Friday, March 31, 2017

Friday's Feces

Taking it from the top and as noted:

A1

Trump officials tied to Nunes’s reports Two White House officials helped provide Rep. Devin Nunes with the intelligence reports that showed that President Trump and his associates were incidentally swept up in foreign surveillance.

What does that have to with issue of spying on campaign and transition and the evidence of "incidental" collection? The headline infers that something untoward and nefarious is going and I'm already predisposed to not read it. Trump tweets about the campaign and transition spying was a broadside to put down the Obama-led destabilization protests with the sub narrative for impeachment now being provided through controlled intelligence via committees. Nunes is a good guy that is standing in the way, thus the effort to remove him or set up a special select cover-up or frame-up committee. 

Who can say no to a nun? Attleboro can

I can say no the Globe. 

It seemed a simple request when three nuns asked the city to install a crosswalk so they could walk safely to their shrine.

I'll keep on walking.

Making demolition plans, Wynn spends millions to clear out Everett neighborhood Wynn Resorts is making plans to demolish a three-block section of a closeknit neighborhood just across the street from the casino. 

Place your bets

Senate Republicans scramble to muster votes targeting Planned Parenthood VP Mike Pence cast a rare tie-breaking vote not once, but twice, to get a family-planning measure across the finish line.

You don't want to know what they are doing with the tissue.

Accused in Haiti, Malden man is latest to face lawsuit here Jean-Morose Viliena is the latest in a string of foreign officials brought before US courts to answer for alleged human rights violations in distant lands.

At least he wasn't smoking pot (I'm sure I saw a printed report in my paper), and he wasn't undocumented

The Nation

Trump appeals Hawaii judge’s new ruling blocking travel ban President Trump appealed the latest court ruling against his revised travel ban to the same court that refused to reinstate the original version.

The presses must have already been running because it didn't make print, and I don't blame him for looking that way one bit. 

Ryan, Rubio may have been targets of damaging Russian social-media campaigns Russia experts painted a sinister picture of Russian meddling in the 2016 election Thursday.

But they won big anyway, and welcome to McCarthyism 2.0 in AmeriKa.

North Carolina repeals contentious law restricting transgender rights

Was my page A2 national lead.

Fire causes interstate overpass to collapse in Atlanta

Turkey, US remain at odds over Kurds’ role against ISIS

That article was in the World section of my printed version, and it leaves you with nothing but Kurdistan confusion. The point of the convoluted versions of what is going on over there is an attempt to provide cover for the greater plan -- an independent Kurdistan that will chop of chunks of land from Syria, Turkey, Iran, and Iraq and function as a base for western intelligence. The area has done that for a long time and is something of which the rest of the world is well aware.

Lawyer wants information about drugs for Arkansas executions

A spike in US heroin use has hit young white men the hardest

Must be why the death rate is rising.

Quest for new antibiotics gets first major funding from global partnership

‘We must fight them’: Trump goes after conservatives of Freedom Caucus

Welcome to the George W. Bush administration 2.0

In empty offices, critics see evidence of Trump devaluing science

Spacewalkers lose piece of shielding, use patch instead

Kansas governor vetoes expansion of state’s Medicaid program

Pedestrian deaths spiked in 2016, distraction cited

Gotta watch where you walk in the Globe.

‘Angel of Death’ serial killer dies after attack in prison

Mercifully, the Nation section has ended.

The World

Israeli leader set to approve first new settlement in decades Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is projected on a screen in Washington as he speaks to attendees of the AIPAC Policy Conference 2017 via satellite from Israel, Monday, March 27, 2017, in Washington. (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta) By Isabel Kershner It was not immediately clear whether Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu had received a green light from the White House for Thursday’s announcement. 

The fact that he went ahead and did it means he did or didn't need it, and that's the first I've seen regarding AIPAC's 2017 meeting in the Globe this whole week -- although the town meeting went fine, according to the web (they were complaining about what?)

Despite outward calm, Ethiopia extends state of emergency Ethiopia’s Parliament voted unanimously Thursday to extend the country’s state of emergency for another four months after top officials warned of the continuing threat of unrest.

Another populace sick of being suppressed by a U.S. puppet.

Trump Said to Ease Combat Rules in Somalia Intended to Protect Civilians President Donald Trump has relaxed some of the rules for preventing civilian casualties when the U.S. military carries out counterterrorism strikes in Somalia, laying the groundwork for an escalating campaign against Islamist militants in the Horn of Africa.

This guy is stacking up civilian corpses all over the place. Some people are actually arguing he's escalating to deescalate in what is obscenely twisted logic.

Putin, in First Remarks on Russian Protests, Warns of Potential Chaos

Negotiator denies UK is blackmailing EU on security

Mosul shows difficulty of removing militants from urban area

Concern for civilian casualties in my war pre$$? Not really.

Malaysia says Kim Jong Nam’s body released to North Korea

Who doesn't want peace on the peninsula?

Editorial & Opinion

Kushner’s new post takes ‘Innovation’ from a buzzword to a buzzkill Take a familiar, trite, or even half-baked idea, and give it a title with “innovation” in it. Presto! You’re Mark Zuckerberg 2.0.

Going after the boy again. You know, Netanyahu stayed at the house and they didn't talk about slum lord father that Christie bagged (Trumps never forget), but he can't stay at 666 Fifth Ave. anymore(!!). Good thing they moved

Is Trump’s ‘secret plan’ to defeat ISIS dragging us into another Iraq war? The president is pressing our military to go faster and has authorized more forces to fight.

Wasn't in print; an opioid editorial was in its place.

As Trump retreats, citizens step up on climate With Trump shifting to a do-nothing policy on climate change, other actors are picking up the slack. 

I'm stepping back and taking a Flier:

Dietary supplements: Nobel or ignoble

You can read the letters if you like.

Metro

Shayanna Jenkins Hernandez takes stand in Aaron Hernandez trial Shayanna Jenkins Hernandez seemed to frustrate the prosecution when she repeatedly said she could not recall details about her conversations with Hernandez.

Good girl.

Cambridge to DC: Trump has got to go The City Council in the famously liberal bastion plans to consider a resolution asking the House of Representatives to begin an impeachment investigation.

Remember when a Vermont did that to W Bush? Where did that go, and what has Trump done so far that violated the law?

Author says Catholic college revoked speaking offer over Planned Parenthood award Jean Kilbourne said she had planned to focus her speech at Saint Mary’s College in Notre Dame, Ind., on negative images of women in the media and advertising. 

Sure are mixed, that's for sure. The same people scolding you for objectifying them are the one$ promoting the objectification.

Moulton calls Russia biggest threat to national security 

(Blog editor just sighs and shakes head)

Jewish donors express faith in Catholic Charities’ immigrant services

Sick of the agenda-pushing self-centeredness, I mean, really.

A banner week for ‘Lock’em Up’ Hodgson

I never read Cullen.

Bernie Sanders visits Boston for three sold-out events Friday 

I'll be sure to miss them. He got robbed, btw.

Daily lottery play linked to gambling addiction

That was on page B2, upper-righthand corner -- as opposed to this leading the front page.

Worcester student walks across state for Spring Break

Made it just in time, although it looks like the spring snowstorm is already fizzling. Cruel April Fools joke just to yank your chain?

Bigger dugouts, new food, at Fenway this season

Self-serving in the extreme (The Globe's owner owns the Red Sox. Reporter trying to make points?).

‘The Codfather,’ a New Bedford fishing mogul, pleads guilty

I rarely eat fish.

Anti-transgender bus rolls into Boston, is promptly greeted by protests

‘Never underestimate the impact you have’

His was a backfire.

Massachusetts man infected with E. coli linked to soynut butter

Pedestrian deaths in US surge as drivers, walkers distracted by phones

The rest is literally names and dates.

Business & Tech

Mass. may finally be getting serious about early education

Finally?

Access to early education programs is not just a workforce issue but one that can help working families who find themselves teetering on the financial edge.

