriKan pre$$ should know all about sham elections since we have them every two years over here.

“Trump seems to think that if he accepts what his advisers recommend on even days of the month and rejects their recommendations on odd days, the result will be a strategy,” said Stephen Sestanovich, a scholar at the Council on Foreign Relations and Columbia University who served as ambassador to former Soviet states in the 1990s.

Look who they turn to for "expert" analysis.

“By and large, other governments don’t know whether to laugh or cry at all this,” Sestanovich said. “But in Russia, laughter is getting the upper hand.”

Yup, Russia is laughing at us so let's what, nuke 'em?

Trump was annoyed with Haley for getting out in front of the policy, the administration official said, and his decision to reject sanctions left her hanging in public, with her credibility on the line.

We know why he is annoyed, and how can something you don't have be on the line?

Haley has been one of the strongest critics in the administration of Russia’s behavior around the world, often speaking far more harshly than Trump would, but she has rarely been reined in publicly this way. She made no comment on Monday.

Didn't Tillerson have to rein her in once already?

Administration officials said new sanctions could be imposed at some point if Russia takes further action justifying them.

But absent such a scenario, the officials could not explain how Trump would make Russia pay a “big price” for enabling Syria’s use of chemical weapons, as he promised to do. The strike against Syria that Trump announced late Friday in Washington was limited to a single night and to three targets......

Look at the Washington ComPost beat the war drums against Russia!

--more--"

I know it is hard to believe, but all that stands between the pre$$ and a “mushroom cloud from an atomic bomb” is Donald Trump!

Also see:

Mitch McConnell sees no need for law to protect Robert Mueller

Trump seeks extension to file his taxes

Here is why:

"The Internal Revenue Service announced late Tuesday that it will let taxpayers submit tax returns without penalty through Wednesday, after a long day of technical problems that fueled confusion about what is already one of Americans’ most frustrating interactions with their government. A computer glitch at the IRS knocked offline the agency’s ability to process many tax returns filed electronically, a breakdown that left agency officials flummoxed and millions of Americans baffled. Senior government officials were at a loss to explain what happened, even as close to 5 million Americans were expected to try to file their taxes before the midnight deadline. IRS officials did not specify exactly what went wrong, saying only that they would undertake a ‘‘hard reboot’’ of their systems. By late Tuesday, the IRS said its systems were back online, and taxpayers could proceed to file returns through the end of Wednesday....."

Yeah, about that software:

"The major practical problem it had identified — that it would be burdensome for out-of-state retailers to calculate and collect taxes for thousands of state and local jurisdictions — has been solved by modern software....."

OMG! In their greedy grab for loot they are ignoring the never-ending instances of software problems in this state and on a national level, from unemployment and the DoR to the Obummercare rollout that crashed the state's health site, etc, etc, etc.

Now about the tax plan:

"Technology companies led US stocks solidly higher Tuesday, giving the market its second straight gain. Consumer-services companies, retailers, and health care stocks accounted for a big slice of the broad rally. Banks declined, and oil prices recovered from an early slide. Strong company earnings and outlooks, as well as some encouraging economic data, helped put investors in a buying mood. While the market has been preoccupied lately with concern over geopolitical and trade tensions, Wall Street has something else to focus on over the next few weeks: company earnings, and expectations that last year’s corporate tax cut will have a positive effect on corporate balance sheets....."

Exhibit A:

"Investment bank Goldman Sachs said Tuesday that its first quarter profits rose by 26 percent, helped by a lower tax bill and a surge in market volatility. The Wall Street bank earned $2.83 billion. The results topped analysts’ forecasts....."

They sure are keeping quiet about the record bank profits, huh?

The drift is join a union.

Detente is off between president, California governor

Trump administration defends Obama’s Atlantic monument

Pruitt upgraded to a larger, customized SUV with bullet-resistant seat covers

His monthly payment on the vehicle is $839.

Controversy shadows Trump’s pick as CDC director

I'm not interested in anything James Comey has to say, sorry, and he should be in jail.

Of course, that is why the Trump-hating pre$$ is loving the guy.

*********

‘Good relationship’ was formed when CIA director met with N.K. leader, Trump says

As China has extended a peace offering to Trump.

Who would have thunk it? 

Donald Trump: the world's last, best hope for peace!

Guys like that are as endangered as a magpie.

Myanmar’s president grants amnesty to over 8,500 prisoners

Were any of them caught up in Haspel's dragnet?

