Friday, April 28, 2017

Friday's First Dump

Related: Friday's Feces

"No dump here: Posh public bathroom pops up in New York City" by VERENA DOBNIK Associated Press  April 28, 2017

NEW YORK — In a park amid Manhattan skyscrapers, a gem has emerged: a posh public bathroom that cost nearly $300,000, complete with freshly delivered flowers, imported tiles, classical music and artwork.

The free-of-charge, air-conditioned splendor— inspired by visits to the city’s priciest hotels — is open to everyone, even homeless New Yorkers. More than 1 million people a year are expected to use the facility, park officials said.

Yes, even you can take a VI Poo!

On Thursday, two bathroom attendants held toilet tissue that a park official cut as the inaugural ribbon for the high-tech facility housed in a landmarked Beaux Arts building behind the New York Public Library. The toilets — in 310 square feet divided between the women’s and men’s sides — are reopening after a three-month renovation.

A sh** photo-op -- literally!

The eye-popping, LED-illuminated elegance is unusual in a city where public toilets are scarce and generally grungy.

‘‘I’m really surprised. It’s very clean and the flowers are alive,’’ said Irena Marentic, a tourist from Slovenia, as she left the space whose walls and floors are lined with tiles from Spain and Italy and adorned with art created by Bryant Park’s painters-in-residence.

Reporters waiting outside to ask you how your poo experience went?

The women’s side has three toilet stalls, while the men’s side has two stalls and three urinals — the same number as before the renovation. The facility can’t be expanded because the space surrounding it is landmarked.

Where do the transgenders go?

The public luxury was funded privately by the Bryant Park Corp., a not-for-profit that manages the city-owned park and works to improve business in this neighborhood that includes Fifth Avenue.

‘‘We strive for perfection and only settle for excellence,’’ declared Dan Biederman, the executive director of the Bryant Park Corp. 

Our sh** don't, you know.

The team behind the new posh public bathroom visited the Waldorf and other luxury hotels for inspiration. 

It's a richer's world, and you can get a whiff of it when you poo.

A few out-of-town companies provided donations not included in the facility’s $280,000 cost. The Japanese luxury brand Toto contributed self-flushing, energy-saving toilets and hands-free faucets and wash basins. Brill Hygienic Products Inc., of Delray, Fla., supplied sanitary, electronic seat covers that rotate with each use. 

I don't like the sound of that. Goes down all the way, right? Let me give it another flush to be sure....

Attendants armed with mops keep everything clean from 7 a.m. till midnight, when the bathroom closes along with the park. By park rules, no tips are allowed. 

Might refuse it anyway considering where the hands have been.

The bathroom is most often used by visitors to the leafy, grassy refuge of Bryant Park, which draws them with its seasonal attractions including a skating rink in winter, holiday shops, outdoor movies on summer nights and free-for-all tables and chairs. 

I think I know whom to ask.

The park itself went through a makeover some years ago after decades of urban decay and crime that spilled into the bathroom, which was closed for years and reopened only in the 1990s. 

Good thing there is no longer any drug problem or anything.

Just wait until they start finding dead heroin junkies in the stalls.

With the improvement of the park, the number of visitors has increased. So, too, has the daily use of the toilets — from an average of about 1,800 in 2013 to about 3,300 last year, or 1.2 million a year, according to park officials. On the women’s side, the wait could be as long as 20 minutes

I'm not going to make it!

On Thursday, with the line growing, park workers directed people to the massive library building and more public toilets, though not quite as fancy.

As long as they are quiet.

--more--" 

Took a lot longer than I thought. I'm glad the web Globe provided extra paper!

I'll be back in ten minutes, readers.

Thursday, April 27, 2017

Sleepless Night

Had nightmares that someone was watching:

"The Restless Quest for a Good Night’s Sleep" by Constance Gustke New York Times   December 29, 2016

NEW YORK — Insomnia and other temporary and recurring sleep disorders affect 50 million to 70 million Americans, according to the National Institutes of Health, and the effects only worsen as people grow older. Technology, while still nascent, is an alternative for those who do not want to take sleeping pills, which can be highly addictive.

Like many other tech devices that monitor every twitch and turn of the human body, sleep-tracking device Sense uses sensors to collect reams of data. The information is then uploaded to a smartphone app that analyzes sleep cycles. An accelerometer about the size of a quarter attaches to a pillow and tracks tosses and turns. And a bedside hub, shaped like a ball, tracks sounds, light, and temperature in a room. It glows green when sleep conditions are optimal.

“You can fall into bed drunk and it still works,” said James Proud, a self-taught programmer.

Sleep technology products range from the basic app to the esoteric. The Sleep Shepherd headband, invented by a professor whose daughter had a sleep disorder, monitors brain waves while the wearer sleeps. Noise-canceling headphones pipe in sound. Other devices also emit light, some mimicking sunsets. They join hundreds of downloadable apps, including Sleep Cycle and SleepBot, which track every sleep tic.

Meaning the government and telecoms can virtually be in the bed with you like a succubus.

All are trying to solve an age-old problem with new technologies that experts say are still mostly unproven.

“Most of these apps and wearables don’t have good-quality research that shows they improve sleep,” said Dr. Neil Kline, a representative of the American Sleep Association and a sleep specialist. “It takes years to do good research. And a lot of these technologies just came out.” 

Like what is happening with the Fitbit

People just don't like being tracked and spied on, I gue$$.

Yet, experts agree that the market is huge and important. About half the US population will have insomnia on any given night, Kline said....

--more--"

They got their start via the via the Thiel Fellowship, a Kickstarter campaign raised about $2.4 million, and one of the business partners is Arianna Huffington. 

Related: 

Trump tries for positive tone at meeting with tech execs

Did you see who was there?

"Palantir Technologies Inc., a data-mining company cofounded by Peter Thiel, [is] a proven, state-of-the-art system originally developed with financial aid from the Central Intelligence Agency."

Good work if you can get it.

Palantir discriminates against Asians, Labor Department alleges

That's odd, seeing as Thiel is gay.

What Are You Gawking At? 

Just something I Sqrrled away.

Peter Thiel, Trump adviser, has a backup country: New Zealand

Maybe he can meet with the new U.S. ambassador.

Russian Pisses at Missouri Rest Stop

"Trucker faces terrorist threat charge in Missouri standoff" by JIM SUHR Associated Press  December 28, 2016

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — An armed trucker whose hours-long standoff at a Missouri rest stop snarled a freeway’s traffic for miles heading into the holiday weekend has been charged with making a terrorist threat with what turned out to be a pellet gun.

25-year-old Khurshed Haydarov required a Russian interpreter during a brief court appearance Tuesday. Authorities said he lives in Philadelphia but says he’s from Uzbekistan and speaks little English.

Witnesses reported that a man was pointing a long gun from the cab of a tractor-trailer parked at a rest stop Friday morning, ‘‘tracking’’ passing freeway vehicles with the weapon’s barrel, Platte County sheriff’s Detective Nancy Penrod wrote in a probable cause statement.

Deputies found the truck and saw a man emerge onto its running board, then urinate before re-entering the cab, Penrod said. Seconds later, a deputy saw what appeared to be a shot gun repeatedly being pointed out of the truck’s driver’s window at passing cars. No shots were fired.

I'm thinking drunkenness?

The freeway was ordered closed in both directions near the rest stop, and an ensuing four-hour standoff ended when authorities breached one of the truck’s windows and arrested Haydarov, Penrod wrote....

--more--"

Border Bribery

"The Enemy Within: Bribes Bore a Hole in the U.S. Border" by Ron Nixon New York Times   December 29, 2016

WASHINGTON — A review by The New York Times of thousands of court records and internal agency documents showed that over the last 10 years almost 200 employees and contract workers of the Department of Homeland Security have taken nearly $15 million in bribes while being paid to protect the nation’s borders and enforce immigration laws.

These employees have looked the other way as tons of drugs and thousands of unauthorized immigrants were smuggled into the United States, the records show. They have illegally sold green cards and other immigration documents and have entered law enforcement databases and given sensitive information to drug cartels. In one case, the information was used to arrange the attempted murder of an informant.

The Times’ findings most likely undercount the amount of bribes because in many cases court records do not give a tally. The findings also do not include gifts, trips, or money stolen by Homeland Security employees.

Throughout his campaign, President-elect Donald Trump said border security would be one of his highest priorities. As he prepares to take office, he will find that many of the problems seem to come from within.

“It does absolutely no good to talk about the building of walls or tougher enforcement if you can’t secure the integrity of the immigration system, when you have fraud and corruption with your own employees,” said an internal affairs official at the Department of Homeland Security who spoke on the condition of anonymity.

Obama's border patrol. 

As his administration fades into the past and and more becomes known about the neglect and corruption of his reign, it looks like the whole hulking thing was on auto-pilot as Obama watched Sportscenter!

Trump is the same as he was. It's all a BIG SHOW!!

Although Homeland Security employees who have been caught taking bribes represent less than 1 percent of the more than 250,000 people who work at the department, investigators say the bribes and small numbers of people arrested and charged with bribery obscure the impact corruption can have on border security and immigration enforcement.

“Any amount is bad, and one person alone can do a lot of damage,” said John Roth, the inspector general at the Department of Homeland Security. “It doesn’t have to be widespread.”