He couldn’t believe it was butter. So he sued Dunkin’ Donuts. A Worcester man claims Dunkin’ Donuts didn’t use real butter on his bagel.

As long as it wasn't soy.

Baker signals that he’ll make supporting life sciences a priority Governor Charlie Baker outlined a vision for extending the state’s life sciences initiative after it expires next year.

Does Big Pharma really need a tax subsidy?

Drug startup Tango will focus on cancers with no treatments

Here is hoping no one has to dance with that.

Not all local biotech news this week is upbeat: Two companies are cutting jobs

What? Not $cratching you where you itch?

Senate votes to kill rule that would help cities launch retirement plans

Already have been; it's called long-term unemployment.

Anthem likely to retreat from Obamacare for 2018, analysts say

US economy grew at steady 2.1 percent rate in Q4

Amazon seeks to lure retailers out of the aisles

Maybe they lit the fire.

Volkswagen to pay over $157m to settle emissions claims by 10 states

I thought $omething was $tarting to $tink.

US aims for NAFTA provision to reinstate tariffs

Talking Points

Where's the beef?

Nasdaq hits record high as US stocks climb

So much for the Trump bubble bursting.

Time to put this post to rest.

Speaking of the dead (politically speaking), what is John Kasich going to do in 2020 and why would anyone care?

Have a good Weekend, dear reader.

Taking Care of Babies

"Caregiver in ‘baby fight club’ gets 33 months in jail" AP  September 30, 2016

MANASSAS, Va. — A former Virginia child care worker convicted on child cruelty charges in what prosecutors described as a ‘‘baby fight club’’ has been sentenced to nearly three years in prison.

A jury convicted Kierra Spriggs of Woodbridge earlier this year after testimony that she and a co-worker abused numerous 2-year-olds by stepping on their toes, feeding them Flamin’ Hot Cheetos, and making them fight one another.

The 33-month sentence is the maximum term the judge could have imposed.

The abuse occurred at a Minnieland Academy in 2013. The victims were a group of 2-year-olds who were cared for in what Minnieland designated its ‘‘monkey room.’’

A second worker, Sarah Jordan, was also convicted on similar charges and sentenced to nearly two years in prison.

--source--"

Cruzing Through Walmart

"Walmart employee turns herself in after allegedly setting three fires in Sturbridge store" by Dylan McGuinness and Olivia Quintana Globe Correspondents  September 29, 2016

After the fire, Maiya Cruz, 20, was seen fleeing in a dark-colored Saturn, Sturbridge Police Chief Thomas Ford said in the statement. Investigators called her on her cellphone Tuesday and asked her to come to the Sturbridge station for questioning, but Cruz hung up on them, he said. The next day she turned herself in to police in the nearby town of Auburn.

Cruz pleaded not guilty in Dudley District Court Thursday to charges of disorderly conduct and disturbing the peace, as well as three counts of burning a building’s contents, two counts of destruction of property over $250, and one count of destruction of property under $250, Tim Connolly, spokesman for the Worcester district attorney’s office said.

Cruz was ordered held without bail pending a dangerousness hearing on Oct. 4, Connolly said.

Walmart said in a statement the store was closed Thursday.

“We’re upset that something so reckless and dangerous happened in our store. Thankfully, no one was injured,” company spokeswoman Erica Jones said in a statement. “We are grateful to the fire department for their quick response and the police for investigating the matter; we hope the person responsible is held accountable for their actions.”

--more--"

Stuck in a Rut

"A 911 call from a woman who claimed to have been sexually assaulted in a wooded ravine off Route 3 in Weymouth on Wednesday night turned out to be a hoax, police said.

“The 911 caller has now disclosed to police that she was not in fact a victim of an assault of any kind and the entire story was untrue,” Weymouth police wrote in a statement posted on the department’s Facebook page Thursday afternoon.

Weymouth police found the woman bound with duct tape between Route 18 and the Route 3 on-ramp in the South Shore town, police said Thursday...."

Thursday, March 30, 2017

A Ripple in Time

"One way to avoid conflict at home? Rob a bank" by Tom Jackman Washington Post  September 09, 2016

Home? Or jail?

Wife? Or sheriff’s deputies? Such choices.

Federal authorities say Larry Ripple chose time behind bars over another minute at home with the wife. On Friday afternoon, according to a complaint filed in federal court, Ripple, 70, walked into the Bank of Labor in downtown Kansas City, Kan., handed over a note to a teller that said, ‘‘I have a gun, give me your cash,’’ and was given $2,924 in currency from the drawer. (Now is the part where we typically write, ‘‘The robber then fled the bank.”)

The robber then sat in the lobby and began chatting with the bank security guard, the complaint by Special Agent Eric R. Beltz states. All of this was captured on surveillance video. ‘‘I’m the guy you’re looking for,’’ Ripple allegedly told the guard. The guard took Ripple into custody and retrieved the $2,924, Beltz wrote. The police and FBI were summoned, and Ripple was taken to the police station.

Advised of his Miranda rights, about 45 minutes after the stickup, Ripple agreed to speak to the authorities and said ‘‘he and his wife had an argument at home and Ripple no longer wanted to be in the situation. Ripple wrote out his demand note in front of his wife,’’ Beltz wrote, ‘‘and told her he’d rather be in jail than at home. Ripple then walked to the bank and robbed it.’’ Further details of the domestic unrest were not reported in the complaint.

Ripple was promptly incarcerated and held in the Wyandotte County jail, charged with one federal count of bank robbery. However . . .

On Wednesday, federal authorities foiled his plot. Court records show Ripple appeared before US Magistrate Judge David Waxse, and Waxse ordered the defendant to be released from jail on his own recognizance. For a bank robbery. What does a guy have to do to stay in jail?

Forcibly returned to freedom, Ripple could not be located for comment Wednesday evening.

--source--"

I lost an hour somewhere.

Must have been the Reefer Madness. You would have to be smoking to think this hurt that (made the numbers look good, though). 

I'm sorry, did you say something

Time for breakfast and a smoke

Look what I found in the refrigerator.

That's All Thursday

(first things first)

Worse  sh**different day.

Instantly turned off by the pine cone and feeling really unwelcome when it comes to the supremacist war paper (where is Congre$$ional criticism of Trump there?).

The rest, as we say, is yours.

After coffee update:

Enrollment in food stamps is still nearly twice the level it was before the slowdown, but U.S. hunger risk rate falls to lowest since before recession

Man, am I ever sick of the paltering in my paper!

Done clowning around. Coffee's cold and tastes like piss.

Was going to brush my teeth but.... Globe gives me the creeps and is getting old.

Yogurt For Lunch

"Pinkberry loses battle between froyo, North End culture" by Meghan E. Irons Globe Staff  October 06, 2016

Pinkberry never stood a chance in Boston’s Little Italy. As resistance mounted, its windows were smashed shortly before its opening, workers and residents clashed, and a man in a ski mask was seen on surveillance video dumping trash on the frozen yogurt chain’s front doorstep.

Late last month, Pinkberry shuttered after three years, leaving the owners and landlord feuding about the rent — and residents wondering what went wrong.

The answer to that, many said, is quite simple: The close-knit North End — the land of cannoli and gelato — had no interest in adding a frozen yogurt franchise to its dessert menu. Especially infuriating to residents: It was across the street from a longtime gelateria.

“People do not come to the North End for frozen yogurt,’’ said Damien D. DiPaola, owner of Carmelina’s, which is steps from the closed Pinkberry store. “They come for the gelato, cannolis, Napoleons . . . and all the good Italian pastries. They do not come for Pinkberry.”

Trippe Lonian, the chief executive officer for the Pinkberry franchise owner, said neighborhood resistance and poor performance forced it to close.

“We tried to carry the store for as long as we possibly could. It was difficult,’’ Lonian said. “We tried for three years. We had different products, different managers, different teams. Frankly it hurts’’ to shut down.

The changing demographics of the Italian enclave had seemed to promise greater tolerance for outsiders. The old faces of the North End have long disappeared, and the apartments dotting the narrow streets are now filled with college students and young professionals.