"A Pakistani high court convicted a former judge and his wife of torturing a 10-year-old child working as a servant at their home and sentenced them to a year in prison on Tuesday. Justice Aamer Farooq of the Islamabad High Court also fined the couple the sum of 100,000 Pakistani rupees, about $900. The case of the girl, Tayyaba, first made headlines when police rescued her in 2016 from the judge’s residence in Islamabad, following complaints from neighbors. Initially her parents struck a deal to pardon the couple but the Supreme Court, which also acts as a supervisory tribunal, ordered a retrial. Prosecutor Tariq Jahangiri said the verdict was reached after a retrial that lasted one year. Later, the convicted couple was granted bail by the same court....."

Kind of falls right into the theme of this blog, doesn't it?

"In September, a teenager from Delhi was kidnapped and raped. She went to the police, and the alleged perpetrators were caught and put on trial. But now there’s another challenge. The teen says her parents have accepted about $7,600 from the alleged assailants. In exchange, they pressed the victim to change her statement to protect her attackers. The young woman found out during the negotiations and figured out where her parents had tucked the money. The girl reported the bribe to Delhi police, who arrested the girl’s mother. Her father is ‘‘on the run,’’ according to the BBC. The young woman’s story is the latest to draw attention to the issue of rape in India. Just a few days ago, protests broke out over the rape and murder of an 8-year-old girl in northern India....."

What is strange is that happens not only in Bollywood, but in Hollywood.

Skripal Attack Used 'Very Small Amount' of Liquid Poison, U.K. Says

The NYT doesn't identify the BZ while tell us the decontamination of the area could take months.

You know why Skripal will soon go away, right?

Yeah, somebody has some explaining to do, and there is not even an apology forthcoming from the witch of England (who, incidentally, accused the Syrian government and its ally Russia of trying to cover up evidence and obstruct the investigation! Talk about balls!)

"Chemical arms experts in Syria go to site of alleged attack" by Bassem Mroue and Philip Issa Associated Press  April 17, 2018

DAMASCUS, Syria —The alleged attack and subsequent military response underscored the challenge that the seven-year conflict in Syria poses for the West. President Trump wants to remove US troops from Syria, where it has been fighting the Islamic State militants.

A new strategy appeared to be crystallizing to let the United States leave Syria without relinquishing its interests to Assad government or his allies, Iran, and Russia.

How they going to do that?

Saudi Arabian Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir said the US-aligned kingdom could deploy forces from a bloc of mostly Sunni Muslim nations that was established to fight terrorism. He said the Obama administration did not agree to such an offer.

The troops are already on there way:

"Britain’s famed Queen Elizabeth 2 cruise ship will finally open as a floating luxury hotel moored off Dubai, nearly a decade after completing its last ocean voyage. It’s been another long trip for the ship known as the QE2 to even open to the public, as Dubai’s financial meltdown and years of slow growth nearly sank the project and left the ship languishing at port. After initially planning to gut the vessel, Dubai’s government ultimately decided to restore the ship at a cost of over $100 million, down to replicating its 1960s carpeting, with work still underway. The luxury ship traveled some 6 million miles in decades of service even as airlines came to dominate trans-Atlantic travel. It carried 2.5 million passengers and crossed the Atlantic more than 800 times. Britain requisitioned the ship as a troop carrier for the Falklands War against Argentina in 1982."

I like the idea because replacing the Americans with Saudi-bought mercenaries, and allowing Trump to claim he got out of Syria, is a very good thing, as full eradication can be applied to the mercenaries.

The kingdom has supported Sunni rebel groups fighting Assad’s forces, which are backed by Shiite-majority Iran. Saudi Arabia is also a member of the US-led coalition battling Islamic State militants.

The OPCW visit to Douma came hours after Syrian media reported airstrikes Tuesday on government military installations in the central Homs region and the suburbs of Damascus, but the military later said a false alarm had set off air defense systems.....

It was a cyber hack attack by USrael!

--more--"

I'm told the evidence (or lack thereof) could be useless, and that journalists in Damascus were prevented by government minders from contacting the OPCW inspectors even though they were allowed access to Douma on Monday (putting the lie to yesterday's cow flop).

Cosby and the Cambridge Cops

Have they both been framed?

"Cosby accuser denies framing him, knowing key witness" by Michael R. Sisak Associated Press  April 17, 2018

NORRISTOWN, Pa. — Bill Cosby’s chief accuser at his sexual-assault trial on Monday denied framing him and said she doesn’t know a key witness who plans to testify she spoke of leveling false accusations against a celebrity.