Law enforcement experts say the bribing of border and immigration agents is not surprising. As border security has tightened with the addition of fences, drones and sensors, drug cartels and human smugglers have found it increasingly more difficult to operate.

And yet it is all still failing!

“So it makes sense that cartels would target and try to corrupt border interdiction agents,” said Fred Burton, chief security officer at Stratfor, a global intelligence company, and a former deputy chief of counterterrorism at the State Department. “It’s very similar to the tactics and tradecraft used by foreign intelligence services during the Cold War.”

OMG! 

Now they are turning CIA drug and gun smuggling into Cold War espionage! 

Puh-leeze!

Homeland Security officials, acknowledging that internal corruption is a problem, have hired more internal affairs investigators, provided ethics training and started to administer polygraph tests to new applicants, along with countersurveillance training to employees so they can recognize when they are being targeted by criminal organizations.

Customs and Border Protection, which has had dozens of its officers arrested and charged with bribery, said it had made additional changes to combat corruption. Jeh Johnson, the secretary of Homeland Security, in 2014 gave authority to the agency’s internal affairs office to conduct criminal investigations for the first time. And Mark Morgan, a former FBI agent who had investigated corruption on the border, was put in charge of the Border Patrol.

“Polygraphs have made it so we don’t hire people with significant problems,” said R. Gil Kerlikowske, commissioner of the customs agency. “The bigger problem is what happens to people who are already on board. These changes address that.”

Records show that the bribing of Homeland Security employees persists. This year, 15 have been arrested on, convicted of, or sentenced on charges of bribery....

Now you migrants know the path to cro$$ to get here.

--more--"

I didn't see any mention of the Fast and Furious gun-running operation that armed the favored cartel and which led to the death of a border agent.

Related: Wikileaks Whisper 

(I'm sure you can see why I'm keeping my voice down; it's all they ever gave us about you-know-who)

Bazaar Post

"US sold $40 billion in weapons in 2015, topping global market" by Thom Shanker New York Times   December 27, 2016

WASHINGTON — The United States again ranked first in global weapons sales last year, signing deals for about $40 billion, or half of all agreements in the worldwide arms bazaar, and far ahead of France, the No. 2 weapons dealer with $15 billion in sales, according to a congressional study.

From a country whose war-criminal leaders constantly profess their wish for peace.

Developing nations continued to be the largest buyers of arms in 2015, with Qatar signing deals for more than $17 billion in weapons, followed by Egypt, which agreed to buy almost $12 billion in arms, and Saudi Arabia, with over $8 billion in weapons purchases.

I didn't see any enemies in there at all. I just saw client state oppressors called allies.

Although global tensions and terrorist threats have shown few signs of diminishing, the total size of the global arms trade dropped. The United States and France increased their overseas weapons sales in 2015, as Russia, another dominant power in the global arms market, saw a modest decline in orders for its weapons. Latin American nations, in particular Venezuela, have become a focus of marketing for Russian arms, the study found. 

The chaos in Venezuela has certainly hurt their interests, cui bono?

China reached $6 billion in weapons sales, up from its 2014 total of more than $3 billion.

The largest buyers of weapons in the developing world in 2015 were Qatar, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, South Korea, Pakistan, Israel, the United Arab Emirates, and Iraq.

Where are U.S. enemies Iran and Syria?

As for Israel, they don't actually buy weapons. The U.S. Congre$$ gives them taxpayer money and then they spend it on U.S. war equipment -- except for instances like Israel's various missile shields, whereby the U.S. government simply picks up the tab.

After the United States, France, Russia, and China, the study found that the major global arms suppliers were Sweden, Italy, Germany, Turkey, Britain, and Israel....

Sweden?

As for the rest, it's interesting to note that the five permanent members of the U.N. Security Council -- you know, the body that is tasked with keeping the peace in the world -- are also included within the top ten arms suppliers.

How bizarre, huh?

--more--"

Seeing Thru the PsyOp

You don't need X-ray eyes, either:

"New York man gets 30 years in prison in X-ray weapon plot" Associated Press  December 19, 2016

ALBANY, N.Y. — A 52-year-old industrial mechanic who was the first person in the nation convicted of trying to produce a weapon of mass destruction under a 2004 law intended to stop terrorists from using radiation-emitting ‘‘dirty bombs’’ was sentenced Monday to 30 years in prison.

Glendon Scott Crawford, of Galway in upstate New York, was also sentenced to a lifetime of supervised release after he completes his prison term.

US Attorney Richard Hartunian said Crawford planned to kill Muslims because of their religion as well as other people whose political and social beliefs he disagreed with.

Investigators began tracking Crawford in 2012 after he approached local Jewish groups with his idea for how they could defeat their enemies using a mobile X-ray weapon.

HA-HA-HA-HA-HA-HA-HA!!

--more--"

Also see: Globe Scandal Coverage Sucks 

You could see it back then!

Did you see where the tip came from? 

HA-HA-HA-HA-HA-HA!

21st-Century $lavery

"Millennials aren’t lazy, they’re workaholics" by Katie Johnston Globe Staff  December 20, 2016

Somebody told me wrong then.

The millennial generation, the first to grow up with smartphones in their hands, is often stereotyped as lazy and entitled. But workplace experts say workaholics are common among 19-to-35-year-olds, perhaps more so than among older members of Generation X and baby boomers.

In one online study, more than 4 in 10 millennials consider themselves “work martyrs” — dedicated, indispensable, and racked with guilt if they take time off.

Proving that propaganda, inculcation, indoctrination, and dogma works!

As for me, I took six months off this pos and did not feel one iota of guilt. And I'll be done here before 8 finished or not. Sorry, but my health is more important that whatever spew came out the Globe today or any other day. Then again, I'm not a millennial.

Oh, btw kids, no one is indispensable. You may think you are, but your not. No one is.

So why are millennials bent on being workaholics? Even though the economy has improved markedly in recent years, young people in the workforce today have record levels of student loan debt. They are also less likely than previous generations to earn more than their parents, according to a Stanford University report. The percentage of children who are better off than their parents has dropped dramatically — 50 percent of those born in the 1980s have a higher standard of living than their parents, compared with 90 percent of those born in the 1940s.

Looks to me like the "markedly improved economy" has only been for a very small sector at the top if these numbers -- and others like them -- are accurate. Don't let me distract your nose from the grindstone though, kiddo. Back to work (if you are lucky enough to have a job)!

The way millennials were raised may play into their always-on mindset, too, said Bob Kelleher, a Boston-based employee engagement consultant and author. Many of them were highly scheduled, he said, going to soccer camps, enrolling in SAT prep courses, and competing on the debate team in order to get into a good college.

And some have delayed several of the responsibilities of adulthood, he noted, living with their parents and putting off marriage and kids. That frees them up to work even more.

“This is a driven generation,” he said.

The concept of 24/7 work has become so prevalent that workplace analysts are starting to talk about “work-life blending” instead of “work-life balance.”

I quit.

The ability to work anytime, anywhere, helps propel this blending of work and life, in part because answering a work text at a coffee shop doesn’t feel as much like work as sitting in a cubicle. Indeed, nearly one in five people said they don’t consider after-hours texts from clients or customers to be work, according to Workforce Institute at Kronos Inc., a think tank set up by the Chelmsford human resources software provider.

Yes, WORK is LIFE, wow!! 

I would have given it more thought but work is like a 24/7 operation now so.... sh**, what are you going to do when you are sleeping? No more sleep, 'eh? Maybe they have a drug for that?

“If a friend texted me at the gym I would answer their text. Answering a work e-mail is just a natural extension of that,” said Jessica Molson, a 24-year-old integration manager at Beacon Communities, the Boston real estate developer and property management firm. “I don’t think of it as working; it’s just communicating.”

The war is over for the youth have been coopted and are controlled. No wonder they aren't out in the streets protesting the looting of their futures or following in the footsteps of their ancestors with war protests. Gotta go to the $hit job to pay off the debt interest on the loans (forget paying the principle anytime soon. Parents getting the basement set up for you as I type).

Molson finds herself answering e-mails and jumping on conference calls even when she’s on vacation, once distracting other participants with the sound of seagulls in the background while she was in Florida with her family. But going on a real vacation is a rarity for Molson, who tends to take long weekends because she’s afraid of missing something at work — and also because she loves what she does.

I actually feel sorry for her, and the problem is loving your job is rare in AmeriKa -- unless you are one of the "regular" people, I gue$$.

Like many millennials, Molson came of age when the economy was reeling, and the uncertain job market had a profound effect on her.

“I’m very anxious to rack up as much experience as possible,” she said.

Millennials are also more likely to forfeit paid days off than older generations of workers, with a quarter of 18-to-25-year-olds reporting they weren’t using any of their paid vacation days this year, according to the personal finance website Bankrate.com. The rise of companies offering unlimited vacation time may contribute to that, workplace consultants say, noting that when there is no set bank of “use it or lose it” vacation time, people are less likely to take days off than they otherwise would be.

I did 10 years on this blog with a handful of days off.

But not being able to truly get away from work can have serious downsides. Employees who don’t disconnect experience more stress and anxiety, which leads to reduced productivity and a higher rate of burnout, said Dan Schawbel, research director at Future Workplace, an executive development firm in New York.