Many of them — who did not want a bar or restaurant — welcomed a frozen yogurt chain, but business owners were not happy, DiPaola said.

“The majority of the Italian business owners were not happy with the fact that the landlord — who also is an Italian guy that was from the neighborhood years ago — chose to rent it out to someone corporate like Pinkberry, a big chain like that,’’ said DiPaola, who also owns Vito’s Tavern. “There’s beauty in having our little ethnic neighborhoods.”

It was not the first case of a major national chain coming into the neighborhood known for family-run shops. Residents have gotten used to a pair of 7-Elevens and the CVS, but the emergence of food and beverage chains like Peet’s Coffee and Tea still cause worry among neighbors that pieces of their community’s Old World feel are being stripped away....

Welcome to the New World (warning: there is a wait).

--more--"

Related:

"To bat away any pesky questions about how to pay for the garden, she announced private donations of $2.5 million to maintain it. This is much more than a garden to Obama: It’s her legacy, at the heart of her quest to fight childhood obesity and promote healthier living, ‘‘a symbol of hope....’’

I think I'm going to be sick.

NEXT DAY UPDATE: 

"Dorchester properties take on a $6m price tag" by Katheleen Conti Globe Staff  September 09, 2016

With its tidy homes and overgrown lots, the little pocket of Dorchester hardly looks like the city’s next hot address.

Yet on Baker Court and Fields Court, two narrow paved paths so tiny they could hardly be called streets, some longtime property owners believe they are sitting on a real estate goldmine. They are offering three small homes and an adjacent lot as a package for developers.

Asking price? $6 million.

“They know they got something that’s hot,” listing agent Steven Mathieu said of his clients.

Indeed, like many old residential areas of Boston, this pocket between Massachusetts Avenue and Boston Street is on the cusp of a wholesale redevelopment. It is a microcosm of the changes transforming Boston from a city stocked with humble homes where workers of limited means could raise families to what’s becoming in many areas an expensive metropolis of upscale residences.

Earlier this year a dilapidated three-family home on neighboring Willow Court sold for $1.175 million to a developer proposing a nine-unit building. Across the street are two new apartment buildings, where units rent for $2,500 to $2,900 a month. Baker Court, meanwhile, is overrun with construction workers finishing two other buildings, where condos will start at $500,000.

And beyond that chain-link fence is perhaps the biggest catalyst: a massive complex the owner of the South Bay shopping center has begun that will bring 475 apartments, a 12-screen movie theater, a 130-room hotel, new stores, and restaurants....

--more--"

Also see: For $90 million, Tom and Gisele can be your neighbors

I can't afford that rent, can you?

Race Ya'!

"Police issue dozens of tickets in crack down on street racing" by Dylan McGuinness Globe Correspondent  September 21, 2016

Boston police launched a crackdown on illegal street racing in the Newmarket area over the weekend, issuing 75 tickets and 35 criminal complaints, the department said.

Police also asked the Registry of Motor Vehicles to revoke the driver’s licenses of several people, saying their actions made them threats to public safety, police wrote on bpdnews.com.

Since February, the number of racers and onlookers has steadily increased, police wrote. Racers came from all over the state, they said.

The Newmarket area is by the South Bay shopping center near Interstate 93.

Participants drove modified cars, trucks, ATVs, and dirt bikes in the races, police said.

Previous attempts to catch the drivers had been frustrated by the large crowds, police said.

“In the past, any attempts at overt police enforcement resulted in the crowd dispersing [en masse], allowing the perpetrators to flee the scene undetected,’’ police wrote.

Last weekend, police were able to identify the organizers and participants, leading to the citations, criminal applications, and revocation requests, police said.

--source--"

Flying the Cooperman

"Hedge fund billionaire Leon Cooperman charged with insider trading" by Renae Merle Washington Post   September 22, 2016

NEW YORK — Federal prosecutors on Wednesday charged hedge fund billionaire Leon G. Cooperman with insider trading, alleging that the Wall Street legend used confidential information to generate ‘‘substantial illicit profits’’ and then sought to cover it up.

The case centers on several trades Cooperman made in 2010 on Atlas Pipeline Partners, an energy company. In 2010, an Atlas executive told Cooperman that the company was preparing to sell a key asset, which would help relieve some of its financial crunch, according to the Securities and Exchange Commission complaint. Cooperman used that information to buy shares in the company and generate a $4.6 million profit for himself, his hedge fund, and a family member, according to the complaint.

‘‘Members of the investing public who traded [Atlas] securities at the same time as Cooperman and Omega were harmed because Defendants gained an advantageous market position through their misappropriation and use of material nonpublic information,’’ the SEC complaint said.

The charges will pit the SEC against a well-known Wall Street investor with a large following and who has shown little intention, so far, of relenting. Cooperman, 73, spent 25 years at Goldman Sachs before starting his own hedge fund in the 1990s. New York-based Omega Advisors now manages more than $6 billion in assets, and Forbes estimates that Cooperman is worth about $3.1 billion.

The allegations ‘‘are entirely baseless,’’ Cooperman’s attorneys said in a statement.

‘‘Mr. Cooperman acted appropriately at all times and did nothing wrong. We intend to vigorously defend against the charges and will not allow the SEC to tarnish the legacy Mr. Cooperman has built over the course of a legendary career spanning five decades,’’ the statement said.

According to the SEC, Cooperman, a longtime investor in Atlas, spoke with an Atlas executive, who was not named in the complaint, and learned the company was about to sell its natural gas processing facility in Elk City, Okla. Cooperman had agreed not to use the information to trade, the SEC alleged.

Instead, Cooperman directed Omega Advisors to buy shares in the company over several days. When the sale was announced, Atlas’s stock price jumped more than 30 percent and Cooperman made a profit, the SEC said.

The trading even raised suspicions in one of Cooperman’s family members, the SEC said. Before Atlas announced the asset sale, Cooperman told the family member a deal was pending. The family member, who was not named, said in an e-mail to a colleague that the news explained some ‘‘fishy’’ trading they had seen. ‘‘Somebody should investigate that,’’ the family member said in an e-mail, according to the SEC.

Later, Cooperman learned that the SEC was investigating his trading activity and allegedly contacted the Atlas executive who gave him the information and ‘‘tried to fabricate a story to tell if questioned.’’ Cooperman invoked his Fifth Amendment privilege against self-incrimination after being subpoenaed by the SEC, according to the complaint.

The SEC wants Cooperman to return all illicit profits, a relatively small sum for the billionaire, though he could also face an additional civil penalty if the case goes to court. An SEC official declined to comment on why the complaint was filed so long after the alleged illegal trading or on whether Cooperman could face criminal charges.

The agency also accused Cooperman of not properly reporting information about his hedge fund’s holdings.

--more--"

RelatedSupreme Court sides with prosecutors in clash over insider trading laws

Also see:

"Hedge fund manager Leon Cooperman said regulators are considering taking action against him and his firm Omega Advisors over trading in certain securities, according to a person familiar with the matter. Cooperman told clients in a letter dated March 21 that he and his firm received a Wells notice regarding an investment in a single issuer that it had since 2007, said the person, asking not to be identified because the information isn’t public. Regulators are looking at trading in the security in 2010, the investor wrote, according to the person. Cooperman, 72, declined to comment on the Wells notice when reached by phone. He later told CNBC that the probe centers on trading of Atlas Pipeline Partners LP, a midstream operator that ran networks in Oklahoma, southern Kansas, Texas, and Tennessee before merging with a Targa Resources Partners LP unit about a year ago. Ryan White, a spokesman for the Securities and Exchange Commission, declined to comment on the investigation. The SEC sends a Wells notice to a company or an individual after its staff has determined that sufficient wrongdoing has occurred to warrant civil claims being filed."

Betwixt and Between

Describes this blog perfectly these days:

"For tweens, a social media network all their own" by Janelle Nanos Globe Staff  September 28, 2016

If you’ve come to rely on your tween to help you navigate all the social media apps on your phone, just remember: Legally, they’re not supposed to use these platforms at all.

Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, and many other social media sites are technically only open to people 13 and above, the result of the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act, a set of federal regulations that were set up to ensure that sites don’t collect, use, or disclose personal information from children.

But that’s left a lot of kids enviously looking over their parents’ shoulders as they scroll through their newsfeeds. Or perhaps more often, it’s meant parents are turning a blind eye as many tweens lie about their age to get onto the sites.

It’s an issue that’s perplexed Jenny Mirken, a West Roxbury resident who started her career as the 24th hire at Monster.com, has spent the bulk of it in digital marketing, and [who] is now the founder and chief executive of Jet.me, a new chat and photosharing app that’s targeting children under 13. The app, which launched Wednesday, was designed to conform to the standards set by the federal government....

Oh, well, you should feel safe then.

--more--"

And it's all been for $ale for years!

Related: SJC ruling makes it harder for police to seize cellphones

They don't need to seize it; they have already collected all your information.

UPDATE:

Apple rolling out coding app for youngsters to gain share in the education market and nurture early product loyalty among children.

Wow!

Also see: Latest WikiLeak Dump Shows CIA Hacking iPhones Since 2008 

Think brand loyalty, kids!

Accenturing the Po$itive

To much Applau$e:

"Framingham digital testing company Applause raises $35 million" by Dan Adams Globe Staff  September 14, 2016

Applause App Quality Inc., a Framingham company that helps app makers, retailers, and other companies test their products, announced Wednesday it has raised $35 million in new funding.

The Series F financing round was led by Direct Equity Partners, an arm of Credit Suisse, and brings Applause’s total funding to $115 million. Applause said it would use the money to expand and improve its testing services, which include crowd-sourced feedback and user panels, as well as design, security, and usability reviews of websites and mobile applications.

Applause has offices in four other US cities, plus three in Europe, where in 2014 it acquired crowd-testing company Testhub, and employs about 300 workers. The company has a network of about 250,000 “as-needed” quality assurance testers in various countries.

Accenture, a multinational business consultancy based in Ireland, also contributed to the funding round. Applause said that, under a new alliance, it would provide testing services to Accenture clients. The two companies said the market for testing is growing as businesses increasingly create complex products that need to work on multiple platforms while remaining secure and reliable.

--source--"

And who is Accenture

See: Defense Intelligence Agency Solutions for Intelligence Financial Management

Wow. 

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Wednesday's Globe a Waste of Time

Different day, same result.

As soon as I saw the front page I didn't want to read it.

What drew some attention inside was what crawled out from under the rocks as well as the lack of coverage regarding the recent AIPAC conference. Not one word about it in the Globe so far.

And what's this, I was deceived and misled again? (I should have known better)

I see Trump's civilian war dead are still the lead story even if off the front page. Yay! I'm so happy my lying, war-promoting pre$$ has finally noticed the stacks of corpses. Yay!

Well, I'm done surfing the web for today (now children can have their personal data tracked for marketing purposes -- or worse?).

That doesn't mean I'm going to believe anything the ma$$ media says when/if I run across them. Let me assure you, it will have been by accident because I am simply no longer interested in what the Bo$ton Globe or other pre$$ have to say. Sorry.

I think I'm going to have to rearrange by coffee time and start going in the afternoon to get out of the morning rut and avoid the temptation to purchase a printed paper anymore. The Globe just ain't worth it.

Hey, I gave it a go, 'eh?

Grathwohl & Gorski

"Where is the man with money to fix up the Beachcomber?" by Beth Healy Globe Staff  September 20, 2016

A Quincy real estate broker who raised at least $1.3 million from investors failed to show up at a property deal closing last week, raising concern that he’s taken off with their money.

Eugene Grathwohl worked out of a Century 21 office in Quincy, the manager told the Globe on Tuesday. Grathwohl failed to appear last week to wrap up an agreement to buy the former Beachcomber bar across from Wollaston Beach, a group of his clients said, sparking a frenzied online effort to find him.

In a search of Internet records and news stories, and by piecing together tidbits the real estate broker had told them of his family and past, the group believes Grathwohl is the same man who allegedly defrauded people for millions of dollars in Orlando and in New York City as far back as the 1990s.

Quincy police are looking for Grathwohl, according to people contacted by law enforcement officers, and the state securities regulator issued a subpoena seeking to talk to him.

A gregarious man who grew close to his clients, Grathwohl would join them for holiday dinners and drinking outings, according to three people who did business with him. He ultimately persuaded them to invest large sums with him, developing waterfront properties in Quincy and putting together bids for the Beachcomber and an adjacent property. It’s the money for those two deals that investors are worried is missing.

“He’s absolutely brilliant,’’ said Benjamin Porter, an engineer who said he gave Grathwohl $50,000 for a real estate investment. “Smart and charismatic.”

Now Porter and others are stunned that they may have been taken in by the man. “I have a normal job, I have kids. That’s a huge chunk of money for me,’’ Porter said.

The investors believe Grathwohl, 67, has also gone by the name Allen L. Hengst, as a stockbroker in Florida who allegedly defrauded clients of more than $6 million, according to regulatory records.

Before that, Hengst used the name Scott J. M. Wolas, as a lawyer in New York, according to regulatory filings and news reports. Wolas was investigated in 1996 by the Securities and Exchange Commission and the Manhattan district attorney’s office for his alleged involvement in a $20 million fraud. He disappeared before authorities could find him and has been a fugitive since being indicted for fraud and larceny.

The law firm where Wolas had worked at the time, Hunton & Williams, reportedly settled a lawsuit with 20 investors for $6 million in the matter, in 1998. Scott J. Wolas was disbarred in New York in 1999, after his firm received client complaints about allegedly fraudulent investments he had lured them into.

As part of their research, investors in the Quincy project said they contacted a family member in Florida and a former law colleague, and compared recent photos of Grathwohl to one of Wolas in a 2001 USA Today story.

There are no listed phone numbers for Grathwohl in the Boston area. His girlfriend, Lorraine Croft, said she was cooperating with police. She said he had two other aliases in the decade-and-a-half they were together, but that she, too, was fooled by him.

“I knew this man for 15 years,’’ Croft said. “He treated me like a queen because I was a cover story, and I took it hook, line, and sinker.”

She also confirmed he is the same person as the one pictured in the USA Today story.

In the Quincy area, Grathwohl allegedly has raised money from lawyers, a doctor, and other investors who found him fascinating and came to trust him.

Arthur Foley, manager of the Century 21 office in Quincy, said Grathwohl earned his real estate license in 2009 and quickly became a top broker. Over time, he developed a couple condominiums, Foley said, and wooed investors to his projects.

“He was supposed to come back last Wednesday’’ from a purported trip out of town, Foley said.

“The next day, Thursday last week, I went to the Quincy police,” he said.

A spokesman for the department did not return a call seeking comment. Secretary of State William F. Galvin said the Securities Division issued a subpoena for Grathwohl on Tuesday and was working with the Norfolk district attorney’s office to investigate the case.

Grathwohl is listed as a director of Beachcomber Sands Inc., a company he formed with Croft in April 2015, according to public records filed with the secretary of state’s office.

The Globe reported in August 2015 on the sale of the Beachcomber, a once-popular bar and music establishment. Grathwohl had been slated to buy the property from the McGettrick family.

His investors said he had delayed the purchase for months, and that their funds could be lost because he effectively broke the contract with the sellers.

Sean McGettrick, a member of the selling family, did not respond to a phone message.

--more--"

Also see:

Warrant issued for Quincy real estate broker

They paid for dreams, but did Quincy man sell them lies?

"Builder who pretended veterans owned firm gets 30 months in prison" by Dan Adams Globe Staff  September 27, 2016

David Gorski, the Chelmsford man who fraudulently won $113 million in federal construction contracts by pretending his construction company was owned by disabled veterans, was sentenced to 30 months in prison and fined $1 million by a federal judge Tuesday.