Andrea Constand told jurors she doesn’t ‘‘recall ever having a conversation with’’ Marguerite Jackson. Both women worked at Temple University around the time Constand says Cosby drugged and molested her at the comedian’s suburban Philadelphia home in 2004.

The defense plans to call Jackson as a witness and says she will testify that before Constand lodged her allegations against Cosby in 2005, Constand had mused to her about setting up a ‘‘high-profile person’’ and filing suit.

Jackson has said that she and Constand worked closely together, had been friends, and had shared hotel rooms several times.

Those records should be easy enough to check.

A judge blocked Jackson from testifying at last year’s trial, which ended in a hung jury, after Constand took the stand and denied knowing her.

Considering the racial component of the trial here, can't the term "hung jury" be changed to a more politically-correct and contemporary term? Maybe deadlocked? 

At the time, Judge Steven O’Neill ruled Jackson’s testimony would be hearsay. Since then, prosecutors have told Cosby’s lawyers that Constand had modified her statement to acknowledge she ‘‘recalls a Margo.’’

Oh, no. You know what that means.

The judge has ruled that Jackson can take the stand at the retrial but indicated he could revisit the issue after Constand was finished testifying.

Jackson’s availability as a witness for Cosby could be crucial to a defense plan to attack Constand’s credibility and get jurors to believe she set up Cosby.

Cosby lawyer Tom Mesereau, who has called Constand a ‘‘con artist’’ who framed Cosby and then collected a $3.4 million settlement, asked her about Jackson during cross-examination on Monday. She again denied knowing her.

The defense lawyer then asked, ‘‘Did you ever fabricate a scheme to falsely accuse him for money?’’

‘‘No, sir,’’ Constand replied. 

Yeah, it didn't happen at Duke.

Constand, 45, left the witness stand Monday after testifying for seven hours over two days.

She told jurors last week that Cosby knocked her out with pills and then sexually assaulted her.

Cosby, 80, says Constand consented to a sexual encounter.

If convicted, Cosby could get up to 10 years in prison on each of three charges of aggravated indecent assault.

On Monday, the defense tried to cast Constand as an opportunist who baited Cosby by feigning romantic interest in him. The defense said she spent late nights at the comedian’s home, drove four hours to see him at a casino, and called him twice on Valentine’s Day, about a month after the alleged assault.

The calls should be easy enough the check, what with the telecom and government data collection. Were the rest to be confirmed, her credibility would be gone.

Constand has testified that she saw the former TV star as a mentor and had previously rejected his advances. And she said her phone calls to Cosby were about basketball and had nothing to do with romance.

She didn't want his chocolate barThat seems odd. It's akin to a crush on a teacher. 

As for the calls, if true it shows bad judgement at the least. You keep calling him after he sexually assaulted you? At worst, it's like the girl who rejects you when asked for a date, but then turns around and teases you.

Phone records show Constand, the former director of women’s basketball operations at Temple University, made brief calls to Cosby around the time of a Temple home game on Feb. 14, 2004, the month after the alleged assault.

‘‘You think you called Mr. Cosby to talk about basketball?’’ Mesereau asked her.

Constand testified that she felt a duty to answer Cosby’s inquiries because he was a powerful alumnus and trustee.

Picking up where he left off Friday, Mesereau questioned Constand about inconsistencies in her police statements and prior testimony.

Mesereau said Constand told police in 2005 that she called Cosby from her university-issued cellphone just before she arrived at his house on the night of the alleged assault to ensure the gate would be open. But Constand’s phone records show she did not make any calls to Cosby’s mansion that month.

OMG!

Constand explained that she may have been mistaken, that there were times Cosby told her in advance that the gate would be open, and that she often reached him at another number.

Now it looks like she is the one lying.

Prosecutors have called to the stand five other women who said Cosby drugged and assaulted them, too. The defense has called the other accusers irrelevant to the case.

The Associated Press does not typically identify people who say they are victims of sexual assault unless they grant permission, which Constand has done.

--more--" 

She sure looks like she is enjoying the attention, huh?

Related:

Judge in Bill Cosby trial to stay on

"Judge hints he may not allow Cosby quaalude testimony" by Michael R. Sisak Associated Press  March 30, 2018

NORRISTOWN, Pa. — The judge in Bill Cosby’s sexual assault retrial hinted Friday that he could keep jurors from hearing the comedian’s prior testimony about giving quaaludes to women before sex, a potential blow to the prosecution’s plans to portray him as a serial predator.

