Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Wednesday's Supreme Bona Fides

Related: Trump Reigns Supreme

"With three words, Supreme Court opens a world of uncertainty for refugees" by Miriam Jordan New York Times  June 28, 2017

Two years ago, the Dagoum family arrived in New Haven, where they knew no one. A refugee resettlement agency found them an apartment, signed them up for benefits, got them Social Security numbers, and enrolled the daughter in school.

About four out of 10 refugees who come to the United States have no family ties in the country, according to independent estimates. In some cities known for taking in refugees — like Boise, Idaho; New Haven; and Fayetteville, Ark. — those with no family ties are a majority.

On Monday, the Supreme Court threw into question whether such refugees, who are among the most vulnerable people seeking a haven after fleeing persecution or conflict, will be approved for resettlement in the United States.

In agreeing to hear two cases on President Trump’s travel ban, the court introduced a new phrase to the fraught discussion of refugees and Muslim immigrants: “bona fide relationship.”

Those who can show a “bona fide relationship” with a “person or entity” in the United States will not be affected by Trump’s 120-day halt to refugee admissions or his 90-day ban on travel from six majority-Muslim countries, according to the court’s order. Those refugees or travelers must be admitted, at least for now.

However, those who have no family, business, or other ties can be prohibited, the court said.

The justices gave some examples of a bona fide relationship: visiting relatives in the United States, attending a university, or taking a job offer.

On a conference call Monday, lawyers who have fought the Trump administration argued that other refugees and travelers should also be allowed in because they often have ties to a nonprofit organization that has been helping them even before they land in the United States.

“Anyone who has an existing relationship with a nonprofit, frankly tens of thousands of refugees,” should be seen as having bona fide ties, said Becca Heller, International Refugee Assistance Project director.

That means LET THEM ALL IN, period!

Representatives of some resettlement agencies said they were awaiting guidance from the State Department. Although the department did not say Monday how it would interpret the ruling, it is conceivable that it will take a relatively narrow view of the phrase and argue that anyone without a family, university, or employment tie can be barred.

That could lead to another round of lawsuits from opponents of the ban, the very situation that Justice Clarence Thomas warned of in a partial dissent in which he called the standard “unworkable.”

“The compromise also will invite a flood of litigation until this case is finally resolved on the merits, as parties and courts struggle to determine what exactly constitutes a ‘bona fide relationship,’ ” Thomas wrote. He argued that all refugees and travelers from the six countries should be temporarily barred.

You don't have to agree with him to note the truth in the statement.

Trump has said he issued the ban to give his administration time to review its vetting procedures, but opponents argue that the order unconstitutionally discriminates against Muslims.

Print ends there.

On Monday, Trump hailed the court’s decision, and his administration said it would begin putting it into effect on Thursday.

“At the very least, there will be delays in refugees’ coming to the United States until we get clarifications from the State Department or the federal court,” said Stephen Yale-Loehr, an immigration law professor at Cornell University.

Clarity on that issue is crucial for the Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service, which resettled about 13,300 refugees last year.

For example, its affiliate in Fayetteville relies on 13 local congregations whose members have been preparing for the new arrivals.

“They have been waiting for families for months,” said Emily Crane Linn, resettlement director at the affiliate, Canopy Northwest Arkansas. “They have garages filled with furnishings for their apartments.”

You know, we have homeless citizens -- some veterans -- here in America.

The first wave of refugees from any particular country rarely have family ties. Thus, a majority of those arriving from Syria and the Democratic Republic of Congo, two of the most common nationalities of refugees in recent years, are so-called free cases. 

It's another "unforeseen" costs of the wars.

As the number of refugees from a country grows, they become sponsors of relatives applying to join them. Until then, the families require intense case management from resettlement agency staff, to show them where to buy groceries, how to ride the bus and how to perform other mundane tasks.

Dagoum, who settled in New Haven, now works at a granite company, packing and shipping marble and tiles. His wife is studying English at a local college. 

A job Americans would not want?

Integrated Refugee and Immigrant Services, the nonprofit agency that helped Dagoum, serves mostly people without family connections in the United States.

Linda Bronstein, a senior case manager at the agency, called these “classic refugee cases.”

Whose agenda is it?


"A cautious Supreme Court sets a modern record for consensus" by Adam Liptak New York Times News Service  June 27, 2017

WASHINGTON — There were, of course, major decisions that revealed deep divisions.

In Ziglar v. Abbasi, the court ruled by a 4-2 vote that high-level officials in President George W. Bush’s administration could not be sued for abuses they were accused of committing after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks. In his dissent, Justice Stephen Breyer likened the decision to the Supreme Court’s “refusal to set aside the government’s World War II action removing more than 70,000 American citizens of Japanese origin from their West Coast homes and interning them in camps” in Korematsu v. United States.

It's an absolution, and with the recent events unearthed in Yemen.... sigh.

But the justices also avoided hearing important disputes by dismissing an appeal in a case on transgender rights after the Trump administration shifted the government’s position and by turning down appeals in cases concerning restrictive voting laws in Texas and North Carolina.

In addressing racial discrimination, the court issued a series of decisions that heartened liberals.