Prosecutors said Gorski ran a scheme from 2006 to 2010 to deceive the US government, which under a small-business program preferentially awards contracts to companies owned by veterans who became disabled while serving in the military.

Gorski’s former company, Legion Construction, submitted numerous bids to the Army, Navy, and Department of Veterans Affairs indicating that its president and majority owner was a Korean War veteran, Joseph Steen.

In reality, prosecutors said, the elderly and infirm Steen spent most of his time sleeping and watching television while Gorski managed nearly every aspect of Legion’s business — and reaped most of the profits.

Peter Ianuzzi, who served as a Marine in the 1990s, was brought aboard later and worked for the company but did not run it.

All told, Gorski personally pocketed $6.4 million from 2006 to 2010, according to court documents. He also paid his wife — who worked full time for the Town of Chelmsford — $400 a week.

In June, he was convicted by a jury of four counts of wire fraud and one count of conspiracy to defraud the government.

Prosecutors had hoped for a harsher sentence of seven years in jail. They told the judge that Gorski knew he was cheating the system, and even wrote to his personal lawyer to seek advice on how to retain control of the company after making Ianuzzi the majority owner to avoid detection.

“Gorski, an individual who was very familiar with the rules . . . stole these opportunities from true service-disabled veterans seeking to run their own businesses,” prosecutors in US Attorney Carmen Ortiz’s office wrote in a recent court filing.

Gorski’s attorney, Tracy Miner, argued that her client was misled by other lawyers who helped him structure the ownership and management of Legion. She praised the judge for the relatively light sentence.

“We are relieved that the judge considered all of the good things that Mr. Gorski did for the community and for veterans in fashioning the sentence,” Miner said in a statement. “As Mr. Gorski himself stated, although he admittedly made mistakes, he never intended to hurt veterans, for whom he has the utmost respect.”

--source--"

Tacking Into Boston Harbor

Hope you have a good pilot:

"Accused of stealing thousands, captain says Boston Harbor pilots drank on the job" by Dan Adams Globe Staff  September 14, 2016

This centuries-old nautical brotherhood is now in turmoil: Gregg Farmer, the group’s president from 2002 to 2011, is under investigation by Suffolk County prosecutors for allegedly diverting tens of thousands of dollars in fees collected from ships to his own pockets, according to a spokesman for District Attorney Daniel Conley. Farmer has accused the pilots of flouting safety rules and even drinking on the job.

The pilot association says Farmer for years used its credit cards to pay for a laundry list of personal expenses, ranging from cellphones for his family and gas for his personal car and boat to five-star vacations to Florida and outings to strip clubs, where he spent as much as $9,000 in one evening.

All told, the pilots alleged, Farmer improperly spent at least $112,000 of the group’s money over several years, filing fake expense reports to cover his tracks.

Through his lawyer, Farmer acknowledged making the expenditures, but claimed nearly all were related to pilot association business.

The other pilots, Farmer’s attorney wrote, were attempting to “discredit and silence the most experienced pilot in Boston Harbor” so they could each take a greater share of the fees paid to the association.

Farmer also made a series of mud-slinging counter-allegations against his former colleagues, whom he portrays in legal filings as hard-living, sophomoric men prone to cliquish internal squabbles.

One pilot routinely drank hard alcohol while awaiting assignments in the group’s East Boston pilot house, Farmer said, while another often failed to appear for shifts when he was supposed to be available to move a docked liquid natural gas tanker in case of an emergency.

That pilot, Farmer added, also belittled a female State Police trooper over marine radio, damaged the group’s political standing by angrily threatening a state legislator, and once used his phone to bid in an online auction for NASCAR memorabilia while steering a ship through “one of the most challenging channels” in the area, the Weymouth Fore River.

As the criminal investigation into Farmer’s alleged theft and a related civil lawsuit slowly play out, none of the agencies with authority over Boston Harbor have stepped forward to untangle the knot of mutual recriminations. The Massachusetts Port Authority, the state Environmental Police, and the Coast Guard each referred a reporter to an obscure state body that oversees the pilot association: the Commissioners of Pilots for District One, comprised of two retired mariners nominated by the Boston Marine Society and confirmed by the governor.

Documents provided by an attorney for the commissioners show that the tiny agency looked into Farmer’s accusations. But its investigation appears to have been cursory, consisting mostly of interviews with the accused pilots while dismissing some allegations out of hand. The commissioners, saying they had received no complaints from others on the harbor and that no pilots had failed random drug or alcohol tests, concluded Farmer’s allegations were either “hearsay” or matters to be resolved internally by the harbor pilot association.

The pilot association said its members had piloted nearly 20,000 ships without incident since 2006, and it and the commission insisted the public was safe.

The association last year removed Farmer from the rotation of pilots who accept jobs on ships. The pilots also asked the commissioners to permanently strip Farmer of his “captain” title as punishment for the credit card charges, but the agency declined, saying the law only allows it to punish a pilot for misconduct related to his duties as a mariner. The pilots have sued the commissioners, asking a state judge to order the commissioners to rule on their request.

Farmer’s attorney, Thomas Fallon, said the pilot association’s rotating presidency was an unpaid position, and suggested that past presidents had enjoyed similar latitude in their expenses without scrutiny. Other senior members of the group approved Farmer’s expense reports, he noted.

Fallon also said that each of Farmer’s credit card charges benefited the pilot association: Trips to local fishing tournaments improved the group’s relations with other mariners; an apparent vacation to Florida was really a study of the pilot association in Jacksonville; home office furnishings, clothing, and gas for his personal car were used to conduct association business. Even the outings to strip clubs were necessary to boost morale and plot the association’s lobbying strategy, Fallon said in court documents.

“In regards to Gentleman’s clubs, these outings were not for the personal benefit of Captain Farmer and instead these outings were for the benefit of the organization as a whole . . . during very strenuous times in the port,” Fallon wrote.

The pilot association’s executive director at the time, Andrew Hammond, disagrees. Only he and Farmer were present one night in August 2008 when $9,025 was charged to an association credit card by the Centerfolds club in Boston, Hammond testified. The funds, he said, were spent on “private dancers and alcohol,” and no business was discussed.

Hammond said that Farmer told him to pay the credit card bills for the strip club purchases “in a manner designed to avoid detection of the nature of the expenses.”

Fallon conceded some of the expenses might raise eyebrows, but argued they were an accepted way of doing business.

“When you’re trying to promote business . . . there are certain things that are always done, especially when you’re dealing with a male guest: You’re going to go golfing, you’re going to go to ball games, you’re going to go drinking, and you’re going to go to strip joints,” Fallon said. “That’s just a fact of life.”

--more--"

Still waiting for the you-know-whos to arrive.

Meet You in the Bar Car

Elite only:

"Bar cars returning to Conn.-NYC commuter trains" by Dave Collins Associated Press  September 13, 2016

HARTFORD — Railroad cars equipped with bars are returning to commuter trains running between New York City and Connecticut, restoring a tradition dating back 50 years that evoked the stylish cocktail-sipping scenes of ‘‘Mad Men.’’

State officials plan to buy an additional 60 cars for Metro-North’s New Haven Line and convert 10 of them into ‘‘cafe cars,’’ Democratic Governor Dannel P. Malloy announced Tuesday. A prototype bar car is expected to be in use by late 2018, with the others beginning to arrive in late 2020.

Bar cars were retired in 2014 because they could not be coupled to a new fleet of train cars. At the time, they were believed to be the last of their kind in the country, although Amtrak still serves liquor in some of its coaches.

Commuters were able to enjoy beer or cocktails in clear plastic cups amid faux-wood paneling and red leather lounges, giving it the feel of ‘‘Mad Men,’’ a show about advertising firms set in 1960s New York. The rolling taverns were where workers gathered for decades for dice games, job networking, and Christmas parties with jazz bands.

Here's a look back.... 

Playboy brings back nudity

The Bunnies are back, too!

Bar car enthusiasts were excited by Tuesday’s announcement, although they wished the cars would return sooner than 2018.