I'm too busy and behind to listen to this guy.

“If all you’re doing is trying to be the perfect employee, it’s actually not going to work out in your favor because it’s going to make you less happy,” said Schawbel, who describes working too much as “a weakness disguised as a strength.”

It's hard to be happy with your nose buried between two cheeks.

Seeing co-workers hunched over their desks late at night can cause others to feel they should be doing the same and increase guilt, or resentment, among employees who strive to keep their work and home lives separate.

Do you get a knot in your neck like me?

As for other employees, I never gave a damn. You can't control other people and what they do, and I only cared about how I was being treated. When other employees complained to me about other employees, I saw it as a fracture in labor unity and why working people never get anywhere. I'm not saying lazy goldbrickers should excused, but why you sweating so the man can make a pile of money while increasing the pace?

It can also lead people working around the clock to hold it against their employer — “even if it’s your own fault,” Schawbel noted. Indeed, people who see being a “work martyr” as a good thing are more likely to be unhappy with their jobs, and less likely to receive bonuses, according to the Project: Time Off study.

Oh, yeah, there is that dynamic, too. I always felt it was the employer's duty to notice if you were suffering. They never did. They just cared about their efficiency reports.

That can lead to retention problems, particularly among millennials, who aren’t afraid to quit. Two out of three young workers expect to leave their current job by 2020, according to a recent study by Deloitte.

Why you lazy.... !!

Still, workaholics aren’t necessarily unhappy — many are ambitious or simply enjoy their work....

Do I look like I'm enjoying this?

--more--"

Related:

"It is hard to have a southern overseer; it is worse to have a northern one; but worst of all [is] when you are the slave-driver of yourself."

I'm sure some of you kids learned that in college.

Any of you speak Japanese?

"Dentsu chief to resign over employee’s suicide stemming from overwork" by Jonathan Soble New York Times   December 29, 2016

TOKYO — In the months before she jumped to her death from a company dormitory last Christmas, a young employee at a Japanese advertising agency told friends on Twitter of enduring harassment and grueling long hours on the job.

On Wednesday, the president and chief executive of Takahashi’s agency, Dentsu, one of the world’s largest advertising firms, said he would resign to take responsibility for her death, as well as the larger problem of dangerously long work hours at the agency that has been laid bare in its wake. Before her suicide, Takahashi was putting in more than 100 hours of overtime a month, according to an investigation by labor authorities, much of it unreported and unpaid.

Japan has struggled for decades to tame the issue of excessive working hours and its consequences, including karoshi, the Japanese word for death from overwork, which gained currency in the 1980s.

Takahashi’s 2015 death has led to a new bout of soul-searching. It has also damaged Dentsu’s reputation and brought scrutiny from labor authorities and prosecutors.

Working late has long been seen in Japan as a badge of corporate loyalty, repaid by employers in the form of ironclad job security. Both the security and the loyalty that many workers feel have eroded in recent years, as cultural norms have shifted and Japan’s economy has struggled. But the problem of health-threatening overwork has persisted....

--more--"

This Blog Has Gone Platinum

"New York hedge fund charged with $1 billion fraud" by Renae Merle Washington Post  December 20, 2016

NEW YORK — The founder of a New York hedge fund, Platinum Partners, was arrested on Monday and charged with orchestrating an $1 billion fraud upon his investors.

Mark Nordlicht founded the hedge fund in 2003 and bragged of having returns of 17 percent a year. But since at least 2012, federal prosecutors allege, Nordlicht and other company executives lied to investors about the profitability of the fund and took out high-interest loans to mask its dismal results.

Nordlicht and six other Platinum Partners executives were charged with several counts of securities fraud and conspiracy in Eastern District of Court on Monday. They were ‘‘engaged in one of the largest and most brazen investment frauds perpetrated on the investing public,’’ said Brooklyn US Attorney Robert Capers.

The scheme was ‘‘Ponzi-esque,’’ Capers said.

An attorney for Nordlicht could not be immediately be reached for comment. A person who answered the phone at Platinum Partners said no one was available to comment on the charges.

Platinum Partners took in billions from hundreds of investors with a promise that it would produce big profits. And for years Platinum, which was known for having a strong relationship with New York’s Orthodox Jewish community, built a reputation for strong, consistent profits. Nordlicht has more than 20 years of Wall Street experience, according to the company’s website, which also notes that at 22 years old he was the youngest trader in the history of the New York Cotton Exchange.

But starting in 2012, one of its largest funds, which was invested heavily in oil and gas companies, began to suffer as oil prices plummeted, according to court documents. Instead of acknowledging its losses, Platinum lied to its investors, prosecutors claim, including publicly overvaluing its assets and misrepresenting the performance of its funds.

When investors began to ask for the return of their money, the firm took out high-interest loans or used money raised from new investors to pay them back, prosecutors allege.

‘‘Investors were repeatedly presented a false picture of the performance of the Platinum funds and their overall liquidity situation,’’ said Andrew Ceresney, director of enforcement for the Securities and Exchange Commission. The SEC filed civil charges against Nordlicht and other current and former executives.

Platinum Partners is now being liquidated, but it is unclear whether its investors will be able to recover their money.

The fund also became entangled in a bribery scheme.

This year, a Platinum associate was charged with paying the head of the New York City correction officers’ union to move some of the group’s pension money to the hedge fund. The hedge fund was seeking to attract large institutional investors, such as pension funds, to broaden its client base beyond high net-worth individuals, prosecutors said. So the Platinum executive allegedly promised to pay the official $100,000 to $150,000 a year in return for an $20 million investment the group’s pension fund.

Ever see "The Other Guys?"

--more--"

They didn't handle the CHiPs money, too, did they?

On Goldman Pond

"Goldman ordered to pay $120m to settle manipulation charges" by Associated Press  December 21, 2016

WASHINGTON — Goldman Sachs has been ordered to pay $120 million to settle federal regulators’ charges that it deliberately manipulated a global benchmark for interest-rate swaps to its advantage.

The US Commodity Futures Trading Commission said Wednesday that several Goldman traders, including the head of the bank’s Interest Rate Products Trading Group in the United States, used trades and false reports to manipulate the benchmark between 2007 and 2012.

The CFTC cited e-mails and audio recordings in which Goldman traders ‘‘stated their manipulative goals in plain language.’’ The traders ‘‘even objected when their attempts to manipulate were not performed as inexpensively as possible,’’ the CFTC said.

The alleged manipulation centered on the US Dollar International Swaps and Derivatives Association Fix, or Isdafix, which is used to set prices for interest-rate swaps. The swaps are derivatives that can be traded and used to protect against swings in interest rates.

Related: Da Fix Is In

Aitan Goelman, the CFTC’s director of enforcement, said it’s the third time the agency has penalized banks for dealings related to the Isdafix. The CFTC fined Barclays $115 million in May of 2015 and Citibank $250 million in May of this year.

Did you hear a whi$tle?

It ‘‘demonstrates the breadth of this kind of misconduct across the industry,’’ Goelman said.

In addition to the fine, the CFTC ordered Goldman to cease and desist from further manipulation and false reporting and take steps to deter the practice. Goldman must also implement internal controls and report to the agency as to whether those controls have been effective.

‘‘We are pleased to have resolved these matters and have already taken steps to enhance our policies and procedures,’’ Goldman said in a statement.

--more--"

Siemens Gets State Tax Break

Anyone tell 'em the state has budget deficits that must be dealt with?

"Siemens plans to add as many as 700 jobs at its Walpole plant" by Robert Weisman Globe Staff  December 14, 2016

German industrial giant Siemens AG plans to expand its laboratory diagnostics manufacturing in Walpole, adding 400 to 700 jobs in the next decade — or sooner — on top of the 700 already there.

Siemens’ board, at a Wednesday morning meeting in Munich, voted to approve a $300 million expansion of the Walpole campus. Siemens acquired the site in 2007, when it bought Bayer Diagnostics, a business unit of the German pharmaceuticals company.

The approval vote came after state officials awarded Siemens and Walpole a $4.2 million package of tax breaks, infrastructure outlays, and workforce training grants. Millions of dollars’ worth of additional tax incentives are possible in coming years.

Separately, the town of Walpole earlier this year agreed to grant Siemens a generous property tax break amounting to about 75 percent annually over the next two decades. Under the agreement, Siemens will pay about $8 million in additional taxes to the town because of the expansion, but that’s about $21 million less than it would have paid without the deal, according to town officials.

Town of Walpole is even worse! I mean, we are talking about a global conglomerate that has going concerns. Must they be bribed with tax loot to come here?

In addition to the new jobs and tax revenue, the deal will offer the town other benefits, said Walpole selectmen chairman Eric Kraus – including hundreds of thousands of dollars in permitting fees, a new ladder fire truck, and snow plowing services.

“The biggest commitment a company like Siemens can make to any town is when they expand,” Kraus said.

Yeah, yeah, we always get that self-adulating spin from them even as communities across the state and country are collapsing thanks to corporate governance. The kickbacks never equal what was $howered on them.

Siemens spokesman Lance Longwell said that in addition to its employees in Walpole, the company has 360 workers in Beverly and at a site in Norwood that serves as global headquarters for Siemens’ point-of-care diagnostics business. That business sells medical tests that are conducted in doctors’ offices and hospital emergency rooms.