In Buck v. Davis, Chief Justice John Roberts wrote a forceful majority opinion siding with a Texas man who had been sent to death row based on testimony laced with what the chief justice called “a particularly noxious strain of racial prejudice.” In Peña Rodriguez v. Colorado, Justice Anthony Kennedy, writing for the majority, said courts must make an exception to the usual rule that jury deliberations are secret when evidence emerges that those discussions were tainted by racism. “Racial bias implicates unique historical, constitutional and institutional concerns,” he wrote.

In Bank of America Corp. v. Miami, Roberts provided the crucial fifth vote, joining the court’s four-member liberal bloc, to allow Miami to sue two banks for predatory lending under the Fair Housing Act of 1968.

If the court leaned left in cases concerning race, it continued to lean right in business cases.

“The court added to its recent track record as a business-friendly forum, particularly on the class-action and arbitration front,” Shah said. “And class plaintiffs may have even more at stake next term.”

He was referring to a trio of cases in which the court will decide whether employees may band together in legal actions to address workplace issues. The cases are the court’s latest encounter with expansive arbitration clauses..... 

That's why I call it a corporate court.



"The US Supreme Court agreed Tuesday to take up New Jersey’s bid to allow sports betting at its casinos and racetracks, a case that could lead other states to seek a share of the lucrative market. The justices will review a lower court ruling against the state, which is hoping to capture some of the estimated $150 billion that is illegally wagered on sports each year. New Jersey Governor Chris Christie and supporters in the Legislature have tried for years to legalize sports gambling to bolster the state’s casino and horse racing industries. The casino industry, after a period of job losses and closings, has lately been doing better."

Ten Commandments monument installed at Arkansas Capitol

After they took down the Confederates?

Expect that case to reach the Court.

"In 2012, the Affordable Care Act narrowly survived, 5-4, at the US Supreme Court with the improbable help of conservative Chief Justice John Roberts. Attorney General Eric Holder became the first sitting Cabinet member held in contempt of Congress, a rebuke pushed by Republicans seeking to unearth the facts behind a bungled gun-tracking operation known as Fast and Furious."

What did they have on Roberts that made him change his mind?


"Despite GOP pledges, health care remains in limbo" by Matt Viser, Victoria McGrane and Astead W. Herndon Globe Staff  June 28, 2017

WASHINGTON — As they leave town for the Fourth of July break, Republicans are planning to continue debating the legislation after taking next week off, but when senators return to their home states for a break, they tend to grow hardened in their positions, not nudged toward compromise.

President Trump was remarkably disengaged on the legislation, doing little to build any proactive case publicly for a new law. His most memorable comment was to call the House legislation “mean” — a comment that came a month after he celebrated its passage with a ceremony in the Rose Garden.

That's not what I was told two days ago

“It has been a challenge for him to learn how to interact with Congress and how to push his agenda forward,” Senator Susan Collins, a moderate Republican from Maine who defied majority leader Mitch McConnell and helped force the delay in voting, said Tuesday.

About two hours later, she was seated next to Trump during a meeting at the White House.

In an oddly lukewarm statement about his chief legislative priority and key campaign promise, Trump said: “This will be great if we get it done. And if we don’t get it done, it’s just going to be something that we’re not going to like. And that’s okay, and I understand that very well.”

McConnell — normally a wily legislator who knows how to work the Capitol corridors to get his way —  with an open revolt, had little choice but to delay.

And shortly after the postponement, more Republicans came forward to say they would have voted against it.

The indu$try and Kochs were against it. What did you expect?

The US Capitol was abuzz on Tuesday. Outside, pro-Affordable Care Act rallies covered every corner of the public lawn. Some came with signs and matching T-shirts. The protesters chanted through bullhorns, their pleas audible inside the Capitol.

Inside, Republicans scurried to get to a lunch meeting with McConnell. As they emerged, many tried to get away without making definitive comments about what could come next.

As senators boarded a bus to head for the White House later, they were greeted by protesters for Planned Parenthood, who had dressed up as characters from the dystopian novel and television show “The Handmaid’s Tale.” 

It's all theater, including the agenda-pushing controlled opposition protests embraced by my pre$$. Sorry, wish it were not.

When the lawmakers were driven away, protesters shouted “Shame! Shame! Shame!” as they held a banner that read #IStandwithPP. Some women, using a bullhorn, shared their tales about how Planned Parenthood saved their lives.

After the meeting at the White House, lawmakers spoke of how “productive” the meeting was.....



According to the Globe it was a "spectacular collapse," but McConnell said “legislation of this complexity almost always takes longer than anyone would hope.”


The left’s health care rhetoric is unhinged

Hard truths about Obamacare

Two words about the health care bill

I've got a couple of.... never mind.

The real health crisis:

"STAT forecast: Opioids could kill nearly 500,000 Americans in the next decade" by Max Blau, June 27, 2017

There are now nearly 100 deaths a day from opioids, a swath of destruction that runs from tony New England suburbs to the farm country of California, from the beach towns of Florida to the Appalachian foothills. It will get worse before it gets better.