Here is why he didn't offer them a drink:

"Heineken has removed a commercial for its light beer after some complaints that it was racist. The ad featured a bartender sliding a bottle of Heineken light. The bottle passes several black people before it arrives to a lighter-skinned woman. The tag line: Sometimes lighter is better. Hip-hop star Chance the Rapper on Sunday tweeted the commercial was ‘‘terribly racist.’’ He said he thought some companies were purposely ‘‘putting out noticeably racist ads so they can get more views.’’ In a statement, Heineken says while the ad was referencing Heineken Light, ‘‘we missed the mark.’’ Heineken drew praise last year for its ‘‘Open Your World’’ commercials, which featured people of different backgrounds discussing their viewpoints."

Judge Steven O’Neill said at a pretrial hearing that he won’t rule on the testimony until it’s brought up at the retrial, which is scheduled to begin April 9 in suburban Philadelphia.

Jury selection is scheduled to begin Monday as the 80-year-old Cosby faces charges he drugged and molested former Temple University athletics administrator Andrea Constand at his suburban Philadelphia home in 2004.

The quaalude testimony came from a deposition that was part of Constand’s civil suit against Cosby. It was included in the first trial that ended with a hung jury and prosecutors contend it is more evidence of his prior bad acts.

Cosby admitted in the testimony he gave quaaludes to a 19-year-old before having sex in the 1970s, but his lawyers say it’s irrelevant to the trial because there’s no evidence he gave his accuser the drug.

Coz!

District Attorney Kevin Steele said the testimony, along with the testimony of up to five additional accusers, bolsters their plan to portray Cosby as a serial predator. Those women weren’t allowed to testify at the first trial. Cosby’s lawyers plan to portray the accuser as a greedy liar who framed the comedian.....

There is no reason it can't be both!

--more--"

"Prosecutors and the defense began picking a jury for Bill Cosby’s sexual assault retrial Monday in a #MeToo era that could make the task more difficult. Analysts said the social- media movement that has produced sexual misconduct allegations against prominent men could cut both ways for the comedian, making some potential jurors more hostile toward him and others more likely to think men are being unfairly accused. ‘‘We really have had this explosion of awareness since that last trial, and it has changed the entire environment,’’ said Richard Gabriel, a jury consultant who has worked on more than 1,000 trials. ‘‘It is a huge challenge for the defense, but it could also provide an avenue and open up the topic.’’

Cosby retrial won’t be like the first one

"Prosecutor: Bill Cosby paid accuser nearly $3.4m" by Graham Bowley New York Times  April 09, 2018

NORRISTOWN, Pa. — Bill Cosby’s entry at the courthouse was briefly interrupted by the protest of a topless woman, later identified as Nicolle Rochelle, a former actress who had appeared several times on “The Cosby Show.”

She jumped over a crowd barrier outside the courthouse and yelled “Women’s lives matter” before being wrestled to the ground by courthouse deputies about 10 yards in front of Cosby as he walked toward the building’s front doors.

Must everything reported in the paper be some sort of staged event for agenda-pushing purposes?

Rochelle, 38, of Little Falls, N.J., is a member of European feminist group Femen, which is known for staging topless protests, Rochelle said in an interview after her arrest on disorderly conduct charges. She is a performing artist and activist who now lives in Paris.

She had appeared on “The Cosby Show” in the early 1990s when she was 12 years old in a part as a friend of Cosby’s daughter on the show, Rudy. She said that nothing inappropriate had happened on the set with Cosby.

That's a relief, because from what I've read about Hollywood in the wake of Weinstein..... it's ruined the 1970s shows to which I retreat to escape the contemporary insanity of our times.

But now she said she wanted to express the anger of the other women and had chosen to do it topless so as to use her body as “a political tool.”

About a dozen other protesters also demonstrated outside the courthouse, an indication of how Cosby’s profile has changed since he was one of America’s most beloved entertainers.

His is the first high-profile sexual assault trial of the MeToo era, and experts are watching to see what effect the of harassment and assault against prominent men may have on the trial and on jurors’ attitudes toward sexual assault. 

So the first one they try is a black man? 

Wow!

Cosby, who has said the sex with Constand was consensual, was greeted by a handful of supporters, who shouted encouragement to him.

There are also expected to be crucial differences in how the retrial unfolds. At the first trial, for example, testimony was heard from just one other woman who said she was also drugged and assaulted by Cosby.

This time, O’Neill is allowing prosecutors to present the accounts of five additional women with similar accusations — a change that experts say will help bolster Constand’s credibility.