At the Walpole plant, Siemens produces instruments and components for tests used in hospital and research labs and in large clinical lab testing companies. It also conducts business operations and research and development and manages a warehouse.

The expanded production space will allow Siemens to manufacture a next-generation laboratory product called Atellica Solution, which will let labs customize multiple tests of blood and tissue samples and rapidly analyze the results. It will be shipped throughout North America and Europe. The product has received European clearance and is awaiting approval from US regulators.

As part of the state’s incentive package, Siemens won initial approval this year of $735,000 in tax breaks from the Massachusetts Life Sciences Center in exchange for creating 30 full-time jobs, along with a commitment to receive further tax incentives as it adds more jobs. The state also agreed to award up to $2.5 million to Walpole to support road improvements leading to the Siemens plant and $1 million in workforce development training grants.

Travis McCready, president of the Massachusetts Life Sciences Center, said the Siemens expansion represents a broadening of the life sciences industry across the state.

“Siemens is a great opportunity for a town outside Greater Boston to become a bigger player in the ecosystem,” McCready said. “It’s very significant for us to be able to communicate to the world that there’s a vibrant climate for the life sciences outside Boston and Cambridge. It also speaks to our ability to manufacture in Massachusetts. It’s not just about biopharma. We have a very vibrant medical device and diagnostics industry in the state.”

--more--"

Do you think it “makes a lot of sense” for us?

California DMV

"California drivers paying for underfunded state patrol pension" by Romy Varghese Bloomberg News  December 22, 2016

Californians in April will start paying more to register their cars — not to help maintain roads, but to keep pension checks rolling for the motorcycle cops who policed them.

They should be thankful they didn't work at Eversource.

The retirement fund for the California Highway Patrol is worse off than any other managed by California Public Employees’ Retirement System, the largest US pension, as payments by the state and employees fail to keep up with benefits locked in during the dot-com bubble.

PFFFFT! 

That was 16 years ago! 

So who stole all the money and where did it go?

‘‘It’s a pension tax — call it what it is,’’ said state Senator John Moorlach, a Republican who introduced a bill that would implement measures to cut pension costs. ‘‘It’s like a tumor that’s growing inside the budget.’’

The situation facing the Highway Patrol underscores the consequences to taxpayers whose state and local governments have about $2 trillion less than they need to cover promised retirement benefits....

The fiscal mismanagement at all levels of government is reaching the point of treason.

--more--"

I'm not saying the police shouldn't;t get what they were promised by government; however, this i$$ue shows you the hierarchy under which we live. There are the "irregular" people to be stomped on and bludgeoned while paying for it all, then there are the layers of bureaucrats hanging on and scrapping by as enablers of the $y$tem, then there is the layer of security and oppression represented by the case in point here, then there are the corporate levels leading up to the most powerful lobbies and their ranks. You can get coverage for protesting Big Oil, Trump can say the pharmaceuticals are getting away with murder, but no one questions the war machine and their is even greater silence regarding the apex of the pyramid of power.

AmeriKa looks more like Nazi Germany by the day, but with a Zionist bent.

Ashley Stewart Living Large

"The Toronto-based parent company of the adultery dating site Ashley Madison will pay $1.6 million in settlements following an investigation led by the US Federal Trade Commission into a massive breach of the company’s computer systems and the outing of millions of its members. Hackers breached the company’s systems in July 2015 and then posted the information online a month later after the company didn’t comply with their demands to shut down Ashley Madison. New York state Attorney General Eric Schneiderman said Wednesday that reckless disregard for data security will not be tolerated. The attorney general said the investigation found lax data security practices and said the company made several misrepresentations, including a ‘‘Trusted Security Award’’ that appears to have been fabricated. It also found Ashley Madison created fake female profiles to entice male users. In some instances, the attorney general said, it used portions of the profile photographs of actual users who had not had account activity within the previous year as the photographs in the fake profiles that it created. The website — whose slogan was ‘‘Life is short. Have an affair’’ — is marketed to people looking for extramarital relationships. It once purported to have about 39 million members."

I'm sorry, I'm always getting them confused so stop squawking about it.

If memory holds, people at the time were suggesting Ashley Madison was a honey-trap for blackmail purposes, and in hindsight they look correct.

"Plus-size ambitions for James Rhee and the Ashley Stewart brand" by Janelle Nanos Globe Staff  August 31, 2016

James Rhee is in the hot spot of the Ashley Stewart store in Roxbury, the flashy front section of the shop that lures customers in off the street. Standing amid the racks, he pauses to fawn over the tight tie-dyed jeans, slinky halter tops, and purple- and white-striped neoprene skirts. He waves hello as a curvy 30-ish woman in a slouchy off-the-shoulder top wanders in, then turns to the older, buttoned-up Avon consultant who set up her table by the front door.

“How long have you known Ashley Stewart?” he asks.

“A looong time,” she says with a grin.

The Ashley Stewart chain has found an unlikely champion in Rhee, a 45-year-old Korean-American father of three who is the company’s chief executive. Within three years of taking over, the Newton-based Harvard law grad has transformed a brand that is especially popular with black women from a bankrupt and oft-ignored company to a booming apparel chain. In a retail environment reeling from online competition, Ashley Stewart is a bright spot, one that’s making over $20 million in profit and predicting over $180 million in annual sales this year.

Since 1991, Ashley Stewart clothing stores have been de facto social hubs in urban African-American neighborhoods. The fashion-forward brand, which sells clothing in sizes 12 and larger, has developed a fierce following among its plus-size customers.

Under Rhee, this year in particular has been impressive for the chain.

In June, the Invus Group, a private equity firm that owns Weight Watchers, took a majority ownership stake in Ashley Stewart, a vote of confidence in the Secaucus, N.J.-based brand. The company’s Rock the Block fashion event in Brooklyn in July garnered more than 15 million social mediaimpressions. And in a sign of plus-sized fashion moving more into the mainstream, size 16 supermodel Ashley Graham seduced readers from Cosmopolitan magazine’s cover this month while wearing a bodysuit by the brand.

In many ways, Ashley Stewart is at the crest of a much bigger trend. US sales of women’s plus-size apparel increased 17 percent over the past three years to $20.4 billion, according to NPD Group, thanks in part to new lines at Target and JCPenney and the success of such online upstarts as Eloquii and Gwynnie Bee.

As an established player, Ashley Stewart has an edge in an industry that’s just beginning to acknowledge the fashion concerns of the plus-size woman, NPD research analyst Marshal Cohen said. “Everyone else is kind of playing catch up.”

It's at this time that I wonder if the $elf-$erving agenda-pu$hers and their media mouthpieces are serious about obe$ity, especially when it's now profitable.

But that higher profile also brings challenges. “How do you compete against the Lane Bryants of the world?” Cohen said, referring to the country’s largest plus-size retailer for women.

And more exposure may change the unique relationship the Ashley Stewart brand has cultivated with its traditional audience. “At what point do you expand your customer base in favor of growth?” said Ellen Davis, executive director of the National Retail Federation. “How much can you grow and do you want to grow?”

For years, debating how fast to grow hadn’t been an issue for the company. From 2007 to 2013, Ashley Stewart was hemorrhaging over $5 million a year and was on the cusp of its second bankruptcy proceeding when it found a savior in Rhee, who left his private equity job to rescue the company. Today, Rhee sees the brand and its customers as his life’s mission.

“There’s a genuine passion about the consumer that he has. He’s like ‘Hey, hi, we are in this together,’” said Marie Denee, who chronicles trends on her blog, The Curvy Fashionista.

“He may be a plus-size black woman on the inside. He gets it,” she said.

Rhee is, in fact, a first-generation Korean-American, whose father immigrated to the United States in 1967 and started a pediatric practice on Long Island. Rhee attended Harvard for both undergrad and law school and was a high school teacher before landing in private equity, where he reorganized such distressed brands as Meow Mix and Murray’s Discount Auto Stores. He had launched his own firm, FirePine Group, then another local investment group, Gordon Brothers, approached him seeking help managing its troubled companies.

Our whole world is boiling down to ownership by private equity.

Ashley Stewart became part of Gordon Brothers’ portfolio in 2010, and they asked Rhee to join the retailer’s board. He quickly became fascinated with the store and the unique role it plays in its customers’ lives. Like Rhee, its founder was no fashion mogul — Joe Sitt was a New York real estate developer who had struggled to find suitable retail tenants while developing urban neighborhoods.

“There was no place for a working woman to get a nice suit, a nice blouse to go out in,” Sitt told Inc. magazine in 2006. Noticing that some African-American women were “fullerfigured,” he conceived of a store to serve them, getting the Ashley from Laura Ashley and the Stewart from Martha Stewart. “[W]e wanted to bring that upscale shopping experience — the antithesis of what you’ve seen in the inner city,” he said.

I guess the rest of us are going to be slaughtered like the fatted calf, 'eh?

Over time, the brand took on a life of its own. Rhee learned store managers are often known as “Miss Ashley” in their neighborhoods. He watched women walk in and ask anyone within earshot: “I’ve got a date tonight, who’s helping me?” Customers come in two or three times a week to hang out and feel comfortable trying on clothes in the aisles.

“You can’t fake the emotion that’s in these stores,” he said. “It was the most loyal customer I encountered in my entire investment career.”