In the worst-case scenario, could be, if, if, 650,000 dead. 

Put another way, opioids could kill nearly as many Americans in a decade as HIV/AIDS has killed since that epidemic began in the early 1980s. The deep cuts to Medicaid now being debated in Congress could add to the desperation by leaving millions of low-income adults without insurance, according to the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office.

Even the more middle-of-the-road forecasts suggest that by 2027, the annual U.S. death toll from opioids alone will likely surpass the worst year of gun deaths on record, and may top the worst year of AIDS deaths at the peak of that epidemic in the 1990s, when nearly 50,000 people were dying each year. The average toll across all 10 forecasts: nearly 500,000 deaths over the next decade.

And nothing is done because a) the biggest drug smugglers in the world are U.S. government agencies, and b) the banks can't exist without laundering all the drug loot.

Don't take my word for it; just watch this.

Beyond the immeasurable pain to families, the overdoses will cost the U.S. economy hundreds of billions of dollars.

“It took us about 30 years to get into this mess,” Robert Valuck, professor at the University of Colorado-Denver’s School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences, told STAT. “I don’t think we’re going to get out of it in two or three.”

It’s already so bad that once unthinkable scenes of public overdose are now common: People are dying on public buses and inside fast-food restaurants. They’re collapsing unconscious on street corners and in libraries after overdosing on prescription pain pills, heroin, and fentanyl. A customer in Anchorage, Alaska, hit the floor of a Subway while trying to order a sandwich. A mom in Lawrence, Mass., sprawled in the toy aisle of a Family Dollar as her little girl screamed at her to wake up. A grandmother in East Liverpool, Ohio, slumped in the front seat of an idling car, turning blue, while a toddler in dinosaur pajamas sat in the back.

Video in the car.

There are so many deaths, some coroners are running out of room for bodies.

Maybe that is the plan, a slow genocide of the unproductive dregs of society. That's how the ma$ters think.

The most recent national statistics count more than 33,000 opioid-related deaths across the U.S. in 2015. Many victims are young, often in their 20s or 30s. Increasingly, many are white. But the plague touches all demographics: farmers and musicians, lawyers and construction workers, stay-at-home moms and the homeless.

Is that why it is finally getting attention, or is it rich white?

Most of the forecasts produced by STAT predict the annual death toll will increase by at least 35 percent between 2015 and 2027. Under the gravest scenarios, it could triple — to more than 93,000 deaths a year.

On this, all the experts agree: Fatal overdoses will not even begin to level off until sometime after 2020, because it will take time to see whether the federal government’s efforts to boost drug enforcement and push doctors to write fewer prescriptions for opioid pain pills are effective.

The worst-case scenario is built around the assumption doctors will continue to freely prescribe and that people addicted to opioids will continue to be exposed, perhaps unknowingly, to powerful synthetic compounds like carfentanil, an elephant tranquilizer capable of killing a human with just a couple of grains.

I don't see why not. Pharma always gets its way.

The best-case projection has fatal overdoses falling below 22,000 a year by 2027. But experts say reaching that level would require a major public investment in evidence-based treatment options and a concerted push among medical providers to control pain with non-narcotic therapies before trying prescription opioids. Right now the U.S. spends about $36 billion a year on addiction treatment — and just a fraction of those in need are getting care.

That's a profit center.

By contrast, federal officials estimate that opioid abuse drains nearly $80 billion a year from the American economy because of expenses tied to health care, criminal justice, and lost productivity. 

I don't know how they can know that, especially when they constantly fudge the employment numbers, but anyway.....

President Trump, who has vowed to make opioids a priority, has appointed a commission led by New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie to explore solutions, but it hasn’t yet laid out its ideas — and in the meantime, the administration’s proposed budget would slash most domestic spending, which health advocates call profoundly counterproductive.

Oh, to there is where they banished Christie. He'll help cover up the French Connection in New Jersey. 

As for the budget stuff, well, $705 billion for the war machine.

The roots of the crisis, though, stretch back generations to the 1980s, when pharmaceutical firms first marketed prescription opioids like oxycodone and hydrocodone to treat pain — and claimed they carried minimal risk for addiction.

Over the years these companies pushed hard to get pills in patients’ hands with strategies that included paying middlemen to circumvent state regulations and allegedly bribing doctors to prescribe opioids.

The result are staggering: Opioid prescriptions nearly tripled between 1991 and 2011.

It has been abundantly clear in recent years that such prescriptions can be dangerous.

“It’s like cigarettes in the ’50s: We look back at the way people smoked and promoted cigarettes as laughably backwards — magazine ads with doctors saying, ‘Physicians prefer Camels,” Dr. Michael Barnett, assistant professor of health policy and management at Harvard University, said.

“We have the same thing now — Oxycontin ads in medical journals where doctors would say, ‘Opioids are good for treating pain. They don’t have addictive potential.’ It’s possible 20 years from now, we’re going to look back and say, ‘I cannot believe we promoted these dangerous, addictive medications that are only marginally more effective.’”

