Saturday, July 15, 2017

Curtain Coming Down

RelatedLife is a Stage

Show's over!

Today's front page, lead story:

Russian-American lobbyist attended meeting organized by Trump’s son

And what about all those AIPAC reps paying visits to Congre$$ional offices or the political puppets speaking at AIPAC conferences?

Criminal investigation into St. Paul’s school could force changes

No charges, but culture will change.

Related: N.H. state representative charged with sexual assault of a minor state

He's Representative Eric Schleien, and it's a July 2016 incident allegedly involving a 16-year-old girl. Police have been investigating since last year.


Flipping below the fold I see:

An hour with Roger Stone Jr., Trump’s favorite ‘dirty trickster’

Kind of a limited hangout type of guy, isn't he?

Insurer reverses decision, restores elderly woman’s coverage

Globe made it happen, and I'm through being twisted into knots.


"Trump and Macron cement unlikely friendship at Bastille Day event" by Lori Hinnant Associated Press  July 14, 2017

I see AP and I think the devil will get a break.

PARIS — With a warm clasping of hands, President Trump and President Emmanuel Macron of France cemented an unlikely but budding relationship Friday, capped by a Bastille Day military parade in Paris meant to emphasize the alliance between the United States and its oldest ally.

Despite some wariness in the initial contacts between Trump, 71, and Macron — who at 39 is the same age as Trump’s eldest son, Donald Trump Jr. — the American leader’s two-day visit to France ended on a high note. The two appeared to have moved beyond their tense introduction in May, when a tight handshake that Macron later said was meant to show he’s no pushover was widely interpreted as a sign of the fraught relations to come.

All this focus on the body language, handshakes, etc. 

While Trump’s brand of ‘‘America First’’ politics has unsettled some European allies, Macron has positioned himself to be a mediator between Trump and other leaders of the continent.

In Paris this week, the two presidents seemed to focus on areas where they can work together, such as the crisis in Syria and Mideast security.

Macron and his wife, Brigitte, beguiled Trump and his wife, Melania, with red-carpet treatment and catered to Trump’s well-known penchant for military displays of power, which were woven into the Bastille Day parade they attended before flying home. It was Trump’s first visit to France as president.

Okay, the AP is already hinting war monger. 

That may be, but as I sit here right now I just can't help wonder if Trump is the guy with his thumb in the dike. I mean, he's under constant attack by the war-promoting, deep state pre$$. I know Mosul and Raqqa are in rubble because of him, but that has chased out the CIA mercenaries. I know he has escalated or will escalate in Somalia and Afghanistan, but I suppose it could be worse. He's been restrained when it comes to Korea, all things considered, even if he's irritating China. He's still trying to work with Russia, and that's better than hot war hostilities. The Qatar crisis seems to have reached a stalemate we can all live with. Iran is basically out of the news now. I mean, my God, in the last week he has even allegedly moved the Israeli-Palestinian issue forward.

In fact, when you look around at the administration and the world we live in, it could be Mattis and Trump that are holding back the unleashing of the dogs of war. It sounds contradictory, but that may be the key to survival. If he can pull this off over 4 years.... woah!

The two presidential couples celebrated their new relationship over dinner at the Jules Verne restaurant in the Eiffel Tower on Thursday night.

On Friday morning, Trump and Macron arrived for the Bastille Day festivities in their motorcades. There were gasps from some attendees as Melania Trump emerged from the presidential limousine in a white dress with green floral print.

I don't understand why, but as long as there were not any hoots.

It's apparently some sort of fashion statement and secret signal?

Tanks rolled down the Champs-Élysées, the Arc de Triomphe framed behind them, memorializing the storming of the Bastille that helped set off the French Revolution. The parade also celebrated the 100th anniversary of the United States’ entry into World War I.

Did you know we were tricked into that war, too -- as we are all wars

The sad thing for the French is a Bastille is needed now and they are nowhere to be found.

Trump sat between his wife and Macron on the presidential viewing stand, an overhang shading them from the baking sun. Trump talked excitedly to Macron as a variety of World War I-era tanks rolled to a stop near the viewing stand.

