Wednesday, October 25, 2017

Wednesday's Snowflakes

Falling right in front of your face:

"Rift between Trump, establishment Republicans is now in full view" by Robert Costa, Philip Rucker and Sean Sullivan Washington Post  October 24, 2017

President Donald Trump lashed out at two Republican senators after the pair sounded an alarm Tuesday about President Trump’s fitness for office and warned that his actions were degrading and dangerous to the country — an extraordinary breach that threatens his legislative agenda and further escalates the civil war tearing apart the Republican Party.

Senator Flake, delivering an emotional speech from the Senate floor Tuesday, announced that he would not seek reelection next year. He said Trump’s behavior is ‘‘dangerous to our democracy’’ and summoned fellow Republican leaders to speak out about the president’s conduct.

‘‘It is time for our complicity and our accommodation of the unacceptable to end,’’ Flake said. He added, ‘‘Politics can make us silent when we should speak, and silence can equal complicity.’’

Like what Ella Wheeler Wilcox said? 

Yeah, the CIA is none too happy about Trump allowing the JFK assassination records to come forth and Trump is still mad at the CIA's attempts to treasonously unseat him.

Trump was just given a warning, btw, and you don't need to be Einstein to see it.

See how close the CIA can get a crazed lone nut gunman to you?

The charged remarks from Flake — a totem of traditional conservatism who has repeatedly spoken out about his isolation in Trump’s GOP — came hours after Senator Bob Corker of Tennessee questioned the president’s stability and competence, reigniting a deeply personal feud with the president.

It won't affect the tax reforms or sanctions bill on Iran, though.

Corker, the chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee who also will not run for reelection, told reporters in assessing Trump’s nine-month tenure, ‘‘I’ve seen no evolution in an upward way. As a matter of fact, it seems to me it’s almost devolving.’’

With their distress calls, Flake and Corker joined a chorus of mainstream political leaders newly emboldened to excoriate Trump. Last week, former presidents George W. Bush, a Republican, and Barack Obama, a Democrat, both indirectly rebuked Trump’s deportment and warned of peril for the nation under his watch, as did Senator John McCain, Republican of Arizona, who thundered about the rise of what he called ‘‘half-baked, spurious nationalism.’’ 

How disgusting, trotting out those old fossils, sex abusers, and war criminals.

The raw candor from two retiring senators came on a day when Trump made a rare trip to the Capitol for an intended show of party unity, lunching privately with Republican senators to rally support for his plan to cut taxes.

Looks like they will be doing away with the death tax in the name of fairne$$. 

For a Republican Party that has been riven by internal turmoil for nearly a decade, the Flake-Corker rupture with Trump exacerbated the ferocious war between the party’s seasoned leaders and its antiestablishment forces, now rallying under the banner of Trumpism. Polls show the overwhelming majority of Republican voters back Trump, and the fact that two of the president’s most vocal critics in the Senate are retiring underscores how dangerous it is for politicians seeking reelection to break with the president and risk the wrath of his loyal supporters.

Flake’s 18-minute speech was perhaps the most sweeping indictment of Trump delivered by a Republican to date. A member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Flake, 54, spoke with bewilderment and sadness, his voice cracking at times, about what he viewed as the withering of morality and civility in the national dialogue.


‘‘We must never regard as normal the regular and casual undermining of our democratic norms and ideals,’’ Flake said. ‘‘We must never meekly accept the daily sundering of our country. The personal attacks, the threats against principles, freedoms, and institutions, the flagrant disregard for truth and decency.’’


Flake added, ‘‘We must stop pretending that the degradation of our politics and the conduct of some in our executive branch are normal. They are not normal. Reckless, outrageous, and undignified behavior has become excused and countenanced as telling it like it is when it is actually just reckless, outrageous, and undignified.’’

Like what exactly?

Some Republican elder statesmen who have been deeply critical of Trump celebrated Flake’s remarks and called on other elected Republicans to further distance the party from the president.

‘‘Am I concerned about what are we supposed to do for the next three-plus years with this man in the White House? Yes, I’m very concerned,’’ said John Danforth, a former Republican senator from Missouri and US ambassador to the United Nations. ‘‘But the best I can think of right now is simply making it clear to the American people that the Republican Party is what it has been in the past, and that is not Donald Trump.’’