The state of Ohio, among a handful of governments currently suing drug makers, alleges that a “well-funded marketing scheme” led to its residents receiving 3.8 billion opioid pills from 2011 to 2015, fueling “human tragedy of epic proportion.” Fatal drug overdoses in Ohio have soared by 642 percent since the turn of the millennium.

Another statistic: The number of privately insured patients diagnosed with opioid dependence increased nearly sixfold in just five years, according to data compiled by Amino, a health care data analytics company.

You got in$urance? I'll write you a pre$cription.

The surging death toll, affecting growing numbers of white Americans, sparked demand for action in ways unseen during past epidemics that disproportionately affected minority populations. Law enforcement officers started shutting down pain clinics, known as “pill mills,” where doctors accepted cash for painkiller prescriptions. But that only accelerated demand for heroin, as pill mill patients had trouble finding treatment to break free from their addictions.

Desperate to keep feeding their cravings and avoid the anguish of withdrawal, people from all walks of life — soccer moms in Vermont, C-suite execs in California, college-bound kids in West Virginia — began to shift from prescription pills to heroin, which was more potent and had become far cheaper, thanks to heightened drug trafficking into the U.S. by cartels. Two years ago, heroin deaths surpassed the toll from prescription opioids for first time this millennium, according to the Washington Post.

According to who?

Many of the experts STAT spoke with were even more concerned about the wave now crashing through communities: the synthetic opioids, such as fentanyl and carfentanil, that have flooded into the U.S. from China and Mexico. They can be cheaper and even deadlier than heroin — and can be made at home or ordered online.

The drugs can be so deadly, the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency this month urged first responders to carry naloxone in case they accidentally overdose while trying to help a victim — as has already happened to officers in Ohio and Maryland. The DEA also recommended first responders wear protective equipment such as safety goggles and masks, and in some cases full hazmat suits.

The poison is truly evil, and maybe they need to legalize and regulate. Maybe not.

Because they’re so strong, synthetic opioids have spawned strings of mass overdoses in cities throughout the eastern half of the U.S. And the most potent synthetic opioids haven’t even penetrated all the markets in the U.S. yet.

“We’ve not seen the worst yet,” said Tim Robinson, CEO of Addiction Recovery Care, a Louisa, Ky.-based company that runs several rehab programs. “As we transition from heroin toward fentanyl and carfentanil, when it hits the rural areas in Appalachia, we’re going to see a lot more devastation.”

Take a look.

Already, a long trend of declining death rates for young adults has been reversed: Death rates for people ages 25 to 44 increased from 2010 to 2015 in nearly every racial and ethnic group, in large part because of drug and alcohol abuse, the Washington Post found. The New York Times recently reached out to hundreds of state and county health officials to piece together an estimate of total drug overdose deaths last year. Its projection: More than 59,000 fatalities, most from opioids.

Yeah, I saw that. And authority is all bunged up about marijuana.

In an interview with STAT at a national drug abuse summit earlier this year, Dr. Patrice Harris, then chair of the American Medical Association, said one key to bringing down the death toll is to spread the word that addiction is a chronic medical condition, not a personal failing.

It's kind of both. The chemicals and the will. 

Another key: getting more people access to medications that can reduce cravings, such as buprenorphine, methadone, and naltrexone — and convincing both patients and providers that such treatments don’t simply amount to trading one addiction for another.

“Any physician in this country can prescribe oxycodone in high doses, but they can’t prescribe buprenorphine unless they have special training,” said medical epidemiologist Jay Unick of the University of Maryland, Baltimore County. “You just don’t have easy access to buprenorphine. And that’s crazy in a world flooded with opioids.”

The end result: waiting lists for treatment that can stretch for weeks or months.

In West Virginia, Marshall University student Taylor Wilson tried for 41 days to get treatment after nearly dying from an overdose. Her mother, Leigh Ann Wilson, finally got a call saying Taylor had cleared a buprenorphine waiting list. Her daughter had died four days earlier, from another overdose.....

I don't know what to say.



In a surprise twist, Rachelle Bond is staying in jail after learning that a drug treatment center refused to take her, apparently because of her role in the notorious case.

After Bella Bond’s death, Michael Sprinsky found new life

In the same paper is a full-page ad for Total wines on page A5, followed by another liquor ad for a different packie taking up the lower-left quadrant of page A6.


Let's stay in the city for a while:

"The deal, disclosed Tuesday, heralds the end of an era for the city’s onetime “Taxi King,” and also signals the start of a process that is likely to result in a major new residential project in the booming neighborhood....." 

Or not.

"Auto magnate Herb Chambers sold the former WLVI building at 75 Morrissey Blvd. Tuesday for $14.5 million to a New York-based investment group, according to Suffolk County property records. The buyers — according to papers filed with the secretary of state — include some of the same investors who recently walked away from a contract to buy the former home of The Boston Globe, which sits next door. Chambers had planned a car dealership on the vacant TV station site, which he bought for $3.8 million in 2012, but put those plans on hold amid neighborhood opposition and questions about the future of the Globe site."