One of the additional accusers prosecutors want to call is Janice Dickinson, the former supermodel, who said Cosby drugged and raped her in Lake Tahoe in 1982.

That is what she told the jury.

The four other witnesses were, at the time, aspiring actresses or models, and in one case a bartender, who say they were assaulted by the entertainer between 1982 and 1989 — all incidents he denies.

Another key difference is that the defense is being allowed to introduce testimony from a Temple University academic adviser who says that Constand once told her that she could make money by falsely claiming that she had been molested by a prominent person.....

NO!!! 

That then gives cover to the real perverts!

--more--"

Turns out she wanted to marry him and he said no.

Also see:

"Jurors on Tuesday got a sense of Bill Cosby’s view of consent from graphic deposition testimony in which the comedian described reaching an area ‘‘somewhere between permission and rejection’’ during what he claims was a prior sexual encounter with his chief accuser. He then described the purported encounter in extremely graphic terms that had several jurors with their hands to their chins, some of them looking taken aback, pained or disgusted....."

Doesn't look good for Bill.

***********

Should have offered her candy:

"Former Necco CEO wants to raise $20m to save the candymaker. So far, he’s got $565" by Katheleen Conti Globe Staff  April 17, 2018

If the news that the maker of Necco Wafers could shut down as soon as next month has put you in a sour mood, you might be able to do something about it.

Ya' got that right!

Al Gulachenski, former chief executive of New England Confectionery Co. in Revere, has launched a crowdfunding campaign with the goal of raising $20 million to make a bid for the troubled candymaker. If he reaches that mark, Gulachenski says, he will donate an additional $5 million to $10 million “to do this right.”

By his own admission, collecting that much money is “a tall order.” Exceedingly tall. As of late Tuesday, Gulachenski’s GoFundMe page had collected $565. The fund-raising effort was first reported by candy wholesaler candystore.com, which itself has launched a social media hashtag movement — #SaveNECCO.

Last month, Necco’s chief executive Michael McGee notified Massachusetts officials and Revere’s mayor that the company would lay off 395 employees, the bulk of its workforce, including its executives, if it can’t find a buyer by May.

Gulachenski, who helmed the company from 2012 to 2014, said he started the crowdfunding campaign after reading about a woman who offered candystore.com her 2003 Honda Accord in exchange for the wholesaler’s entire stock of Necco Wafers. He has teamed up with some of the Necco executives who worked under him.

“I’ve lived in Massachusetts my whole life; I’ve been in manufacturing my whole career. I got involved in Necco because I believe in the fact that you can still manufacture something in Massachusetts and in the US,” Gulachenski said. “I became attached to it. It won’t sit right with me if I don’t give it the good old college try.”

This is actually Gulachenski’s second attempt to buy the candy manufacturer.....

I though it tasted familiar.

--more--"

Let's step back a minute:

"Florida woman says she offered her Honda Accord for a haul of Necco Wafers" by Steve Annear Globe Staff  April 10, 2018

Unlike some people, Katie Samuels has fond memories of eating Necco Wafers, the chalky, multi-colored candies made by the New England Confectionery Co.

As a kid, Samuels and her siblings would play “church” at their grandmother’s house, placing the circular treats into their mouths as if they were taking Communion, she said.

So when the 23-year-old Florida resident learned recently that the Revere-based sweets manufacturer was at risk of closing down and laying off hundreds of its employees due to financial insecurities, she reached out to candy wholesaler Candystore.com to try and scoop up as many packages of the iconic sweets as possible.

Financial insecurities? 

You mean debt?

Desperate times, as they say, lead to desperate measures.

“I offered to trade my 2003 Honda Accord for all of their stock,” she said by telephone Tuesday. “I knew it was kind of a silly thing to say, but I’m serious. I don’t have much right now, so I was like, ‘I’ve got this car, and I want all that candy, so maybe they would consider it.’ ”

Globe called her up and then Gulachenski read this story.

In March, Necco chief executive Michael McGee notified the state and Revere Mayor Brian M. Arrigo that 395 workers could be laid off if the candymaker can’t find a buyer. Necco, which has been producing wafers since 1847, is Revere’s largest employer.

News that the company — they’re also known for old-timey classics like those tooth-hugging Squirrel Nut Zippers and crunchy Sweethearts — could close by May allegedly sent people from across the country into Twinkie-hoarding mode.

The Wall Street Journal reported this week that candy connoisseurs have been maniacally calling up distributors, asking to buy products in bulk.