‘‘I can’t tell you how many people I know who are happy they are coming back online,’’ said Terri Cronin, a commuter and a vice president of the rider advocacy group Connecticut Commuter Rail Council.

‘‘We think they’re an asset for the Metro-North New Haven Line and certainly part of the history of the New Haven Line, and we’re happy they’re bringing back something that was enjoyed for many generations.’’

The new bar cars will have a modern feel, with gray counters on the bar serving areas and along the windows, according to a rendering released by Malloy’s office.

‘‘If we want to remain competitive in the 21st century, modernized economy in a way that attracts new businesses and creates high-skilled jobs, we must update our infrastructure and give our commuters a best-in-class transportation system,’’ Malloy said.

The New Haven Line remains the country’s busiest commuter rail line, he said. The service carried more than 40 million passengers last year.

The bar car announcement comes as Connecticut officials are proposing a 5 percent increase in train fares on the New Haven Line that would go into effect Dec. 1.

State officials are planning to pay for the new M-8 rail cars with $200 million in state borrowing.

Someone should have $hut them off long ago.

--more--"

Related:

"Consider the situation in Connecticut. Governor Dannel Malloy, a Democrat, has had a rough few years. A budget crisis led to layoffs for state workers and a tax increase. General Electric announced it was moving to Boston, leaving its world headquarters in Fairfield after more than four decades. In June, a Quinnipiac University survey showed Malloy had a 24 percent approval rating, with 68 percent disapproving...."

And yet he's running again in 2018? 

He must have had too many on the train.

Bad News For Maury

Baby born with DNA from 3 people

You are.... not.... wait a minute....

Musk’s Money Grab

"Elon Musk, the billionaire cofounder of PayPal, who also runs Tesla Motors, knows how to attract attention, and said his goal was to ‘‘make Mars seem possible. To make it seem like it’s something we can do in our lifetimes. That you can go.’’

Musk joked that the company might have to use Kickstarter, the online fund-raising platform, to raise money. ‘‘As we show this dream is real. . . I think the support will snowball over time,’’ Musk said...." 

I'm of the mind -- and I know this will raise hackles all across the alternative media -- is that we never even went to the moon. That was another staged and scripted con job, but people still believe.  How come they just quit going, 'eh?

They tell me China is on the FAST track:

"The five-hundred-yard aperture spherical telescope, FAST for short, is intended to project China’s scientific ambitions deep into the universe, bringing dramatic discoveries and honors like Nobel Prizes. Maybe even messages from aliens.

The telescope, which is in a majestic but impoverished part of Guizhou province, embodies China’s plans to rise as a scientific power...."

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Tuesday's Insanity

I must be well because I didn't read it.

A handful of articles that caught my eye aren't worth the time and if I don't attack the paper with my morning coffee, the chances that I read it drop precipitously.

I know I'm supposed to be happy that civilian war dead are finally on the front page of my war pre$$ (below the fold, of course); however, it's just not getting it done for me anymore and I'm not seeing any editorials calling for an end to the wars either.

I see they are going after Trump's son-in-law now and I'm sure that will provoke a reaction from the White House.

(Btw, did you know he lives in the same neighborhood where Obama is running a shadow government?) 

Nothing to do but wait for the impeachment process to begin I guess.

I see Spain, after having dropped charges against Israeli leadership for war crimes in Gaza, is revealing itself as another Zionist tool -- as are all the governments of Western Europe.

My position on the nuclear ban may surprise you; unlike the hypocritical U.S. government, which preaches nonproliferation while modernizing and improving its own arsenal, I say we should keep them unless Israel gets rid of theirs. The last thing I want is a world where only Israel has nuclear weapons.

The article, of course, paints the North Korean as the threat but beyond that, have you noticed that the EUSraeli Empire never attacks those who have nuclear weapons (North Korea, Pakistan) but DOES ATTACK those that forgo them (Iraq, Libya)? There is a lesson in there somewhere as we pray for the Iranians (under Russian umbrella?).

Then, way in the back of the business section is the motive for the recent staged and scripted "selfie" terror fiction and false flag in London.

Looks like Trump's bubble has burst, but we saw that coming.

Beyond that, the rest of the paper -- imho -- is nothing but sound and noise. No offense intended towards anyone or anything. Just not interested anymore.

Setting Tuesday's Table

Don't forget to wash your hands first.

"Topsfield Fair serves up extreme eating" by Astead W. Herndon Globe Staff  October 11, 2016

TOPSFIELD — At the Topsfield Fair, the New England institution that dates back more than 200 years and is known for its novelty foods, a culinary tour might well prompt an existential question: “Why did I do this to myself?”

That's a good one.

The deep-fried peanut-butter-and-jelly sandwich tasted like a combination of sandpaper and butter. Carys Evans, 11, said her deep-fried Milky Way bar tasted like “french fries dipped in chocolate.”

Who gives a f**k?

Yet it was the bacon stand that truly encapsulated the gluttonous, calorie-laden spirit of the fair. Throughout the day Monday, droves of families from across the state flocked to the one-of-a-kind stand, where patrons could enjoy such delicacies as bacon covered in s’mores, bacon dipped in maple syrup, and a bacon-covered grilled cheese sandwich. 

It used to be fun but is no longer. Sorry.

No matter that the thick flavors of marshmallow and chocolate drowned out any hints of bacon, or that the grilled cheese was, sadly, lacking in cheese. People were paying for an experience, and it was an experience they received.

“You know, as I eat it, it continues to get better,” said Jackie Puglia, of Stoneham. She had just paid a few bucks for chocolate-covered bacon-on-a-stick.

Her husband, Chris, had a ready explanation.

“Bacon is the secret to life,” he said before placing his order. “I live by that.”

I hope your arteries are aware of that.

Tiger Stockbridge, of Dorchester, heard Puglia’s adage and countered with one of his own. “Bacon makes everything better,” he declared.

And the industry has an excess so....

This is not how the Topsfield Fair began. In 1818, the Essex Agricultural Society received a charter to “promote and improve the agricultural interests of farmers and others in Essex County,” according to fair organizers. For nearly a century, the agricultural society held a cattle show, but since 1910, it has held an annual gathering at its current location at the Topsfield Fairgrounds.

Today, many attendees are fair veterans, such as Wakefield residents Christina Nardone and Matthew McConnell, who boast more than a decade of consecutive attendance. There are relative newcomers, too, including Gisele Bundchen, Massachusetts’ favorite supermodel (and wife of Patriots quarterback Tom Brady), who attended the fair Saturday afternoon.

OH!

“I just love the fall. I love the animals. And I love the food,” Nardone said as she ate her favorite Topsfield treat, a sandwich with turkey, mayonnaise, stuffing, and cranberry sauce. She had just bought one for herself and another for McConnell. At the stand for the sandwich, called the “Gobbler,” signs encouraged fairgoers to “gobble till you wobble.”

Couldn’t agree more, McConnell said.

“You just come here to eat,” he said. “You just gorge and gorge and then regret it come tomorrow.”

Such splurging, however admirable, could add up.

A $15 admission ticket allows entrance to the fairgrounds, but each food item is sold separately. Similar to the fried candy bars, a parfait of chili, cornbread, and sour cream cost $7.75, a giant turkey leg cost $10, and a foot-long hot dog cost $5 — the same price as a root beer float. With admission and one assuredly unhealthy meal, a family of four could spend upwards of $100, not counting any small roller-coaster rides or paid attractions.

Despite the cost, families flocked to the fairground Monday, romping about in the crisp autumn breeze....

They “love the food, love the rides, love all of it.”

--more--"

No worries about diabetes or weight?

Eat better at the homeless shelter!

"Cambridge nonprofit Food for Free brings farm fresh produce to Pine Street Inn" by Sacha Pfeiffer Globe Staff  October 11, 2016

When you’re dependent on charity, you don’t have much say in what you receive.