"The supply of single-family homes and condominiums in the state — particularly in the Boston area — continues to be stubbornly low, mostly because potential sellers appear stuck in a frustrating cycle — selling might be easy, but buying a new place to live in a market with overcrowded open houses and bidding wars is discouraging. That’s keeping would-be sellers on the sidelines. Because of the sparse inventory, most homes that come on the market get snapped up quickly, with some buyers paying 10 percent to 20 percent over asking price. While bidding competitions may seem like a motivator for would-be sellers, the bidding frenzy has created another problem — sellers with unrealistic expectations about their home’s worth, said Paul Yorkis, president of the Massachusetts Association of Realtors, who also operates Patriot Real Estate in Medway....."

I'm “perplexed.” 

The good numbers are signs of a rigged market not reflective of the greater good and reality?

I still can't see it.

"Marty Walsh’s campaign chest bulging with business checks" by Jim O’Sullivan Globe Staff  June 27, 2017

Walsh’s leading challenger, City Councilor Tito Jackson, raised $125,000 this year.

“Marty Walsh has been good for business,” said Tom Keane, a former city councilor who says he is neutral in the race. “It’s kind of like betting on a horse that just won a race. You might as well bet on the horse the next time around.”

As is often the case with incumbents, Walsh has leveraged his office to gain a fund-raising advantage, with major chunks of his receipts coming from industries with high-stakes business in the city and before its governing bodies.

Some might call that conflict of interest and corruption, but that was long ago. It's the 21$t-century now, and lobbying is legal.

A Walsh spokeswoman said he “is proud to represent all of Boston’s residents. Political contributions have no bearing on decisions that he makes as the [m]ayor of Boston.”


Walsh has benefited from the city’s construction boom — a stark contrast with his predecessor, Thomas M. Menino’s final mayoral campaign, in 2009, during the throes of a recession.

Walsh, a longtime ally of organized labor and former head of the Boston Building Trades Council, has scooped up at least $120,000 this year from those who said they worked in construction and development — many of them executives.

Aren't his people in trouble for that?

Walsh raised more than $108,000 from supporters who identified themselves as attorneys or lawyers. More than $93,000 in contributions came from those who listed their occupation as “real estate” — nearly triple Menino’s take from the same category.

That's not the Thornton firm, is it?

Another $78,000 came from those who earn their salaries directly from the city: government workers.

You better!

The actual figures are probably far higher across all professions, due in part to the particulars of the campaign finance system.

For instance, schoolteachers could list either “Boston public schools” or “City of Boston” as their employer.

I don't think the teachers would be too crazy about him.

Similarly, those who work in development could list their individual employer and an occupation that does not correspond to the search term “developer.” In one example, a $150 donor listed “executive” as his profession and “Boston Global Investors” as his employer. Boston Global Investors describes itself as a “real estate development and consulting firm.”


Walsh collected more than $37,000 from the restaurant and bar industry, which has watched keenly as the mayor has pushed to expand the number of liquor licenses in the city.

  Oh, he collected liquor money, huh? The former alcoholic and addict who is against weed?

Police officers — active or retired — have chipped in over $44,000. Menino, who had a famously testy relationship with police unions, accepted a little more than $2,000 from self-identified police officers during the first half of 2009.

Okay, police on his side. They got big retroactive raises and a great new contract under him.

Menino, who was renowned for his fund-raising and close ties to the business community, had collected just over $653,000 by mid-June of 2009.

The late mayor had a brisker fund-raising apparatus four years earlier, but that haul — through almost six months — was less than half of Walsh’s this year. Walsh’s total so far in 2017 already tops Menino’s $1.6 million in fund-raising for all of 2005, the year he staved off then-city councilor Maura Hennigan.

“The economic collapse of 2008 plainly dampened down Menino’s numbers” in 2009, Keane said. “No one had money to give.”

Yeah, right. 


Now if he could only get the subway to run on time.


Mayor’s foundation offers a complete accounting of donors

GuEss who is on the list?

Brandeis receives record $50 million gift

From the Cohn family.

"A Trinity College professor has been placed on leave after he says his social media posts were twisted to sound as though they referred to the congressional shooting in Virginia. In an e-mail sent Monday, Trinity president Joanne Berger-Sweeny says Professor Johnny Williams has been placed on leave effective immediately. Berger-Sweeny says Williams posted a piece on his personal Facebook and Twitter pages that concluded with a call to show indifference to the lives of bigots. Williams says his words were twisted (AP)."

"Yale University filed a lawsuit against the state of Connecticut over its plan to turn single-user restrooms into gender-neutral bathrooms at its law school. The New Haven Register reports the Office of the State Building Inspector had previously denied the school’s request for an exemption from the state building code (AP)." 

I'm sorry, those were out of state.

"Swiss drug giant Roche AG will cut about 75 jobs in Central Massachusetts as part of a broader consolidation of its research and development operations, the company said Tuesday. Roche will halt manufacturing at a site in Marlborough by the fourth quarter and shift operations to other Roche facilities in the United States and Europe, said Todd Siesky, vice president at Roche Molecular Diagnostics in Pleasanton, Calif. Separately, he said Roche, which acquired the biotech Genentech Inc. in 2009, will disclose a new consolidated location for several Boston-area operations in the near future."