Candystore.com is calling it “The Great Necco Wafer Panic.” 

Candy being used to induce fear. 

Is nothing sacred anymore? 

What is with these reporters pushing fear and guilt?

The business claims sales of wafers have jumped since the Globe first wrote about Necco’s financial troubles last month.

Maybe that was the point. 

The "news article" was nothing more than a marketing scheme.

Samuels said while her e-mail — which included a picture of her black car — was sent slightly in jest, she would have parted ways with the Honda if it meant getting her hands on some candy.

Oh, she was only joking but not really? 

Confused kid. Must be the sugar.

“It was my Granny’s favorite and she always had it at her house. When I saw on the Internet they aren’t going to make it anymore I was kind of freaked out,” she said. “My boyfriend has a car and he drives me everywhere anyways.”

Oh, the boyfriend has a car and you don't really need one, I see.

While Los Angeles-based CandyStore.com didn’t accept the offer, Samuels did make off with two packages — about 48 rolls total — of the wafers that she paid for on her credit card, she said.

That's when the printed Globe roll ran out, and she charged the candy?

“Maybe I’ll try to get more,” she said. “I guess what I said was kind of impulsive. . . . They thought I was crazy, but they were funny for even entertaining me.”

This unhappiness about the potential wafer-shortage seems to have extended all the way to Oregon, too.

Students from an elementary school there penned letters to Arrigo, Revere’s mayor, asking him to do something to spare the factory.

“You can help buy the Necco company so they are saved and not closed,” one student told the mayor, according to an employee at City Hall who read the plea to a Globe reporter by phone.

A second concerned student wrote, “employees won’t be able to find a job as fast to pay for their bills, and could even get their houses taken away.”

That ending would put a bad taste in the mouth of any candy fan.....  


That's when I spit this out.

--more--"

************

"The question lurking just beneath the surface of this incident is as obvious as it is uncomfortable: Would this have played out the same way with an impaired but harmless white suspect? Obviously, the guy wasn’t armed. Yes, walking around naked is illegal, and I don’t doubt that Ohene alarmed people who encountered him. None of that is any reason to punch him. The use of excessive force on a black suspect is as old as American policing. But bystanders with cellphones captured this incident in real time. The commissioner says people shouldn’t be too quick to make judgments. But we now live in a world where everyone has already seen exactly what happened....."

Yup, and Coz could ask the same thing. Haven't seen any trials yet for all those white guys.

"Experts say use of force in Harvard student’s arrest followed protocol" by Jerome Campbell Globe Staff  April 18, 2018

Experts on police tactics say officers followed established law enforcement protocol when they used force to subdue a Harvard student on a Cambridge street Friday night, an encounter that has prompted criticism from some city officials and the Harvard community.

I don't want to make you angry, but I will quickly saw that from what I saw that is absolutely right, so you kids move along now.

A video captured Cambridge and Transit Police tackling 21-year-old Selorm Ohene after calls reported him naked on a traffic island near the corner of Massachusetts Avenue and Waterhouse Street, and one officer is shown repeatedly punching Ohene as others struggled to handcuff him. Police said they took the “tactical decision” to bring down Ohene to “gain his compliance and place him in handcuffs.”

Maria Haberfeld, a professor of police science at John Jay College of Criminal Justice in New York, said the officers were adhering to standard police procedure.

“Unfortunately, there is nothing unusual about this,” Haberfeld said Tuesday. 

Except for the naked guy in the middle of the street.

Cambridge police follow a set of guidelines called a “force continuum” referenced by Police Commissioner Branville G. Bard Jr. Monday as he defended the officers’ actions, outlining a scale of force used against a resisting individual.

These standards allow officers to respond in a range of ways, from establishing their presence at a scene to inflicting lethal force. If an individual resists a less severe action, police are trained to escalate the amount of force used.

In cases like Ohene’s, where a police report said two women told officers that he might be under the influence of LSD and not fully cognizant, Haberfeld said the continuum of force still applies.

That probably is unusual.

Over the past the two decades, the force continuum has been taught in police academies across the nation, Haberfeld said. After the Rodney King beating in 1991, alternative methods like deescalation techniques were adopted but they still exist on a continuum that can lead to use of force, she added.

Larry Ellison, president of the Massachusetts Association of Minority Law Enforcement Officers, said that while the encounter is difficult to watch, officers were doing their job.