That's why you have an affair.

But it had been losing money by the millions. “It was a bit of a laughingstock business. We all knew about it as investors,” admitted Rhee, who plans to open a corporate outpost in Boston next month to be closer to its technology partners.

The chain was on the verge of its second bankruptcy proceeding, a state from which few companies recover, when Rhee stepped in as chief executive. He arrived at its headquarters and found the books in disarray. Some of its 180 stores failed to clear a profit. E-commerce was nascent at best and the company’s office didn’t even have Wi-Fi.

“The company was on a fast track to get liquidated,” said Stephen Warren, an attorney representing Clearlake Capital, which bought Ashley Stewart during the 2014 bankruptcy proceedings. But Warren says Rhee’s passion for the brand and its customers swayed a roomful of cutthroat investors to allow the company to reorganize. “He was so disarmingly honest. . . . And it was the only way the deal would get done,” he said.

Rhee effuses an Oprah-ish enthusiasm and tends to discuss Ashley Stewart not as a company but a person, referring to it as “she.”

Yeah, me, too.

Wandering through the Roxbury store, he ticked off “her” ideals — kindness, friendship, and community — and engaged shoppers in heart-to-hearts on the fit of its patented Butterfly Bra and the shopping dilemmas that larger women often face.

“I remember it being really hard to find stuff to wear for a woman with curves,” Alexis Major divulged to Rhee. The 34-year-old from Dorchester had been a size 24 when she discovered the brand. “It definitely changed the way I thought about picking clothes and the way I saw myself,” she said.

Major’s a size 12 now, but told Rhee she doesn’t want to lose more weight.

“I want to stay here,” she said.

Rhee says these moments remind him it wasn’t a company he was saving, but the woman it served. “This brand and this company, and sometimes one could argue this woman, has never gotten 100 percent of anyone’s focus,” he said.

Rhee has streamlined the business by closing nearly 100 stores and implementing a data-driven approach to sales that he said helps him understand his customers in ways that go far beyond feelings.

I'm sure there is some pun about weight and loss I could insert here.

Moving into e-commerce has infused new life into the business as well — online shoppers are on track to account for over 40 percent of total net sales in 2016 — and has pushed it into new markets.

That's what we are being told to explain the absolute collapse of AmeriKan retail. There is no middle cla$$ anymore. We all had to tighten our belts. Globe and a coffee my only luxuries. No going out to eat, movies, shopping, none of it.

Rhee plans to add stores this year, saying his newest customers are white and Latina women who are responding to the company’s underlying message that clothing and the women who wear it can be sexy, regardless of size.

Kristen Gaskins, the company’s president, says Rhee’s message of inclusiveness can translate to anyone who’s felt marginalized by retailers — and that number may be on the rise, as the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has found the average American woman is 166 pounds and a size 14.

“Have you ever felt like you weren’t accepted everywhere?” she asked. “Then you’re automatically Ashley.”

Everyone plays victim card these days, but Zion played it first!

--more--"

That article was heavy on the print, and I make no judgements about a soul based on the shell. 

Nice outfit though:

"How one American retailer ignores the Internet and wins" by Kim Bhasin and Lindsey Rupp Bloomberg News  December 21, 2016

NEW YORK — There’s been much talk this holiday season about the utter dominance of e-commerce. Cyber Monday set a record for online sales, racking up $3.45 billion, according to Adobe Digital Insights. The National Retail Federation said more people shopped online throughout Black Friday weekend than in physical stores. And the clicks continued past the weekend: Retailers turned what was once just a discount day for online sales into weeks of bargains.

But there are some stores bucking the trend. Take TJ Maxx and Marshalls, owned by parent company TJX Cos., based in Framingham, Mass. They’re a rarity in the retail universe: stores that don’t care about online sales because their businesses are based on the real-life retail experience. Inventory shifts regularly, so no visit is the same. The promise of discovering great items on the cheap is what draws shoppers inside.

TJX and competitors Ross Stores Inc. and Burlington Stores Inc. have a team of buyers that pick up excess items on the wholesale market, anything from cashmere sweaters to copper mugs. TJX alone works with more than 18,000 vendors, including manufacturers and retailers, to scoop up stylish stuff in bulk and resell it at deep discounts. With more than 2,500 US stores, the company is also adept at tailoring merchandise to local trends.

Fans of HomeGoods or Marshalls are out of luck if they don’t live near one; online they only sell gift cards. T.J. Maxx sells some clothing and accessories on its website, but the experience is very different from sifting through racks for a one-of-its-size item.

“They’re not worried about it at all,” said Mickey Chadha, an analyst at Moody’s Investors Service who considers T.J. Maxx’s online penetration negligible. “The product is right at the right price. Online is only as good as the product.”

A representative of TJX declined to comment on the company’s strategy. Executives have repeatedly stated on conference calls with analysts that they view e-commerce as a supplement to its shops, a way to drive real-life traffic. “We see it as highly complementary to our physical stores,” TJX chief executive Ernie Herrman said in May.

It’s working. TJX stock has more than doubled over the past five years, and revenue is up more than 30 percent during the same time period. TJX’s 10 brands hauled in nearly $31 billion in sales last year.

But don’t expect a trend heading back in time. This is a difficult system to replicate, said Simeon Siegel, an analyst at Instinet. TJX boasts a wide net of inventory buyers who find small batches of desirable clothing, then make a small bet on those goods. This is unlike the traditional department store model, where buyers look at runway trends and make large orders of a few items, hoping that they’ll be the winner for the season.

“You’re buying closed-out product and you’re buying samples,” said Siegel. “You have to be very attuned to the numbers and very attuned to the fashion. The vendor base that you need to be plugged into and the intelligence that goes into buying the product is the most important asset they have. You need to find the most compelling stuff.”

I didn't find anything.

--more--"

Time to go someplace else.

Thursday's Metaphors

Page A9When is a wall not a wall?

That's about the time I hit it.

Now back to the front page lead:

Trump’s plan cuts tax rates across board

It won't be until August at the earliest that we see legislation, according to previous Globe reporting, and who is that standing next to Mnuchin? Just a “natural evolution,” I guess.

Globe will tell you who are the winners and and losers as you work yourself to death.

Immigrants, refugees too afraid to seek critical help

They are obviou$ly at the top of the agenda push.

John Kerry is switching islands

No offense, but who gives a damn? Front page?!!

********
A2 

Scientists keep increasing projections of sea-level increase by 2100

(blog editor just shakes head at printed National lead. I wonder who will win the NBA championship that year. I project the Oklahoma City Thunder)

NASA spacewalking suits in short supply, report finds

Makes you think they never went to the moon at all, but ma$$ media and authority would never lie about such things.... right? I mean, what proof do we have other than what you saw and were told on a TV screen?

America’s rich get richer as the poor get replaced by robots

Yes, what will they do with all us "irregular" people?

Raleigh, N.C., swamped by biggest rain event since Hurricane Matthew

Hey, look, I got see levels rising on the whole top half of the page so....

Coulter says Berkeley speech is “canceled’ but implies visit

15-year sentence for shooter at Black Lives Matter protest

********
A3

White House briefs Senate amid tense moment with North Korea

I'm just thankful for each day I wake up and there has been no escalation. I dread the day when it will be different. 

US military ‘swiftly’ installing antimissile battery in South Korea

That's to counter China, and if history is any guide the $y$tem probably doesn't work to well.

China Launches Its First Aircraft Carrier Built at Home

Can see where it's all heading, huh?

Le Pen upstages Macron in battle for blue-collar votes

:-)

Venezuela goes through with threat to leave the OAS

Some are saying it's leftist thuggery. I tend to think not.

New South Sudan fighting displaces 25,000 people

Considering the massive displacement and migration , that's not that many.

********
A4

Turkey detains over 1,000 police said to be linked to failed coup

Foes will fight vote giving Turkish leader new powers in European court

Turkey isn't even in the EU!

France: Analysis shows Syrian government behind sarin attack It’s thought that Assad’s government still has a stockpile of tons of chemical weapons, despite saying it had handed over all of them.

OMG, its IRAQ ALL OVER AGAIN! I guess the same script can be trotted out over the generations as memories fade while the youth have none at all.

Btw, why hasn't the Globe talked to MIT professor Postol?

Commander Takes Responsibility for Confusion Over Aircraft Carrier

Scapegoat falling on his sword, and it does nothing to change world perception regarding the lying U.S. military. In keeping with the article just above it, old guard readers will remember a little whopper of a lie called the Gulf of Tonkin incident?

In the 21st century, truth coming from authority is the exception, not the rule.

********
A5

The growing horror in a city where 500 children were kidnapped by Boko Haram

Gotta love the timing.

Neanderthals in California? Maybe so, provocative study says

(Blog editor shakes head; regardless of the merits, that is hardly "news". It's up there with the sea-level story, only in the other direction)

********
A6

Texas prisons’ solitary confinement policies amount to torture, report says

It's not just Texas....

********
A8

With dispute over health payments defused, spending bill is on track

I told you they would have that all set by Friday midnight.

Freedom Caucus endorses latest Republican plan to revise Obamacare

Yeah, they need the healthcare money they will "save" for their tax cuts!