"Catalant Technologies, the Boston-based platform for connecting businesses to on-demand consulting services, said Tuesday that it had raised $41 million in its latest funding round, more than doubling the amount of investment in the company. The new financing, which also increased Catalant’s borrowing capacity, was led by Highland Capital Partners and General Catalyst, and it included other notable investors including GE Ventures, Mark Cuban, Intuit founder Scott Cook, and the Kraft family. The money increases Catalant’s total financing to more than $73 million. Catalant said it has thousands of clients, including nearly a quarter of the Fortune 100, who use Catalant to quickly connect with experts to help them with needs as they emerge. The company plans to use the money to develop its technology and to teach potential clients about how they can save money by using services like Catalant to bring in help for specific needs. “They’ve ended up with too many full-time employees because it’s an easier model to work with for heads of HR,” cofounder Rob Biederman said. “But thoughtful companies are taking a more deliberate approach to sourcing of talent than when they have a need just posting a full-time job spec.”

So much money out there for $elf-$erving projects while your health care is rationed.

"Uber’s ride-hailing app is making it easier for its users to set up trips for seniors and others who may not know their way around a smartphone but still need help getting around town. The new feature, coming out Tuesday in an app update, is primarily designed for Uber users who want a simple way to arrange rides for parents, grandparents, and other loved ones unable to drive themselves. Previously, Uber users ordering on behalf of another passenger had to call the driver to explain the situation. When users ask to be picked up at somewhere other than their current location, the app will give them the option to designate the ride for someone else. The passenger won’t need the Uber app; they’ll get a text identifying the driver, car make, and other information. Uber will charge the person who ordered the ride."

Will there be a human driver or.... ??

"The mother of a teenage lifeguard who disappeared 17 years ago from her post and was later found murdered says she hopes a newly released video will help solve her daughter’s case. The family of Molly Bish is still hoping “somebody knows something,” said her mother, Magi Bish. “We want answers and we haven’t gotten them. Molly deserves justice and we deserve peace,” she said. Molly Bish was 16 when she disappeared from Comins Pond in Warren on June 27, 2000. Her remains were found in the woods of Palmer about five miles away in 2003. Investigators think she was abducted and killed, but no one has ever been charged with her death." 

Still big news around where I love. I'm thinking abduction for satanic sacrifice at this point. That's usually what is behind the vanish of the face of the earth kids. May God minimize their pain.

Here is another familiar end-of-year ritual for families:

"With the Fourth of July just around the corner, public safety agencies are preparing for big crowds and plenty of revelry. Massachusetts State Police spokesman David Procopio said “a multi-layered, multi-agency security plan” will be in effect and State Police, local police, trained dogs, and federal bomb-detection teams will be working to keep everyone safe during the festivities. “Some security assets and personnel will be visible to members of the public, while many others will not be visible,” Procopio said in an e-mail. Plainclothes troopers and police officers who are trained in behavioral observation will be dispersed in the crowd to detect any potential threats, Procopio said. One new security tool for the Fourth of July celebration will be a tethered drone that will provide police with an aerial view. Procopio said police used the drone at the Boston Marathon and Sail Boston and it proved to be “very effective.” If you’re going to venture down to the Esplanade for the July Fourth concert and fireworks, leave your drones at home — they aren’t allowed. Cans, glass containers, alcoholic drinks, and premixed beverages of any type are also prohibited. If you want to bring something to sip, make sure it’s in a sealed clear plastic container, no larger than a 2-liter bottle. And for all of you cyclists out there, take note: No bicycles will be allowed through the checkpoints into the oval and island/lagoon areas of the Esplanade. Bicycles are allowed throughout the rest of the venue, but don’t leave them unattended. Any bikes that are locked to fences, poles, or other structures will be subject to removal. A Boston Police Department spokesman, Lieutenant Detective Michael McCarthy, said in an e-mail, “As of today there are no known threats to July 4th.”

They always say that before on hits, and watch out for the false flag crisis drill going live.

Those terrorists can be quite foxy.

"Police in New Orleans arrested a second suspect in connection with a violent assault and robbery that put two Massachusetts men in the hospital. Joshua Simmons, 18, was arrested by police Tuesday morning, following the arrest of 21-year-old Dejuan Paul on Monday. Simmons and Paul are both charged with second-degree robbery, according to the Orleans Parish Sheriff’s Office website. On Saturday, shortly before 9 p.m., four assailants attacked the two men from behind in the 200 block of Bienville Street, police said. They knocked the two men to the ground and robbed them, police said. Both victims are from the Boston area, police said. One of the victims was listed in critical condition; the other in stable condition, police said....."

Also seeFamily of slain black man sue city of Baton Rouge

It occurred to that the government treats them like civilians overseas! It's a lot more money, but that is their an$wer after killing a loved one. Here is money.

"Three Chicago police officers charged in fatal shooting case" New York Times News Service  June 28, 2017

CHICAGO — Three police officers were charged Tuesday with conspiracy, official misconduct, and obstruction of justice in connection with the investigation that followed the death of Laquan McDonald, a black teenager fatally shot by a white Chicago police officer three years ago.