SeeRepublicans are changing their opinions to accommodate Trump

‘‘This is the ice beginning to crack,’’ said Peter Wehner, a Trump critic who has advised several past Republican presidents. ‘‘This is an extraordinary moment because the members of the president’s own party know that he is not fit in some fundamental way to be the president. These views that they’ve kept in the shadows are now being exposed to the light.’’

However, a crop of insurgent candidates inspired by former White House chief strategist Stephen Bannon is emerging nationally. From Alabama to Mississippi to Nevada, these contenders are hoping to disrupt the 2018 midterm elections. They could determine whether the GOP maintains its narrow majorities in both the Senate and House.

Bannon claimed victory with Flake’s departure. ‘‘Many more to come,’’ Bannon predicted in a text message.

Andy Surabian, a Bannon associate who advises Great America Alliance, a pro-Trump political group, said, ‘‘This is a victory for President Trump and all of his supporters across the nation. Jeff Flake was America’s top ‘Never Trumper,’ so getting his scalp is a signal to Never Trumpers everywhere that their time is up.’’

Recent polls showed Flake trailing the leading Democratic Senate candidate, Representative Kyrsten Sinema, as well as potential GOP primary rivals.


Look for another "change" election and a Democratic House and Senate next year, folks.

At the Capitol, meanwhile, Republican leaders reacted cautiously, eager to offer support to their colleagues but fearful of breaking their fragile bonds with a president who has been quick to explode at personal slights. 

Remember Bill Clinton's legendary anger?

Following Flake on the Senate floor, Senate Majority Leader McConnell thanked him ‘‘for the opportunity to listen to his remarks’’ and honored Flake, whom he called ‘‘a very fine man, a man who clearly brings high principles to the office every day.’’ 

That after McConnell had lunch with Trump?

Tuesday’s thunderclap exposed the threadbare relationship Trump has with the GOP. At the closed-door lunch, Trump received a standing ovation from Republican senators. Yet for months, many of those lawmakers privately have seethed at the president’s actions and language.

Gee, you would think it was a meeting of the Chinese Communist Party (except that Xi is a nicer guy)! Better get out the bikes for the next border war!

I don't see Pakistan (in the days leading up to Tillerson’s visit, the United States conducted a flurry of airstrikes along the border of Afghanistan and Pakistan, fulfilling President Trump’s promise) or Russia melting, either.

This is all smoke, sound, and fury, folks.

Btw, Puerto Rico is now buried in the briefs while Harvey, Irma, and the fires are nowhere to be seen, and what is another dead whale anyway?

Flake published a best-selling book this summer, ‘‘Conscience of a Conservative,’’ that chastised the president’s character and ideology, stunning his colleagues and stoking Trump’s anger. The president vowed to work to defeat him if he sought reelection in 2018.

For Corker, he quickly unburdened himself Tuesday of his feelings about Trump — first in a trio of television network morning show interviews, then in a tweet, and then in a hallway gaggle with reporters.

Corker said that Trump was ‘‘utterly untruthful’’ and called him ‘‘the L-word’’; expressed hope that he would stand down to let Congress formulate a tax plan without him; said he should ‘‘leave it to the professionals’’ to handle the North Korea nuclear crisis; said he was not a role model for children; and urged West Wing aides to ‘‘figure out ways of controlling him.’’ 

The L-word?

The comments seemed to enrage Trump, who responded with several tweets, calling the short-statured senator ‘‘liddle’’ and ‘‘a lightweight,’’ as well as ‘‘incompetent.’’


Looks like a woman won't be the mayor of Bo$ton any time soon (unless you work for banks).

Now let's get a look at those breasts.