The US president, who has a fascination with displays of military strength, had hoped to have tanks and jets at his own inaugural parade, but he was told he could not. So the Bastille Day parade seemed like a natural fit for Trump, who sometimes appears bored at public events but who seemed transfixed at the performance in Paris.

Okay, that is the second time they have implied war monger -- in their opinion; they are reporters, not psychologists -- and now they have even added the element of mental instability.

Steeeee-rike two!

Trump’s joy appeared to crest when warplanes made their appearance. He could be seen gesticulating and whispering to Macron as an array of jets thundered past, including one leaving trails in the colors of the French and American flags. 

Steeeee-rike three, yuuuuuuuuuur out!

Dozens of soldiers on horseback passed by the two presidents in formation.

The US Embassy said nearly 200 US service members took part in the celebration. They included Air Force Thunderbirds and soldiers dressed in World War I uniforms.

Security was tight, with the streets near the parade area sealed off for blocks in a city that has been hit by several terrorist attacks over the past two years.

After two hours, the parade ended with a musical interlude, including one honoring the victims of the terrorist attack in Nice a year ago.

In Nice later in the day, Macron vowed to ‘‘fight without mercy’’ inside and outside France to end extremist attacks like the one that killed 86 revelers there last year.....

That fakery pushed me over the edge.


How do you say pot c'est l'hôpital qui se moque de la charité in English?


2 Israeli police officers killed in attack in Old City of Jerusalem

Their timing is terrible!

Turkey marks anniversary of failed coup against Erdogan rule

One year after coup attempt, Turkey is still battling terrorism

Men on scooter in London throw acid in faces of 5 people

At least it is quiet at Wimbledon.

How a former NASA mission controller and a Lost Boy of Sudan helped each other heal

I stand by my comments from the other day.

Yemen’s Calamity Is of Damning Proportions. Mass Starvation, Cholera Epidemic, Torture

Globe served a one-day wonder on the torture.

Nothing from Afghanistan or Syria today -- except war refugees, that is.


Gonna keep on coming, too:

"House passes defense bill without base closures" by Richard Lardner"House passes defense bill without base closures" by Richard Lardner Associated Press  July 14, 2017

WASHINGTON — The Republican-led House on Friday decisively approved a defense policy bill that declares climate change a threat to national security, demands rigorous oversight of the Pentagon’s cyber operations, and rebuffs the Trump administration’s bid to close excess military bases.

Lawmakers voted, 344 to 81, to pass the sweeping legislation. The bill authorizes $696 billion for managing the nation’s vast military enterprise in the 2018 fiscal year, nearly $30 billion more for core Pentagon operations than President Trump requested.

Trump no longer reigns supreme, 'eh? 

Yeah, that's BILLION with a B!

Yet defense hawks pushing the hardest for the big boost in spending still face an uphill battle. For the spending increases to materialize, Congress first will have to agree to roll back a 2011 law that set strict limits on military spending.


Israel, the war machine, pharmaceuticals, and other corporate interests are a biparti$an affair.

Getting a deal won’t be easy. Lifting the so-called budget caps will take 60 votes in the Senate and Democrats are seeking to increase the budgets for other government agencies.

If a budget deal can’t be reached, Congress may be forced to fund the military through the use of stopgap spending bills. Under these short-term agreements, the Pentagon’s budget is set at current levels and the military services are barred from starting new programs.


In a separate development Friday, the White House Office of Management and Budget said worsening tax revenues will cause the federal budget deficit to jump to $702 billion this year. That’s a $99 billion spike from what was predicted less than two months ago.

Stocks are at record highs and it is a robust job market, so how can that be?

The defense bill includes a section that says global warming is ‘‘a direct threat to the national security.’’ It’s a potentially surprising addition given Trump’s publicly stated doubts about climate change and his recent decision to pull the country out of the landmark accord aimed at combatting global warming.

It's also surprising because the US War Machine is the world's largest consumer of fossil fuels and world's biggest polluter -- all exempt from any climate accord or carbon tax calculation, of course. 

What the declaration does is give the AmeriKan military the ability to claim it is fighting climate change, this justifying intervention anywhere on the planet!!!