“It’s as the old saying goes, ‘people like sausage, but they don’t like how it’s made,’ ” Ellison said. “Things could have went differently, but I’m not going to second-guess their decisions.”

Nor am I.

The situation was tricky, he said, because any responses would have drawn criticism. If they didn’t respond, then Ohene or a bystander could have gotten hurt, warranting the question: “Why didn’t they handle this?”

That is the question I have been asking: what if he ran into the road and was killed? 

Then the Globe and others would be saying why didn't you take him into protective custody?

Furthermore, Ellison said police are trained to handle these situations in groups, in case the individual struggles free and grabs an officer’s weapon.

Another police expert said the punches may have been excessive.

Then again, maybe not. 

The guy was writhing around on the ground screaming "Help me, Jesus! Help me, Jesus!"

“If I was investigating this, I wouldn’t find anything wrong besides, perhaps, the punches,” said Thomas Nolan, an associate professor of criminology at Merrimack College and a 27-year veteran of the Boston Police Department.

With Ohene unclothed, the police did not have anything to grab during the restraint, he said.

Additionally, officers would have still needed to restrain Ohene if paramedics were needed to transport him to the hospital.

“Otherwise, it was a expert textbook handling of the situation,” Nolan said.

On Tuesday, two Harvard Law School professors said they would represent Ohene. Professors Ronald F. Sullivan Jr. and Dehlia Umunna said Ohene would not provide a public account of what happened to him or be stepping into the public debate about whether police used excessive force during their encounter on Friday night.

How would he know or argue his case?

“He is currently recovering from injuries sustained during his encounter with the Cambridge Police Department,’’ the attorneys wrote in a joint statement. “This has been and continues to be a trying ordeal for Selorm and for his family.”

Maybe he will pass on the acid next time, huh?

Thankfully, none of the policemen were slain.

--more--"

The guy is lucky he wasn't tasered:

"Reversing course, the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court on Tuesday struck down a state law banning civilian possession of stun guns. “We conclude that the absolute prohibition against civilian possession of stun guns . . . is in violation of the Second Amendment,” the court said. Stun guns are electronic devices, such as Tasers, that administer an electric shock to immobilize, but not kill, an individual. Law enforcement officials are exempt from the state ban....."

Well, that should make Alex Jones happy (my printed paper had the New York Times version of the attempt to stifle not only investigative inquiry, but free speech as they flog Florida five years later).

At least he wasn't shot:

"Boston officer gets probation for racially motivated attack of Uber driver" by Travis Andersen Globe Staff  April 17, 2018

A veteran Boston police officer who assaulted an Uber driver in 2015 during a drunken, racially motivated attack avoided prison time Tuesday after the victim said he doesn’t “want the worst” for the suspended officer and urged him to seek treatment.

Michael Colin Doherty, 43, of South Boston, was sentenced in Suffolk Superior Court to three years of probation for the assault, which occurred in his neighborhood during the predawn hours of Jan. 4, 2015, while Doherty was off-duty.

He was convicted April 2. The Uber driver, Luis Blanco, gave a victim-impact statement Tuesday to Superior Court Judge Linda Giles before she sentenced Doherty.

Blanco, wearing a light pink collared shirt and dark slacks, at times struggled to maintain his composure, telling Giles his primary concern was for Doherty to receive “some type of treatment.”

“Mr. Doherty, I believe, definitely needs some help in terms of adjusting certain things in his life,” said Blanco, the father of a young child, adding that he has wondered “if this person was armed, would he have killed me that night?”

He said he doesn’t “want the worst for Mr. Doherty. I truly don’t. . . . An apology would be great.”

Doherty, clad in a dark pinstripe suit and black sneakers, did not address the court, since he plans to appeal, his lawyer said.

Giles sentenced him to three years of probation and ordered him to stay away from Blanco, remain alcohol-free, complete anger-management and alcohol treatment, and perform 100 hours of community service at the Greater Boston Food Bank.

She said she selected the food bank because it serves a racially diverse population.

“I’m hoping that that experience will raise Mr. Doherty’s consciousness,” Giles said.

The judge excoriated Doherty for his conduct during the assault but noted he had no prior criminal record and until his arrest had dedicated himself to public service, first as a correctional officer and then on the police force, where he “received many commendations and awards.”

Must have been the booze talking.

Suffolk District Attorney Daniel F. Conley’s office has said Doherty was a customer of Blanco when he assaulted him around 2:45 a.m., after shouting that he had driven to the wrong location.

“What, you think I’m stupid, you [expletive],” Doherty said, using a racial slur against Hispanics, according to prosecutors.