"Over the course of the last decade, the dining program here has gone from fairly standard — the piles of chicken nuggets and steam trays of pasta of my college years — to something resembling a high-end Vegas casino buffet. Inside, lines were forming for a slightly shaky chicken Chesterfield — appropriately cheesy, but a little slimy underneath — and a well-appointed stir-fry station in the international section. We brought plates loaded with gently sauteed local vegetables and tender pork back to a high-top table in front of a bay of windows. The sun was setting over the wooded Western Massachusetts hills. If you’re basing your decision on where to go to college on what’s for dinner, you might be doing it wrong. But if you’re a doughy dad from Quincy, it’s enough to make you wonder whether you ought to get that master’s degree, after all....." 

I love a front-page insult and a bad choice of words (Vegas down the memory hole now) served up early in the morning, don't you?

You kids are prey and now the Globe wants to take away your plate of good, healthy food!!

Never mind the rank rot corruption coming from UMass-Bo$ton (if you can't stand the stench, get out of the kitchen).

You know what you should have done? 

Gone for pizza! Or McDonald's even!


Try choking this down:

Clinton campaign, DNC paid for research that led to Russia dossier

That cup of urine (literally, because the prostitutes peeing on the bed "have yet to be verified and may never be") is my top National lead today, and I will give you one guess as to who is the "still unknown Republican client during the GOP primary." 

Related: Actress accuses George H.W. Bush of touching her inappropriately

America's great grandfather?

I'm told it was three years ago and ‘‘President Bush most sincerely apologizes if his attempt at humor offended Ms. Lind,’’ and Lady Gaga didn't mind. She laughed.

At least the son is a good man, 'eh?

As panel queries Trump associates, GOP launches new probes

It involves "the purchase of American uranium mines by a Russian-backed company in 2010, [an] agreement reached while Hillary Clinton led the State Department and some investors in the company had relationships with former President Clinton and donated large sums to the Clinton Foundation."

Twitter and Facebook will be cleaning up the politics.

"Support all victims of assault, whether they’re celebrities or not" by Renée Graham Globe Columnist  October 24, 2017

Let us now raze terrible men: Harvey Weinstein and President Trump.

Both are thin-skinned bullies.

“It is hard to reconcile that Harvey Weinstein could be brought down with this, and [President] Trump just continues to be Teflon Don,” Jessica Leeds, who says Trump fondled her on a plane 30 years ago, told The Washington Post.

For anyone who’s been sexually harassed or assaulted, especially women, speaking out requires remarkable fortitude. Those who do are routinely dragged, disbelieved, and called everything from gold diggers to vengeful whores.

I blame Jerry and Maury for that.

Their harsh treatment is also a warning to the next woman who tries to step foward with her own harrowing tale to tell. In our celebrity-obsessed culture, only the weight of famous women telling their stories on the record finally managed to bring Weinstein down.

Of course, celebrity can also be a shield for the accused.....


"Matt Damon and Jimmy Kimmel just can’t seem to get along. But they’re willing to put aside their differences in the name of charity. The duo released a video on the “Jimmy Kimmel Live!” YouTube channel Saturday announcing a chance to win an “uncomfortable meal” with them. Per usual, Kimmel and Damon lob insults at each other throughout the video. Damon lobs a couple of physical objects, as well. The minimum $10 donation gets you 100 entries into the contest, with larger donations earning you additional entries. Along with enjoying a meal with Kimmel and Damon, prize winners will be flown out to Los Angeles for a taping of “Jimmy Kimmel Live!” and will stay in a four-star hotel....."

Also see:

“Um. It’s just a difficult discussion. I’d rather respectfully not enter it today.”

She was defending him only a month ago!


What if they are in, gulp, the newsroom?

"Leon Wieseltier, a prominent editor at The New Republic for three decades who was preparing to debut a magazine this fall, apologized Tuesday for “offenses against some of my colleagues in the past” after several women accused him of sexual harassment and inappropriate advances. As those allegations came to light, Laurene Powell Jobs, a leading philanthropist whose for-profit organization, Emerson Collective, was backing Wieseltier’s endeavor, decided to pull the plug on it. A spokesman said Emerson Collective would not elaborate further on the nature or source of the information it had received. But stories about Wieseltier’s behavior are now surfacing in the aftermath of revelations about Harvey Weinstein’s alleged sexual assaults and harassment of women....."

RelatedEmerson College students protest administration’s ‘surface level progress’ on ending racism

Sorry, sexism is the issue now.