********
A10

Defiant Trump vows to take immigration case to Supreme Court

I'm waiting for the backtrack, and for some reason this next item didn't make print:

Ivanka Trump parts ways with her father on Syrian refugees

********
A12

Rumors distract from Aaron Hernandez inquiry

Misplaying the China card with North Korea

Those were also missing; guess the Globe doesn't want you seeing certain things.

Put these in their place?

Tax cuts are GOP’s weapon of choice in class warfare

Jonathan Demme — a populist of the best sort

Yes, I saw that and my favorite movie of his was the book tour by President Jimmy Carter.

********
A13

What was Ivanka Trump doing on that panel anyway?

Abortion rift puts Democratic militants in charge

********
B1

Scott Brown’s long-awaited win

N.H. lawmaker accused of starting ‘Red Pill’ forum on Reddit won’t resign

They lost their son in a car crash. Then, they presided at his funeral.

Creating inclusive schools for LGBTQ students

Fairmount Line ridership has tripled since 2012, study finds

********
B2

Flying foxes, pawpaws, and Scott Brown

MIT students bring back tradition of tossing piano off building

Where did they buy it? Steinart's?

********
B3

Jury convicts man for fatally poisoning ‘Whitey’ Bulger extortion victim

That's a name I haven't seen in a while, and Johnny Depp deserved an Oscar!

Inmate’s lawyer demands release of alleged Hernandez note

I don't want to see it.

********
B4

Opponents of casino on Martha’s Vineyard file appeal 

I've given up the fight. They are here.

Maine man arrested with 1,200 doses of fentanyl from Massachusetts

Fatal State Police shooting of knife-wielding man on Esplanade footbridge in 2015 deemed justified

You expected a different result?

What didn't make print (again?):

New allegations surface about fired Lawrence Catholic high school administrator

Recognize any names?

********
B10

Boston councilors back Winthrop Sq. skyscraper proposal

Back into the shadows?

For driverless cars, a left-hand detour

They can't even make a left turn

Hit the brakes and pass the popcorn, will ya'?

Long inspired by Justice Brandeis, he ends up at Brandeis University

I mean really.... 

Trump’s FCC can save the Internet — by doing nothing

That's how politicians and authority can do the least amount of harm.

********
B11

TALKING POINTS

Met with nothing but silence.

********
B12

Biogen’s former CEO left as a very wealthy man

Let's hope it is not due to overpriced drugs or lost jobs.

‘Fearless Girl’ sponsor reports higher first quarter earnings

The State Street stealers are so wonderful when it comes to women!

House launches Dodd Frank battle

Twitter’s business shrinks, but investors see a glimmer of hope 

Nothing but elite talk.

So how many followers do you have?

Trump considers order that would start process of withdrawing from NAFTA

He's considering it, and I fully expect him to retreat just as he has across numerous fronts within the last three weeks.

********
B13

‘Much-loved’ giant rabbit found dead after United flight to O’Hare

Can things get any worse for United?

Stock indexes wobble as Trump unveils tax plan

So what is the agenda for today?

Found this in the Sports:

Ed Werder, Jayson Stark among several high-profile ESPN layoffs

Only good thing in the Globe these days is the crossword puzzle.

"The story behind the whipped cream shortage — which involves laughing gas, a tragic explosion and a federal investigation — reveals one of the industrial food system’s core weaknesses: ‘‘This story is a metaphor for the vulnerability of the entire food system,’’ said Daniel Block, a professor at Chicago State University who has studied the geography of food distribution." 

That should top things off. 

Time for lunch.

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Hitting the Wall Wednesday

Starting from the top right of the front page:

Prison probe surrounding Aaron Hernandez’s death focuses on contraband

Honestly, that being the number one story day after day.... diversion and distraction, although the Globe finally did acknowledge the Newsweek article the sports guys have been talking about all week on page B1 (beneath the fold). I'm so not interested in that. Let the dead rest in peace. Not enough time for the living as it is.

MFA among museums hit by Instagram censorship The incident marks the latest twist in a struggle that has often pitted artists against the social media services they increasingly rely on to reach their audiences.

I have a strict policy here: no nudity, no addresses, no telephone numbers, etc, etc. I protect privacy, unlike the pre$$ and government, and have even self-censored myself via language. I no longer print out a blatant, bald-faced swear. It's always c*d*d but you get the gist.

Mass. cities hail ruling blocking sanctuary city retaliation

Environmentalists vow to fight Trump on Maine monument

You will never even miss them.

"Trump’s agenda once again stalls in Congress, forcing backtrack" by Victoria McGrane and Astead W. Herndon Globe Staff  April 26, 2017

WASHINGTON — Republican senators seemed to bend over backward to give Trump an opening to claim eventual victory on the wall by raising the prospect of a border security approach that doesn’t completely involve a wall. Maybe it’s a partial wall, maybe it’s a fence in parts, or drones and other technology. Trump’s wall is more metaphorical than literal, insisted Thom Tillis, a Republican senator from North Carolina. 

That was like the foundation of his campaign promises and the first one he made, and it's now gone. Forget the word games. My feeling has always been if a wall is good enough for Israel, well, it's good enough for us, too.

Republican Senator Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, who hasn’t been shy about criticizing Trump, said that the president’s understanding of Congress from Inauguration Day until now has improved “one hundred percent,” and that Trump has done more outreach in 100 days than former president Barack Obama did his entire time in office.

There is a Graham that doesn't like him, and she couldn't be more wrong.

Related:

"Trump will have signed 32 executive orders by Friday, the most of any president in their first 100 days since World War II. Obama signed 276 executive orders during his eight years in office, slightly less than Bush (291) and Bill Clinton (364) did in their two terms, according to data from the University of California-Santa Barbara. Executive orders were used relatively infrequently until Theodore Roosevelt ushered in a new era of executive action at the beginning of the 19th century, signing more than 1,000 while in office and establishing a template his successors."

Now we know whom to blame and why received history loves him. Sure walks, talks, and looks like a dictatorship, and I see no mention of the term executive order in the Constitution.

One must-do on Trump’s agenda this week is to help Congress to avert a partial government shutdown by enacting a short-term spending bill by midnight Friday....

They will, and who knows what other goodies they will load into it as you are enjoying your weekend and not watching. By Monday the news cycle will have buried it.

--more--"

Meanwhile, on upon page A8 turn-in one finds him groveling before the usual suspects:

"The controversy over Trump’s relationship with the Jewish community is one of the more bewildering story lines in a young administration brimming with paradox. The president is clearly seeking a reset in his relationship with the Jewish community, and his public statements on the issue have become increasingly emphatic, emotional, and rooted in the historical suffering of the Jewish people. On Sunday night, in a video shown to the plenary session of a World Jewish Congress event in New York City, Trump gave his most extensive remarks so far about the atrocities of the Holocaust. Simon Greer, a progressive Jewish activist who opposed Trump’s participation in Tuesday’s ceremony., said “Many of the people and ideas populating this administration could pose a threat to us. And something must be done.”

Their raw power is on full display, and that looks like a not-so-veiled threat!

A2:

House Oversight lawmakers say Michael Flynn sidestepped disclosure rules

That's all they've got on him?

Heck, they approved Mnuchin and he didn't disclose!

Then the fun began:

Court removes obstacle to releasing wolves in New Mexico

Justice Stephen Breyer's cellphone rings in court

It's all smiles, ha-ha.

San Diego schools launches effort against Islamophobia

If nothing else, it is an alternative to the Zionist curriculum that is shoved down student throats.

Methodist court takes up challenge to election of gay bishop

I'm not a Methodist.

Alles Named Secret Service Leader

Probably a good idea. They are clearly not up to the job anymore and "something needs to be done?"

A3:

LeadNorth Korea carries out huge live-fire drills as US warships gather In addition, one of the largest US guided-missile submarines showed up in the South Korean port of Busan ‘‘for a regularly scheduled port visit.’’

Missing?:

"A Thai man hangs infant daughter on Facebook Live, then hangs himself" by Lindsey Bever The Washington Post News Service  April 25, 2017

A man in Thailand reportedly hanged his 11-month-old daughter while broadcasting on Facebook Live on Monday and then hanged himself in what the social media company has called a ‘‘appalling incident’’ amid a recent string of live-streamed tragedies.

The incident underscores other brutal crimes, violence, and self-inflicted pain that has played out on Facebook and other social media platforms. The company removed the footage.

In another incident that received wide attention, police said 37-year-old Steve W. Stephens posted a video on Facebook of himself killing a 74-year-old man in cold blood on Easter Sunday on a street in east Cleveland....

That was a 2-3 day story, then gone. The mental trigger is still there, though, and you can feel good saying I remember!

--more--"

Going to have to shut social media down, huh?

"Cyberattack on French presidential front-runner bears Russian ‘fingerprints’" by Rick Noack The Washington Post News Service  April 25, 2017

PARIS — A security firm claimed Tuesday that a new cyberattack against the campaign offices of the front-runner in France’s presidential race carried similar digital ‘‘fingerprints’’ to the suspected Russian hacking of the Democratic National Committee and others.

Yeah, who left those "fingerprints" again (notice how the Globe wiped 'em clean)?

See: WikiLeaks Reveals "Marble": Proof CIA Disguises Their Hacks As Russian, Chinese, Arabic... 

And anyone else they want to frame (like North Korea?)