The three officers are accused of conspiring in the hours and days after the shooting to conceal the true facts to protect Jason Van Dyke, a fellow officer. The long-awaited release in late 2015 of dashboard camera video of the shooting set off nights of demonstrations across Chicago, led to the removal of the city’s police superintendent, and prompted an investigation by the Justice Department into the Chicago Police Department....

Is that really news?


RelatedRebuilding trust in law enforcement starts with the police

Chicago is off to a bad start.


"Trump takes another swipe at CNN following resignations" Associated Press  June 28, 2017

WASHINGTON — A Time magazine cover featuring Donald Trump hangs on the walls of at least four of the president’s golf clubs, but the Washington Post investigated and reported Tuesday that Time had no magazine cover with that date, nor had the publication featured Trump on its cover at any time in 2009.

Is the president who railed against ‘‘fake news’’ as recently as Tuesday decorating his clubs with phony magazine covers?

Am I getting war lies blaring from my front pages? 

Every time I think the pre$$ can't fall any lower, they do!

It was unclear who produced the phony magazine cover, or why.....

OMG! It's the Iraq war lies all over again!

President chastises CNN over credibility

NEW YORK — President Trump used the resignations of three CNN journalists involved in a retracted Russia-related story to resume his attack on the network’s credibility Tuesday.

The story was about a supposed investigation into a pre-inaugural meeting between a Trump associate and the head of a Russian investment fund. CNN accepted the journalists’ resignations Monday.

Trump wrote in a Tuesday morning tweet, ‘‘Wow, CNN had to retract big story on ‘Russia,’ with 3 employees forced to resign. What about all the other phony stories they do? FAKE NEWS!’’

A message seeking comment was left at CNN.

The story was posted on the network’s website Thursday and was removed, with all links disabled, Friday night. CNN immediately apologized to Anthony Scaramucci, the Trump transition team member who was reported to be involved in the meeting.

The story’s author, Thomas Frank, was among those who resigned, according to a network executive who requested anonymity because the person was not authorized to discuss personnel issues. Also losing their jobs were Eric Lichtblau, an assistant managing editor in CNN’s Washington bureau, and Lex Harris, head of the investigations unit (AP)

Lichtblau was once a good reporter for the NYT. Now look at him.

I stopped watching ZNN years ago.

Confidence across globe plummets

NEW YORK — Donald Trump has been president for less than six months but it’s been enough time to send opinions of American leadership plunging.

According to a Pew Research Center public survey of 37 countries, a median of just 22 percent of respondents have confidence in Trump to do the right thing in international matters, compared with 64 percent at the end of Barack Obama’s presidency. As a country, the US’s favorable rating fell in the same period to 49 percent from 64 percent.

Israel and Russia were the only countries surveyed where the public prefers Trump to Obama.

How about that, huh?

According to Pew, the steepest slides in the view of Trump came in European allies such as Sweden, Netherlands, and Germany, and in South Korea. The decline was less pronounced in some majority-Muslim countries such as Turkey, Tunisia, and Jordan, partly because approval for Obama was already low. Trump was the lowest rated of the world’s major leaders. (Bloomberg)

Podesta meets with House committee

WASHINGTON — Hillary Clinton’s former campaign chairman met Tuesday with a House committee investigating Russia’s interference in the 2016 presidential election.

John Podesta spoke with members of the House intelligence committee behind closed doors. He told reporters afterward he was ‘‘happy to cooperate’’ but couldn’t say what questions he'd been asked.

The hacking of Podesta’s personal e-mail account and the release of the e-mails by WikiLeaks during the campaign is one focus of the committee’s investigation.

While President Donald Trump has previously declined to name Russia as responsible for election meddling, in recent days he has referred to Russia in criticizing the Obama administration’s response to the hack. Podesta said the Obama administration was ‘‘trying to make the best judgment they could.’’ (AP)


Also see:

"Technology stocks led a broad slide in US stocks Tuesday, a day of mostly choppy trading. Banks bucked the broader market decline. Late-afternoon developments in Washington helped put investors in a selling mood....."


Time to find a place to stay for the night:

"Trump International Hotel & Tower in Toronto will no longer be branded with President Trump’s name under a deal struck with the owner of the property. JCF Capital ULC, the closely held US firm that owns the building in the city’s downtown business district, reached a buyout deal to exit the contracts with the Trump Organization’s hotel and management firms early, the companies said Tuesday in a statement. Signage may be removed from the 65-story tower as soon as Aug. 1, according to a person with knowledge of the matter. Most recently, it’s been a site for protests against the president’s comments disparaging women, Mexicans, and Muslims, even though his company has no ownership stake in the property."

Got any place cheaper?

"Senators reportedly considering breakup of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac" by Joe Light Bloomberg News  June 28, 2017

WASHINGTON — The proposal by Tennessee Republican Bob Corker and Virginia Democrat Mark Warner would attempt to foster competition in the secondary mortgage market, where loans are packaged into bonds and sold to investors, the sources said.

That is how they got in trouble in 2008, and they do this with all sorts of debt now. Nothing has changed.