When Blanco stopped at East Second and M streets, Doherty began hitting him, forcing him out of the car and chasing him around the vehicle, according to the authorities.

Blanco waved down traffic for help, and when another man stopped, Doherty jumped in the Uber vehicle and drove off, prosecutors said. Jurors acquitted Doherty at trial of using a motor vehicle without authority.

He stole the car and drove drunk?

When he stopped the vehicle on East First Street, he got out and said to the passerby, “What do you want, you [expletive]?” using a racial slur against black people, officials have said.

He then began swinging at both men, knocking the driver to the ground, according to court filings.

Assistant District Attorney Andrew Doherty, no relation to the officer, on Tuesday sought a 2½-year prison term with six months to serve, and the balance suspended during a five-year period of probation.

The prosecutor said the assault “certainly does involve alcohol, it certainly did involve anger, but it also involved race. And race matters in Boston, it matters in 2018, and it matters for this case.”

Andrew Doherty said the attack speaks to “a larger discussion about race and violence in Boston” and that the sentence should demonstrate that a racially motivated assault is “a punishable offense that is intolerable.”

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Apparently, gender does not:

"Authorities are searching for an Uber driver who posted bail on a rape charge Friday but failed to turn in his passport as instructed and fled the country, officials said Tuesday. In a statement, the Massachusetts Trial Court said officials issued an arrest warrant Tuesday for Frederick Amfo, 30, after learning he had left the country. Amfo, most recently of Quincy, is charged with rape in an alleged assault that occurred in Weymouth on April 8, prosecutors said. It wasn’t clear whether Amfo was working an Uber shift at the time of the incident. Amfo was arraigned Friday in Quincy District Court and ordered held on $10,000 bail with the conditions that he stay away from the alleged victim, surrender his passport, and not work as a driver for Uber, Lyft, or any other ride-share or taxi company, prosecutors said. Amfo pleaded not guilty. His lawyer could not be reached for comment The Norfolk district attorney’s office said authorities learned something was amiss after Amfo posted bail Friday evening....."

So who is going to show you around now?

Can't even go over to the Starbucks for some coffee. Will have to go to Dunkin' instead.

"At Concord Academy, misconduct claims against former headmaster made public" by Danny McDonald Globe Staff  April 17, 2018

Concord Academy has banned a former headmaster from its campus after a former student accused him of engaging in “inappropriately close conduct with her” while she attended the boarding school, then carrying on a sexual relationship with her immediately after she graduated.

In a letter sent to the school community Tuesday, Head of School Rick Hardy said a woman who attended the school during the 1960s had alleged that Russell Mead, her English teacher, engaged in inappropriate conduct with her. Mead was the school’s headmaster from 1971 to 1976.

The woman also confided to two classmates about a sexual relationship with Mead that began immediately after she graduated. The school’s investigators “corroborated this information with both of them,” Hardy wrote.

Hardy praised the woman “for her courage in coming forward.” She brought the misconduct accusations to the school’s attention last fall.

Mead, who was contacted as part of the investigation into the woman’s accusations, denied any misconduct, Hardy said.

“Despite his denial, we believe the alumna’s report to be true and stand with her,” Hardy said.

Mead “is no longer welcome on campus or at any” Concord Academy events, he wrote. The school has removed his photo from its website and revised his biography to “reflect what we have learned.”

Mead could not be reached for comment.

In spring 2016, Concord Academy launched a review of past sexual misconduct at the school after a former student accused a teacher of sexual misconduct in the early 2000s. That teacher, who denied the allegation, was placed on leave and decided not to return to campus.

In August 2016, Concord Academy announced it had ousted a teacher after he acknowledged sexual misconduct with a student that dated back decades. In a letter, English teacher Parkman Howe said he was asked to resign and leave campus because he had kissed a student twice more than 30 years ago.

The school’s investigation was conducted by former state attorney general Scott Harshbarger.

In May 2016, a Globe Spotlight report found that at least 67 private schools in New England have faced accusations since 1991 that staffers sexually abused or harassed more than 200 students.

“From the beginning of this investigation, we have focused on acknowledging our past mistakes with as much transparency as possible,” Hardy wrote. “Our aim has always been to foster a culture here on campus where our students are supported, guided, and empowered to speak out for themselves or on behalf of classmates.”

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Should have hired a woman instead. 

I know it's a "consolation prize, but it’s a significant one."

Well, we have reached the finish line on another post.

Maybe this will brighten your day.