The report, released by the Trend Micro research group, did not disclose what possible fallout the infiltration had on the campaign of Emmanuel Macron, a centrist who is in a two-person runoff with far-right rival Marine Le Pen in the May 7 election.

But if a Russian connection was proved, the hacking would add to mounting allegations of Moscow-backed attempts to influence Western elections in favor of candidates with policies potentially more favorable to the Kremlin. Le Pen has voiced opposition to the powers of the European Union and has called for better ties with Russia, echoing the campaign rhetoric of Donald Trump.

IF?

Related:

"White House suggests Putin was directly involved in US hacking, but no proof was offered for any of the accusations and U.S. officials have not contended that Trump would have been defeated by Hillary Clinton on Nov. 8, nor has there has been any indication of tampering with the vote-counting."

Say again?

Tokyo-based Trend Micro said Macron’s campaign was targeted in March and April by a cyberspy group called Pawn Storm. It is the same group that has allegedly used phishing and malware to infiltrate other political organizations, such as Angela Merkel’s Christian Democratic Union party in Germany and the Democratic National Committee. 

Someone is being used as a pawn!

‘‘We found similarities in the IP addresses and malware used in the attacks,’’ said Rik Ferguson, the vice president of the company’s security research program. ‘‘The group behind the attacks certainly appears to pursue Russian interests,’’ he added....

Yup, uh-huh, right. What he said means nothing.

--more--"

If Le pen wins, the Russians stole it. If globalist puke Macron wins, all legit even though fixed. That's the narrative they are constructing to be shoved down your throat

RelatedWikileaks Exposes CIA Involvement In French 2012 Presidential Election

But they won't/didn't do it this time!

RelatedLabour rules out second Brexit referendum In an election haunted by the ghost of Brexit, Labour’s latest outline will come as a blow to the 48 percent who voted to remain in the bloc and are unsure whether their vote can even matter given May’s crushing advantage in the polls. "

The "journalism" is getting downright disgusting -- and laughable!  

Also see: China to Nuke U.K.? 

I love this next item:

"Israel’s Netanyahu snubs German foreign minister for meeting with activists" by Ruth Eglash The Washington Post News Service  April 25, 2017

JERUSALEM — A diplomatic tiff erupted Tuesday over a planned meeting by the visiting German foreign minister with a group highly critical of Israel’s occupation of Palestinian territories.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu had issued an ultimatum to Germany’s top diplomat, Sigmar Gabriel: Either cancel that meeting or I won’t meet with you.

Later, Netanyahu’s office said the meeting with Gabriel was off after the foreign minister refused to drop his session with Breaking the Silence, a nonprofit organization that collects the testimonies of former Israeli combatants with the aim of exposing ‘‘the reality of everyday life in the occupied Palestinian territories.’’

Gabriel told a German network that it was ‘‘totally normal’’ to meet with groups such as Breaking the Silence. He said ‘‘it wouldn’t be a catastrophe’’ if he did’t meet Netanyahu.

More like a blessing.

Gabriel arrived in Israel on Monday, the day Israelis mark Holocaust Remembrance Day. It’s a particularly sensitive time for Jews who remember the atrocities perpetrated by the Nazis and the millions of Jews murdered during World War II.

Someone cue the cello to summon the ghosts (sigh).

Gabriel took part in an official Remembrance Day ceremony, laying a wreath at Yad Vashem, the World Holocaust Remembrance Center. 

He still had to grovel like Trump.

He had been scheduled to meet Netanyahu on Tuesday until word of his meeting with Breaking the Silence reached the Israeli prime minister’s ears.

Breaking the Silence is particularly reviled by Israel’s right-wing political leaders, who claim the group’s actions aim to discredit the military — sacred soldiers who give their lives for the state — and undermine the Israeli state.

What makes the group even more controversial for Israelis is that the identities of those who share their military experiences are largely anonymous

That's okay when you are peddling war lies.

In the past, the organization retold the soldier’s stories to Israeli high school students and even to active soldiers. The goal, they said, was to raise a discussion in Israeli society of the army’s treatment of the Palestinian population. In recent years, however, there has been an attempt to muzzle the group.

In June, Palestinians will mark 50 years of Israel’s military occupation, viewed by much of the world as illegal.

It's called the Nakba. Wonder if I'll get an article in my jewspaper.

--more--"

"China bans certain baby names in heavily Muslim region" By JAVIER C. HERNÁNDEZ New York Times News Service  April 25, 2017

BEIJING — The list of names, a copy of which was provided to The New York Times by Uighur activists, is titled “List of Banned Ethnic Minority Names.”

Security officials in Urumqi and other cities in Xinjiang said in interviews that if residents did not comply, they risked forfeiting critical benefits for their children, including education and health care.

Where do they think this is, Wisconsin?

Rights advocates said the ban showed the lengths to which the government would go to limit the civil liberties of Uighurs in the name of fighting terrorism.

“China’s policies are increasingly hostile,” said Dilxat Raxit, a spokesman for the World Uyghur Congress, a group in Munich that advocates self-determination for Xinjiang. To combat what officials describe as extremism in Xinjiang, the Chinese government has put in place a series of restrictions in recent years. Earlier this month, security officials imposed bans on long beards and veils in public places.

Now it looks like France!

This year, officials held large rallies of paramilitary and police forces as a show of force in Xinjiang. The region has struggled with clashes between residents and security officials and occasional acts of domestic terrorism....

They run any drills?

--more--"

Btw, the Uighers work with CIA and are their arm in western China and the resource rich Central Asian region.

A4: 

A child in Yemen dies every 10 minutes as humanitarian aid falls short by 85 percent, U.N. says

Globe didn't want you to see that?

Made sure you saw this:

"Ivanka Trump draws groans for defending father’s attitudes toward women" by Monica Hesse Washington Post  April 25, 2017

BERLIN — Panel moderator Miriam Meckel, the editor in chief of the German publication WirtschaftsWoche, in her opening question to Ivanka Trump, said, ‘‘The German audience is not that familiar with the concept of a first daughter. I’d like to ask you, what is your role? And who are you representing — your father, as president of the United States, the American people, or your business?’’

‘‘Certainly not the latter,’’ Trump responded, adding, ‘‘I’m rather unfamiliar with this role as well, as it is quite new to me.’’ She remained poised throughout the exchange, explaining that she was ‘‘listening and learning’’ and that she hoped that knowledge would help her effect ‘‘incremental, positive change.’’

It was a more pointed line of inquiry than Meckel had asked any of the other women on the panel, which included German Chancellor Angela Merkel, as well as Queen Maxima of the Netherlands, International Monetary Fund managing director Christine Lagarde, and Canadian Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland. But Trump had come to the summit with more to prove.

Well, Freeland is some sort of closet Nazi, or at least her Ukrainian father was involved in collaboration.  I have that on good sourcing. 

As for LeGarde, well....

IMF chief on trial in France over misuse of public money

It's all funny, huh?

Lagarde faces setback as critic says payout was scandalous

Not much of a setback considering the sentence.

IMF chief is found guilty of negligence, but won’t face prison time or a fine.

She is apparently above the law and most powerful argument for extraterrestrial life I have ever seen. And now she is appealing.

When Merkel visited the White House in March, some critics found it inappropriate that the elected chancellor was seated next to the president’s daughter. But Merkel herself was apparently unbothered. She and Ivanka Trump realized they shared interests in women’s entrepreneurial issues, her office later said, and extended the younger Trump a personal invitation to participate in the international W20 summit on women’s entrepreneurship.

In the days before Ivanka Trump’s arrival, German newspapers parsed the meaning of her visit, wondering if Merkel had found in Ivanka — perceived as levelheaded and moderating — more palatable diplomatic inroads than with President Trump. ‘‘How powerful will Ivanka Trump become?’’ wondered one newspaper headline. Another simply ran a picture of Ivanka, captioned with the phrase ‘‘First Whisperer.’’

She is reportedly the one who got him to bomb Syria.

In the audience, before the panel, the specter of HBO’s John Oliver ran through the Intercontinental’s ballroom, where the panel was being held: the late-night host had dedicated a segment to worrying about nepotism and the power held by Ivanka and her husband, Jared Kushner.

I'm thinking he is the real president. Trump is into the show and the marketing of his office. He's leaving the rest to subordinates and family.

Ivanka Trump has become a subject of wide interest and wider speculation. She has never expressly disagreed with her father’s policies in public, but she says that she has done so in private.

The Tuesday panel, as one American delegate to the W20 put it, had the potential to be ‘‘her global coming-out party on a serious level.’’

The panel covered a wide array of issues. Trump said that she was concerned about a shortage in mentors for young businesswomen and about the digital divide that prevented women in developing countries from accessing the technology necessary to do business in a modern world. At one point, the moderator asked panelists whether they considered themselves feminists, and while Merkel demured, saying she wasn’t sure whether she fit the title, Trump proudly raised her hand, and spoke of the fact that people in hiring positions at the White House were predominantly women. (The president’s Cabinet, though, is populated almost entirely by men.)

But it was mention of the chief occupant of the White House that ultimately drew consternation from audience members: Several audience members began to audibly groan and hiss.

Like me when reading the Globe on a daily basis?

After the panel, she answered questions from a cluster of reporters, including a few on whether she thought the moderator had questioned her more harshly than the other panelists.