For Pine Street, that means lots of grocery store castoffs, but for the past few months, Pine Street Inn’s guests have regularly been eating garden-fresh vegetables with a gourmet touch, from braised kale to roasted beets to sautéed Swiss chard.

That’s thanks to a new partnership with Food For Free, a Cambridge nonprofit that’s growing produce specifically for the Pine Street Inn and delivering hundreds of pounds of fresh veggies to the shelter each week. The shelter then turns those deliveries into highly nutritious stir-fries, stews, and side dishes.

Another benefit of the weekly shipments:

“Cooks can brainstorm.”

Food for Free “rescues” unwanted food from supermarkets, bakeries, farmers markets, and other locations and delivers it to about 120 schools, shelters, food pantries, and other organizations. It also grows produce at Lindentree Farm in Lincoln, on a quarter-acre organic plot called the “Field of Greens.”

RelatedFueling the farm-to-table movement, with lessons from Toyota

Food For Free distributes about 2 million pounds of food a year, including between 5,000 and 8,000 pounds of produce grown at the farm. For the past five years, it has been making deliveries to the Pine Street Inn, primarily of rescued food. But this year it began dedicating its entire field exclusively to the shelter.

“We’ve selected our crops based on what would be useful for the Pine Street Inn,” said Food for Free’s executive director, Sasha Purpura. “This is the first time we’ve been so targeted about what we’re planting.”

Each Wednesday morning since June, Food For Free volunteers have been gathering in Lincoln to pick, wash, pack, and deliver to the Pine Street Inn anywhere from 200 to 400 pounds of the harvest — including beets, cabbage, lettuce, Swiss chard, collards, kale, scallions, carrots, and tomatoes. The program will continue through the end of the growing season later this month or early next month.

“We’re happy to receive any fresh produce,” van Overbeeke said, “because when you don’t really get anything fresh, you’ll take anything that anyone gives you.”

And the volume of vegetables Food For Free supplies to the shelter is invaluable, because “when we get deliveries from small organizations, it’s 50 pounds of this and 10 pounds of this and 5 pounds of that,” explained van Overbeeke. “But for a single meal I need about 400 pounds of vegetables.”

Each Food For Free shipment is large enough that the Pine Street Inn’s kitchen staff can turn it into a vegetable dish to accompany a meal for about 2,000 guests of the shelter and its related facilities, such as veterans homes.

One day last week, dinner at the shelter was spaghetti Bolognese paired with a julienned stir-fry made from Food For Free’s kale, cabbage, and scallions seasoned with garlic, vinegar, and mustard.

“The best part of getting fresh produce from Food For Free is it lets us take something that was in the ground a day or two ago and serve it for dinner,” van Overbeeke said. “It’s great to provide our guests at the Pine Street Inn with a farm-to-table experience here.”

--more--"

Also seeMassachusetts communities celebrate first Indigenous Peoples’ Day

Leftovers:

"The Department of Agriculture plans to buy $20 million of stockpiled cheese to distribute to food banks and pantries nationwide in an attempt to stem farmer losses after dairy prices plummeted amid a global milk glut earlier this year. The purchase of about 11 million pounds of cheese, which the USDA reported Tuesday in a statement, comes in addition to $11.2 million in subsidies for dairy producers announced earlier this month. A dairy lobbying group had asked for as much $150 million in cheese purchases. Some American dairy cooperatives had so much milk this spring they were forced to dump tens of millions of pounds."

"McDonald’s is recalling millions of fitness bands that had been given away in Happy Meals because they might cause skin irritation or burns to children. The fast-food chain said last week that it would stop distributing the bands in Happy Meals. Now it’s recalling 29 million of them in the United States, and 3.6 million in Canada. The company, based in Oak Brook, Ill., received more than 70 reports of incidents after children wore the bands, including seven reports of blisters, according to the Consumer Product Safety Commission. The Step-It Fitness plastic wristbands, in blue, green, purple, orange, and red, look like watches and are supposed to track physical activity."

McD's giving out little trackers to the kids so they get be used to it! 

I said no fries

KFC wants you to smell like fried chicken with sunscreen giveaway
KFC's secret recipe revealed?

"Americans’ increasingly picky tastes are affecting not just the bowls on their tables, but those on the floor: Kibbles ‘n Bits sales are suffering. J.M. Smucker Co., which makes pet food in addition to its namesake jams and other products, said Tuesday sales for its US pet food division fell 6 percent as Kibbles ‘n Bits was hurt by growing popularity of more-premium brands. The company has conceded that people are looking for pet foods with better ingredients, reflecting trends in what pet owners are feeding themselves. Kibbles ‘n Bits sales posted a double-digit percentage decline for the three months ended July 31, the company said. Meow Mix saw a mid-single digit percentage decline."

What grade would you give it?

Whatever you do, don't order Chinese food in Connecticut.

Instacart expands high-tech grocery delivery, with hopes of helping grandma

"Chipotle’s latest burrito giveaway is for children. The company is offering free kid’s meals on Sundays during the month of September, another attempt to lure back customers spooked by a series of food scares. An E. coli outbreak last year sent Chipotle sales plunging. In June, Chipotle Mexican Grill Inc. launched a three-month loyalty program that lets customers earn free meals based on the number of visits they make each month. On Monday, it announced that high school and college students could get a free soda or iced tea if they buy a meal and show ID. The chain has given away millions of free burritos this year. The Chipotle kid’s meals include burritos, tacos, quesadillas, and salads."

"The Coca-Cola Company has just achieved one of its major environmental goals, five years ahead of schedule. The company announced this week that for every drop of water used in its beveraage, it can now give the same amount back to the planet. In 2007, Coca-Cola announced a goal of replenishing the water it uses by the year 2020. Through 248 community water partnerships in 71 countries around the world, the company claims to have already met its goal. An assessment conducted by LimnoTech and Deloitte in conjunction with The Nature Conservancy found that in 2015, Coca-Cola returned 191.9 billion liters of water to nature or human communities — 115 percent of the water it used in its beverages that year."

Gatorade goes organic as PepsiCo joins natural-product push

It underscores how significant elected officials believe the problem is

"A British court has ruled that two groups of shareholders in brewing company SABMiller should vote separately on the $104 million takeover offer made by rival Anheuser-Busch InBev, effectively giving smaller investors an outside chance to derail the deal. The decision Tuesday is seen as a concession to smaller shareholders who complained that their payout plummeted in relation to larger investors after the pound fell following Britain’s vote to leave the European Union. While smaller shareholders will receive cash for their stakes, SABMiller’s two biggest investors will get cash and euro-denominated shares that have appreciated since the deal was announced in November. SABMiller’s board has in principle accepted the deal, which would create a company controlling nearly a third of the global beer market."

I wanted a coffee with no ice, or did you miss that?

NEXT DAY UPDATE:

Smoke Shop serves real barbecue

Eataly is coming

America’s Test Kitchen

Ice cream headache

The rebirth of the Jewish deli

Time to abort (and here I was told he was improving just the day before).

"Officials in Kentucky are monitoring a day-care center after an investigation found that staff members forced children to line up for a swat with a ruler before they could have a yogurt — a ‘‘game’’ the workers called ‘‘smack for a snack.’’

Training for intelligence agency work?

Monday, March 27, 2017

Monday's Muddle

If at first you don't succeed....

The greed above the fold of my Globe this morning literally stinks (why the hold-up then?), but the Globe is checking up on Caitlyn while promoting DNA ancestry tests (no worries about data collections, 'eh?) that in the end don't tell you anything. It's a great trick the supremacist pre$$ has going, promoting diversity and inclusiveness while driving ethnic, racial, gender, sexual, age, generational, and whatever wedge of division they can use. My mistake was viewing each and every individual as a unique life entity and moving past such labels and cla$$ifications. Silly me.

Underneath is the Next Day Update stuff I would have provided in the past.

"Trump to begin work on tax overhaul, reversing Obama climate plan" by Alan Rappeport New York Times  March 27, 2017

(groan)

WASHINGTON — After health care: the daunting challenge of tax reform even more difficult.