At least the rides home will be safe.

Back to the Senate:

Senate votes to repeal rule allowing consumers to band together to sue banks

Trump could strike a blow for women by renominating Janet Yellen, whom he said he liked “a lot.”

"Kid Rock says he’s not running for US Senate in Michigan. Kid Rock told SiriusXM host Howard Stern, ‘‘Are you kidding me?’’ during an expletive-laden interview Tuesday. The Detroit-area rocker has been teasing the public for months. At a Sept. 12 concert, Kid Rock was introduced as Michigan’s ‘‘next senator’’ and talked about running for president. According to the Detroit Free Press, Kid Rock said his staff knew there wouldn’t be a run for office. But with all the attention — and a new album in the works — he said he told them: ‘‘Let’s roll with it for a while.’’ Kid Rock, whose real name is Robert Ritchie, was a target of protests during recent Detroit concerts because of his use of the Confederate flag."

Kid who?

"Markey joins other pols seeking quick probe of Bedford VA death" by Andrea Estes Globe Staff  October 24, 2017

Meanwhile, a team from the VA’s newly created Office of Accountability and Whistleblower Protection arrived at the Bedford VA Tuesday to meet with employees who want to discuss patient care or any other issues. The team is expected to be at the facility through Wednesday, but several employees told The Boston Globe they will forgo the opportunity because the rooms set aside for the interviews are so close to their bosses’ offices they are afraid they will be exposed as whistle-blowers.

The Bedford VA now faces a growing number of questions about its quality of care. Family members have come forward to say they have seen veterans deteriorate within months of being admitted to the facility. One woman said her father quickly went downhill and died four months after being admitted. Whistle-blowers and others say that veterans living in long-term care buildings sometimes go without food for hours or are left in soiled clothes.

And yet all the pre$$ coverage has been over what Trump said to a war widow, etc, etc.

Several relatives said their loved one’s belongings, including cherished keepsakes, were stolen or lost....

(Blog editor shrugs shoulders in aghast amazement. Can't get any more disrespectful than that. Better take a knee)


Good thing Markey is not up for reelection.

"One Republican reportedly asked another to drop out — and may have run afoul of campaign laws" by Frank Phillips Globe Staff  October 23, 2017

Republican John Kingston called a meeting late last month with his party rival for US Senate, Beth Lindstrom, and strongly urged her to drop out of the primary, arguing he was the stronger candidate to defeat Democrat Elizabeth Warren, according to two sources with knowledge of the conversation.

Lindstrom, who announced her Senate candidacy last week, firmly resisted the proposition — as well as another Kingston proffer, according to a source close to her — one that could well run up against state law — when the two met over coffee at the Marriott in Burlington.....

That where he hara$$ed her?


RelatedRepublican to formally announce challenge to Elizabeth Warren

Lindstrom stayed silent?


Now to the other end of Pennsylvania Avenue:

"On JFK archives, let the sun shine in" October 25, 2017

President Trump has the right instinct. He should resist the pressure and open the files, perhaps with minor redactions to protect individuals still alive. 

I'm sorry, did I read that right? Trump right, did they say?

The documents unsealed thus far have helped fill in gaps that were created in the record because the CIA and FBI withheld information from the Warren Commission, which probed the killing in 1963-64. The commission concluded that an underemployed drifter named Lee Harvey Oswald acted alone, but a Grassy Knoll Industrial Complex rages on to this day, powering a groaning shelf of books pushing conspiracy theories about the CIA, Cuba, the Mob, and President Johnson. In fact, the 1992 law itself was an effort by Congress to counteract public suspicions about a government assassination cover-up, spurred by Oliver Stone’s fictional movie “JFK.”

Turns out Stone was nothing but a limited hangout, too. Had he dug further he would be dead nowThen there is the other unmentionable aspect from which they also spring. Need to stay quiet about it all.

But even some Warren Commission investigators, in their elder years, came to believe that the 888-page final report left out evidence that would make the CIA and FBI look bad. Retired law professor David Slawson, a government investigator for the commission, wrote that the CIA knew important details about Oswald’s mysterious trip to Mexico City weeks before the assassination, and could have intervened, according to Politico.