‘‘I’m used to it,’’ Trump said, smiling. She said that she thought it was important for people to learn to disagree in respectful ways, which is what she thought had happened at the conference. She spoke excitedly about an international fund that had been discussed during the panel — one that would provide female business owners access to capital, another issue about which she feels passionate.

After she left the hotel, she toured a vocational training center, stopping to greet and ask the names of each student, admiring their work, and pretended it was her fault when hot beverage machine they’d built seemed to malfunction.

‘‘I should have pressed ‘coffee,’ ’ she apologized. ‘‘I threw it a curveball by pressing ‘hot chocolate.’’’

--more--"

I'm not $en$ing a lot of $exi$m amongst the elite; it's an issue -- along with race, sex pref, age, religion, and anything else they can wedge -- used to have us all looking from side to side rather than up and down.

"Brazilian prison gang suspected in Paraguay’s ‘heist of the century’" by Joshua Partlow Washington Post  April 26, 2017

MEXICO CITY — The commando-style raid in the early hours of Monday unfolded with military might and coordination.

Just about says it all.

Dozens of gunmen blocked highways and burned trucks and cars, sealing off the perimeter of their target for hundreds of yards. The assailants, who were wearing flak jackets and driving in armored vehicles, used explosives and .50 caliber guns to blow the facade off a transportation company office in Ciudad del Este, a town in Paraguay near the smugglers’ haven in the border region with Brazil and Argentina. They killed a policeman, broke open the vault, then escaped, apparently fleeing by motorboats up the Paraná River with millions of dollars.

The haul was initially estimated at $40 million, which would be roughly equivalent in today’s dollars to the amount lifted during the ‘‘Great Train Robbery,’’ the infamous 1963 theft of a post office train in England. Officials with the targeted company, Prosegur, which transports valuables, said the amount was less. Still, Paraguay news reports were calling the robbery the largest in the country’s history and the ‘‘heist of the century.’’

Paraguayan authorities said the gunmen were Brazilians, and news reports suggested the heist was possibly the work of a Brazilian criminal organization, First Capital Command, known by its Portuguese initials, PCC. The gang, which began in the prisons of Sao Paulo in southeastern Brazil, was also involved in the deadly prison riots in Brazil earlier this year.

Actually began in 2016, but they did pick up in early January with several riots before calm was restored, and we had same problem about same time here, wow!

Lorenzo Lezcano, one of Paraguay’s top security officials, estimated that 40 to 50 gunmen took part in the heist, and that it was well planned.

After the robbery, Brazilian police tracked some of the alleged assailants close to Foz de Iguazu, Brazil. A shootout there left at least three gunmen dead. Four others have been arrested, according to Paraguayan officials. The Paraguayan government tweeted out photos of some of the slain gunmen lying in the grass, wearing what appeared to be camouflage.

The border region of Paraguay, Argentina, and Brazil, known as the Triple Frontier, has long been a hub of illicit activity, particularly smuggling. US and South American authorities in the past have suspected that the area has even been used by Hezbollah operatives and other possible Islamic extremists and underworld figures from the Middle East.

OMG, they are trying to tie it to terrorists!!

I suppose the CIA and other alphabet agencies must have missed them amidst their own drug and gun running, 'eh?

--more--"

A6:

"White-power groups banding together, but for how long?" by Jay Reeves Associated Press  April 25, 2017

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. — White extremists, almost by nature, are seldom good at working together.

Creating consensus among white nationalists, neo-Nazis, Ku Klux Klansmen, and the like is akin to herding rattlesnakes, given the caustic personalities often involved. Members typically get mad at each other and split, sometimes within days, resulting in the near-constant re-creation of groups and a churning of both leaders and followers.

That’s why it’s something of a surprise that an alliance of white-power groups born in a KKK bar in Georgia is marking its first birthday. Composed of multiple extremist groups, the Nationalist Front had its anniversary Saturday.

Similarly, six Klan organizations from around the country announced a consolidation last month.

The common goal, as these alliances see it, is protecting the white race at a time when the Census Bureau projects whites will be a minority within three decades.

Watchdog groups that track hate organizations aren’t impressed. ‘‘These things never last,’’ said Heidi Beirich, director of the hate-monitoring Intelligence Project at the Southern Poverty Law Center.

Beirich said that while white supremacists have been emboldened by President Trump’s election, such groups have been trying on and off for decades to merge, generally to appear larger than they are.

But leaders say there’s a difference this time: A spokesman for the Nationalist Front, Matthew Heimbach, said US nationalists are trying to follow the example of far-right European groups that have learned to work together rather than bicker over ideology, theology, and organizational structure.

US nationalist groups have cooperated on projects such as video presentations and propaganda strategies over the last year, Heimbach said, and they worked together to support white nationalist Richard Spencer when he spoke at Auburn University earlier this month.

Originally called the Aryan National Alliance, the Nationalist Front renamed itself and dropped its use of the swastika in an attempt to broaden its appeal.

Some robe-wearing KKK members who were initially part of the Nationalist Front dropped out, and some Klan groups are now consolidating to build membership and power.

Photos from the meeting where the Klan alliance was formed showed about two dozen people in KKK robes and black uniforms giving the Nazi salute, but organizers said that was only leaders.

Looks like staged and scripted propaganda to me! 

Btw, it is government and Zionists that are behind the fringes. Think of the four avenues you have to choose from "left and right" and then realize that the entire range of debate is like a funnel. Whatever outcome will work for them, and all the leaders behind these things are "former" government agents and all that. They need enemies, otherwise the people have no use for them!

Beirich said she is less worried about new supremacist alliances than free-standing extremist entities such as The Daily Stormer, which she describes as an anti-Semitic, misogynistic, racist website that entered the real world last year by forming ‘‘book clubs’’ that hold local meetings.

I don't go there but maybe now I should.

Beirich said a single hate-based website can reach millions....

Those are the big players, not me.

The article then goes back to the 1960s, sigh, where the pre$$ wants us to be. Back then we believed!

--more--"

Looks to me like it's the $upremaci$t pre$$ that is in a time warp. They know just as much about the domestic terrorists as the Nigerians!

Contrasting accounts of Arkansas execution from witnesses

Who do you believe?

Special K For Breakfast 

Already ate the article.

A9:

Public pans GOP’s latest approach at replacing Obamacare

A10-11:

90 days in, Trump’s travel ban still looks like bigotry

No man is entitled to forgive another man’s killer

See Thailand above.

The New Democrats bring their pitch to Boston

Ball!

Mass. Democrats wade into Mideast waters

Sunk by raw Zionist power.

Homeland Security’s John Kelly is unhinged

Must have come loose because it didn't make print.

B1:

The benefits of the Winthrop Square project easily outweigh the complaints

Lost my shadow.

Governor Baker files bill targeting ‘revenge porn’ and sexting

For LGBT youth from the South, a safe haven in Provincetown

Can reworking traffic lights make the Green Line faster?

I hope so because I want to get away from here.

B2:

Councilors: Don’t let Cambridge employees fly United on public’s dime

Heavy rains give way to drizzle on Wednesday

Did you notice the strange clouds over Boston Tuesday morning?

I try not to think weather control and moderation, but with the chemtrails up there who knows?

B3:

Why UMass Amherst’s newest building is made almost entirely of wood

Then I'll huff, and I'll puff, and.....

Surprise! East Boston High School student receives full college tuition

No region or blotter today, and I did look before sweeping everything up.

B4:

Feds give Mass. nearly $12 million to fight opioid abuse

Trump obviously doesn't hold a grudge.

B5:

Endicott College student diagnosed with mumps

Baby enters world with help of Lynn officer (who is also a nurse)

Lawrence Catholic school administrator fired for alleged inappropriate behavior

That last one didn't make print, and I'm not dropping any other names.

B11:

Shadow debate shows how desperate Boston is for money

WTF? The place is flush with cash!

Trump’s tax-cut plan would give favorable rate to businesses large and small

Since the financial crisis, Bain has been big on Europe

With SMA treatment, it looks like Biogen has another blockbuster drug

B12:

New Big Macs boost McDonald’s sales but doesn’t bring more customers
11 make claims of racial bias at Fox News
Coca-Cola says sales drop, will cut 1,200 jobs
J.Crew to cut 150 jobs as sales lag
Nearly half of Fortune 500 companies have targets to reduce carbon footprint
Tyson looking to purchase Maine company
JetBlue’s profit plummets on higher fuel costs, expenses
LVMH to take over Christian Dior
Alitalia on brink of bankruptcy

B13:

Polartec plant to be put up for auction

That put seasonal workers, many of them immigrants, out of work, and nobody wanted to buy the company so they had to look for work on Mars. Some found it, others found themselves in a place of no hope.

Canadian leader responds to lumber tariffs imposed by the US

Cut Trump down to size, did he?

Google targets ‘fake news,’ offensive search suggestions

Beer at Target’s Fenway store was too cheap, state says

I was going to have one for the road but the Feds shut me off no matter how much money I threw at them.

B14:

Wells Fargo shareholders tepidly reelect bank’s directors

Big whoop.

Nasdaq hits 6,000 as strong profits push stocks higher

It's a parade of profits for corporate AmeriKa!

Get ready, self-driving cars are coming to more Boston roads

Make sure you check the skies before going out tonight.