Administration aides signaled Sunday that the president will now seek to build support among moderate Democrats to help push his legislative proposals through Congress.

Yeah, going to have ‘‘real reforms’’ now and “this president is ready to lead.’’ 

That means his administration got the message and is reverting to bu$ine$$ as u$ual. Btw, the tax breaks will sail through, you watch. Every Congre$$critter will be lapping at the trough like they always do.

What I then noticed in preparing this post is that the entirety of the article posted on the web has been rewritten and my printed copy dumped altogether. Not the first Time the NYT has censored their own articles, and my Google search revealed a complete scrubbing regarding the "targeted assault" of policies "in the crosshairs." 

--more--"

Thanks for saving me the time.

Feel like I missed something, but...  

"Trump may court Democrats in bid for health overhaul" by Hope Yen Associated Press  March 26, 2017

WASHINGTON — The bill was pulled from the House floor Friday in a humiliating political defeat for the president, having lacked support from either the conservative Republicans or Democrats.

Trump initially focused his blame on Democrats for the failure and predicted a dire future for President Barack Obama’s health law.

But on Sunday, his aides said Trump would be seeking support from moderate Democrats, leaving open the possibility he could still revisit health care legislation.

White House chief of staff Reince Priebus scolded conservative Republicans, explaining that Trump had felt ‘‘disappointed’’ that a ‘‘number of people he thought were loyal to him that weren’t.’’

Uh-oh.

‘‘It’s time for the party to start governing,’’ Priebus said on ‘‘Fox News Sunday.’’

You guys have been in charge of Congre$$ for the last six years; WTF you been doing?

As he ponders his next steps, Trump faces decisions on whether to back administrative changes to fix the Obama law or undermine it as prices for insurance plans rise in many markets.

Senate minority leader Charles Schumer, Democrat of New York, said Democrats stood ready to work with Trump to fix the Obama program if he is willing to drop attempts to repeal the law and not undermine it. He warned that Trump is destined to ‘‘lose again’’ on other parts of his agenda if he remains beholden to conservative Republicans.

They weren't happy with the health bill, and this from the guy who is leading the opposition to all things Trump (except the war agenda, of course; not a peep there)!

‘‘If he changes, he could have a different presidency,’’ Schumer said on ABC’s “This Week.” ‘‘But he’s going to have to tell the Freedom Caucus and the hard-right special wealthy interests who are dominating his presidency . . . he can’t work with them.’’

OMG!

Their comments came after another day of finger-pointing among Republicans, both subtle and not-so subtle.

On Saturday, Trump urged Americans in a tweet to watch Judge Jeanine Pirro’s program on Fox that night. She led her show by calling for House Speaker Paul Ryan to resign, blaming him for defeat of the bill in the Republican-controlled chamber.

Priebus described the two events as ‘‘coincidental,’’ insisting that Trump was helping out a friend by plugging her show and no planning occurred. ‘‘He doesn’t blame Paul Ryan,’’ Priebus said. ‘‘In fact, he thought Paul Ryan worked really hard. He enjoys his relationship with Paul Ryan, thinks that Paul Ryan is a great speaker of the House.’’

A spokeswoman for Ryan, AshLee Strong, said Ryan and Trump spoke for nearly an hour Saturday and again on Sunday about moving forward on the agenda, saying ‘‘their relationship is stronger than ever right now.’’

In their Sunday conversation, Trump ‘‘was clear his tweet had nothing to do with the speaker,’’ Strong said.

The White House faces a tough task in gaining support for its congressional agenda. Trump, for instance, now lacks the savings anticipated from the health care bill to help pay for tax cuts, while expected legislation to invest $1 trillion in roads and infrastructure and to cut down on illegal immigration will probably need support from Democrats.

So much for being the next Hitler, huh? 

Maybe the Russians are putting him up to this, huh, 'eh, huh?

Priebus said Trump was looking ahead for now at debate over the budget and a tax plan, which he said would include a border adjustment tax and middle-class tax cuts.

‘‘It’s more or less a warning shot that we are willing to talk to anyone, we always have been,’’ he said. ‘‘I think more so now than ever, it’s time for both parties to come together and get to real reforms in this country.’’

Like the wiretap tweet that toned down the protests?

Representative Mark Meadows, Republican of North Carolina, chairman of the Freedom Caucus, acknowledged he was doing a lot of ‘‘self-critiquing’’ after the health care defeat. He insisted the GOP overhaul effort was not over and that he regretted not spending more time with moderate Republicans and Democrats ‘‘to find some consensus.’’

‘‘It’s incumbent upon those two groups, the conservatives and the moderates, to come together, hopefully in the coming days, to find consensus, to present something to the president that certainly not only gets him 216 votes, but hopefully 235 votes,’’ he said.

Meadows also said he was open to a tax plan that is not fully ‘‘offset’’ so it is revenue neutral. That’s a shift for a fiscal conservative.

Wow. Trump threatened him in the meeting and he backed right down.

Trump left the White House on Sunday morning for the Trump National Golf Course in Potomac Falls, Va., returning in early afternoon....

Yup, nothing has changed at all when it comes to the presidency.

--more--"

Oh, meanwhile, the pre$$ is bemoaning the shutdown of the nuclear plants (Vermont Yankee did it and it had no effect, but don't believe me, believe the lying agenda-pu$hers) while reporting weeks after the fact that Puget Sound is being despoiled by sewage (well, not since February 16th anyway; so what's with the deceptive headline and presentation for what I'm sure will be another one day wonder? And if it's been shut down why are they rushing to fix it? Where is that overflow going? Into the ocean somewhere else like in Fukushima?).

Sick of the gasbags yet?

Looks like South Carolinians are more compassionate than greedy, and God smiles on them, doesn't he?

As for Joe Biden, well.... I coulda been a bicycle had I been born with wheels.

Related: Dispute erupts over whether Trump could have beaten Obama

Interesting photo with the headline, 'eh?

Let's face it, none of them were going to win -- as if it really mattered.

Turning towards the World, I see the approved protests (after they were all over the pro-Trump protests yesterday) lead the way. I don't know what happened in Bulgaria, but I'm starting to smell a lot of rigged votes (like the recent results in Holland thanks to the Turks) -- and based on the votes it can't be Russian interference (looks like Le Pen will be losing, too)! They are no longer leaving it up to the ballot box even if they have to commit massive fraud. Only one box left then.

Somalia is suffering as bad as some other African nations, only worse (yeah, the vaccines will save you! Ugh!). Then there is the Western Hemisphere's Somalia. Glad the Globe noticed endless inaction again. UN taking the fall for the outbreak if you believe in cover story crap.

Speaking of crap cover stories.

Anybody for war with Iran? Or China

Be lucky to survive it.

And about the stacking up of bodies I was noting yesterday? 

I'm met with a brief protest and a back page clean-up of an airstrike.

I don't go to the club, and diagonally opposite that article is the same ad again for another kind of club. Not really interested in their opinions anymore, with all due respect. Just going to walk right past them and I'll get there quicker than the school bus (so what's the latest batch of excuses regarding municipal incompetence, 'eh? Hackers are good now and they didn't talk to the drivers? Suppose there will be no need for them soon) or the T. Either way, you are going to be late to school, the protest, or the trial (avoid Lawrence).

You know, "nothing says democracy like a town meeting in Massachusetts." Just don't expect it from the statehouse or governor's office. Either that or I'm from outer space.

And now a quick pause to remember the dead before getting back to Bu$ine$$.

New rules for long-term care insurance would not cap rate hikes

God damn Trum.... oh, wait, he had not one thing to do with it?

Does good food count as health care? New research aims to find out

You are what you eat, and "primitive people" have known this for thousands of years. 

Then again, what would you expect from a GMO-promoting organ? 

Then there is the old saying "you are what you read" -- which is why I'm full of sh**. 

Push for Internet privacy rules moves to state houses

Yeah, whatever. Government that violates your privacy going to protect it. 

I'm sure I've missed something but that's easy amongst the bull sh**.