Corker and Warner’s push to develop a plan marks Congress’ latest attempt to figure out what to do with Fannie and Freddie, an issue that has vexed lawmakers ever since the government took control of the companies in 2008 as the housing market cratered.

The stakes of changing the housing-finance system are enormous. Fannie and Freddie underpin much of the mortgage market by buying loans from lenders, wrapping them into securities and providing guarantees in case borrowers default. Together, the companies back more than $4 trillion in securities. 


It's a taxpayer bailout fund. No wonder it is so hard to get rid of.

One long-stated desire for some politicians on both sides of the aisle has been to end Fannie and Freddie’s duopoly, partly due to concerns that their size encourages taxpayer rescues if they run into trouble. After seizing the companies nine years ago, the government injected $187.5 billion into them.

They say they got it all back and more.

To lower the barriers to entry, lawmakers and regulators have suggested letting private competitors use some of Fannie and Freddie’s infrastructure, such as the intellectual property the companies use to securitize mortgages or data they rely on to determine whether one loan is riskier than another.

Corker and Warner started their work earlier this year, with their aides holding meetings with industry groups and former government officials to discuss ideas. The lawmakers are members of the Senate Banking Committee, which held a hearing on housing finance last month and has scheduled another for June 29. Banking Committee Chairman Mike Crapo and Sherrod Brown, the panel’s top Democrat, would likely take the lead on any housing-finance legislation with Corker and Warner’s input.

Among the ideas Corker and Warner have considered is splitting Fannie and Freddie’s single-family businesses from their multifamily businesses, which finance apartment rentals, said people familiar with their work. The single-family businesses could then be split again into even smaller companies, said the people who spoke on the condition of anonymity because the senators’ discussions are private.

Warner said last week at a Mortgage Bankers Association conference that he and Corker had found consensus on a number of issues, including developing a system that preserves the 30-year mortgage. He said that the senators had found a desire for more competition in the single-family business but that competition might not be as necessary in the companies’ multifamily business.

After the speech, Warner told reporters that the senators had ideas to create more single-family competition that were “definitive” but wouldn’t elaborate on what those ideas are.....


Maybe there is a bench in the park:

"An internal watchdog has found no wrongdoing by the National Park Service in a dispute over crowd size at President Donald Trump’s inauguration. An unidentified person complained that a senior park service official had instructed employees to alter records related to crowd size for the inauguration. A separate complaint alleged that officials leaked information to the news media about a phone call the day after the inauguration from Trump to Michael Reynolds, the acting park service director. The Interior Department’s office of inspector general said Tuesday it found no evidence to substantiate either complaint....."


Meanwhile, in the court of Public Opinion:

"A man helped a lost toddler find her parents, police say. He was smeared online as a predator" by Amber Ferguson The Washington Post  June 27, 2017

A man trying to help a lost toddler find her parents was misidentified as a kidnapper on social media over the weekend, according to police in Lakeland, Fla., prompting him to leave town in fear for his safety and the safety of his family.

The man was also punched by the child’s father, who told local media that he ‘‘thought he was trying to take my daughter’’ and ‘‘wanted to kill him.’’

The whole episode prompted the Lakeland Police Department to warn citizens to be careful about what they post on social media so as not to victimize an innocent person.

“Before posting information on matters such as this, we encourage people to identify the source and the validity of such claims before sharing them,’’ the department said in a Facebook post.

Everything I post is mostly from the pre$$'s own mouth.

Lakeland police said the falsely accused man was visiting friends at a softball game when he noticed that a 2-year old had gotten separated from her parents. She was wandering by herself, police said, and the man believed that she was lost.

They are the ones that rush to judgment, not me.

‘‘The citizen attempted to ask the girl where her parents were and walked with her in hopes she could point them out,’’ the statement said, a fact verified by at least one independent witness.

At that point, bystanders told the parents that the man was attempting to kidnap the child, police said.

As the two were nearing the playground, three men approached them from behind, Patch reported. One man grabbed the girl and the other man, the child’s father, punched the man five or six times.

She wanted to go play.

‘‘I thought he was trying to take my daughter,’’ the girl’s father told News Channel 8.

‘‘I saw this man with my daughter in his hands walking toward the parking lot. What would you do?’’ the father asked. ‘‘I wanted to kill him.’’

All that matters is ‘‘the little girl is home safe,’’ right?


Exhibit A:

"Facebook is deleting about 66,000 posts a week as the social media giant cracks down on what it considers to be hate speech. The company says in a blog post Tuesday that deleting posts can ‘‘feel like censorship,’’ but that it is working on explaining its process better. Facebook says it defines hate speech as attacks on people based on their race, sexual orientation, and other ‘‘protected characteristics.’’ The Menlo Park, Calif., company says it mostly relies on its nearly two billion users to report any hateful posts they see. Workers then review the posts and decide whether to delete them. Facebook Inc. says it has 4,500 workers reviewing posts and plans to hire 3,000 more in the next year. The deleted posts went up over the last two months."

Down the old memory hole.

Maybe F. Lee Bailey can take up the case. A few character witnesses and melodic summation should win the case.