Over White House objections, the bill added a bipartisan measure requiring the Defense Department to inform Congress within 48 hours of ‘‘any sensitive military cyber operation.’’ Offensive and defensive cyber operations are covered by the requirement, although covert actions are exempt. 

Then it's a feel-good nothing measure!

The bill rejected the Trump administration’s request that the Pentagon be given the authority to start a new round of military base closings in 2021. Military installations are prized possessions in congressional districts.

The Empire is incapable of self-correcting, and therefore must fall via war. 

And now look at what they are obsessed with:

The House turned aside a measure that sought to strike an Obama-era practice of requiring the Pentagon to pay for gender transition surgeries and hormone therapy.

Democrats cast the proposal as bigoted, unconstitutional. and cowardly and they won support on Thursday from 24 GOP lawmakers to scuttle the amendment to the annual defense policy bill, 214 to 209.

The transgender measure crafted by Representative Vicky Hartzler, Republican of Missouri, would have forbid money from being spent by the military’s health care system for medical treatment related to gender transition. Hartzler portrayed her proposal as a good government plan aimed at assuring military dollars are spent only on critical national defense needs.

Hartzler estimated transition surgeries, which she said most private insurance plans don’t even cover, could cost the military $1.3 billion over the next 10 years. Troops who have the surgery require months of recovery, she added, which means they’re unavailable to do their jobs.

‘‘It makes no sense to create soldiers who are unable to fight and win our nation’s wars,’’ Hartzler said.

But House Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi called the amendment an attack on the health and dignity of thousands of US service members, and Representative Steny Hoyer of Maryland, the No. 2 Democrat in the House, said Hartzler intended to ‘‘politically denigrate’’ transgender troops.

Transgender service members have been able to serve openly in the military since last year, when former Defense Secretary Ashton Carter ended the ban. A Rand Corp. study found that there are between 2,500 and 7,000 transgender service members in the active-duty military, and another 1,500 to 4,000 in the reserves.

All I'm going to say is if they are recruiting transgenders then there is something major coming along and a draft will be implemented (and remember, "woman" are now eligible). 

The only question is, will it take a mushroom cloud above Chicago to get the American people to sign up?

In the Senate on Friday, the Republican health care bill was hanging by a thread, and no one was under more pressure than Republican Senator Dean Heller of Nevada.

Heller was already seen as the most endangered GOP incumbent senator in next year’s midterm elections. He is the only one running for reelection in a state Trump lost to former Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton.

So what does the NSA have on him?

There are already two GOP senators opposed to the revamped bill — moderate Susan Collins of Maine and conservative Rand Paul of Kentucky — so one more ‘‘no’’ vote would kill the bill outright.....

No way I would bet against McConnell

That guy is a force, and I'm in respectful awe of him right now.


RelatedGOP governors fret over Senate health care proposals

Don't. You couldn't be in better hands.

Also see:

"Millions of Americans who rely on Social Security are projected to receive their biggest payment increase in years this January. But it will probably be just a 2.2 percent increase, or about $28 a month for the average recipient. The trustees who oversee Social Security and Medicare released their 2018 projections Thursday. Social Security recipients have gone years with tiny increases in benefits because inflation has been low or nonexistent. This year they received an increase of 0.3 percent, after getting nothing last year."

Globe just gave you a stub, but the Republicans and Trump just chunked out a huge chunk of change to the elderly compared with the miser Obama!!


Time to head home:

2nd arrest made in killings of missing Pennsylvania men

Now they are saying he's an admitted drug dealer with a history of mental illness.

Remains in Dartmouth belong to fugitive who allegedly killed Pa. police chief in 1980

Seals die within days of each other at Woods Hole Aquarium

Been choppy waves over there the last couple days.

Judge troubled by allegations from civilly committed addicts

I'm kicking my habit.

Mother of Bella Bond no longer behind bars 

Nice to see her smiling there.

This blog is sinking fast.

Tufts says complaints of poor care during strike were unfounded

It was a lockout, not a strike.

State approves low-cost Delta Dental plan opposed by dentists

Who wants an angry dentist?

Three new condo projects OK’d for East Boston

Meanwhile, Cambridge is featuring their tent city.

Maybe you need a drink?

You know, the only good thing left in the Globe is the crossword.