Other conspiracy theories are more outlandish, including Trump’s attempt during the 2016 campaign to link Ted Cruz’s father to Oswald. (Politifact gave that ridiculous claim a “Pants on Fire” rating.) Ted Cruz can probably rest easy, however. Assassination scholars don’t expect a thunderclap of revelation in this last tranche of documents. That won’t stop scores of breathless armchair analysts from looking, of course: Sixty percent of Americans believe in some form of conspiracy surrounding the assassination, Joseph Uscinski, a political science professor at the University of Miami, told The Atlantic.  And expect a new round of speculation about the imagined role of the deep state from conspiracy theorists like Roger Stone, who is pushing Trump to allow the release.

Look, another thunderclap, and the Globe's insistence in the official version not only disqualifies them as serious investigative journalism, it makes them look ridiculous! Trotting out the controlled operative Roger Stone doesn't help (any relation, btw?).

Yeah, we are all imagining things out here rather than writing propaganda and passing it off as truth as does the Globe.

And you are going to love this last bit:

But a push for transparency — even from Stone — serves the long arc of history and helps us understand and encode our own future. Trump should allow the last papers to be released, in as full a form as possible.....


Yup, the push for transparency that is like yanking teeth will serve the long arc of the received wisdom that passes as history so that the official lies and narratives can be understood and encoded into the conventional myths shoveled by pre$$titutes (and Hollywood, for that matter).


As for conspiracies, I just wanted to mention three whoppers brought to you by the pre$$: the Gulf of Tonkin lie, the babies thrown out of Kuwaiti incubators, and the nonexistent Iraqi WMD.

Those last two get you back to the Bushes, don't they?

"Everything you need to know about the JFK documents scheduled for release this week" by Jim O’Sullivan Globe Staff  October 25, 2017

President Trump’s announcement that he will not impede the release this week of the last known government files on the 1963 assassination of President John F. Kennedy excited scholars and casual conspiracy theorists who believe the truth behind the Dallas shooting has never come to light.

But historians and experts don’t expect bombshell revelations about what unfolded on Dealey Plaza. 

I wasn't.

“I don’t think there’s going to be [information] in there pointing to a second gunman, or anything like that,” said Philip Shenon, author of “A Cruel and Shocking Act: The Secret History of the Kennedy Assassination.”

Why now?












If there are no bombshells, why has it taken 55 years for some of these to see the light of day?

Of the material that his review board kept secret in the 1990s, said John R. Tunheim, chief judge of the US District Court of Minnesota, who chaired the Assassination Records Review Board in the 1990s. “A lot of it has to do with intelligence gathering methods, and particularly arrangements with foreign governments for intelligence gathering, and that was still very sensitive in the 1990s.”

Well, Snowden put an end to that worry, right?

“My recollection is that we protected nothing that was central to the assassination story,” Tunheim said, adding, “What we were largely protecting was details of arrangements with foreign governments.”

What else is still out there?

Foreign governments also kept tabs on Oswald, and there is no timetable for the release of those documents, Tunheim said.

“A much more interesting group of files if we could ever get them released are the Oswald surveillance files, which sit in Minsk,” the capital of Belarus, Tunheim said. Further, files from the KGB — the former Soviet intelligence service — would probably shed further light..... 

Weren't those all released in the 1990s after the fall of the Soviet Union?


The surprise is going to be a Russian connection, etc. Read it here first!

What about the pathologists that did the autopsy?

"Dr. Mindy Hull named new Mass. chief medical examiner" by Laura Crimaldi and John R. Ellement Globe Staff  October 24, 2017

The state office that investigates deaths that occur under “violent, suspicious, or unexplained circumstances” has a new leader.

Dr. Mindy J. Hull, 42, took over the embattled Office of the Chief Medical Examiner on Tuesday, the Baker administration said in a news release. With the agency for a decade, she is the first woman to lead it, a spokesman said.

She takes over an office that is working to regain its national accreditation and has faced criticism over a backlog processing death certificates and autopsy reports and accusations of mishandled cases.

Sloppy Ma$$achu$etts!

The agency’s caseload has risen by 11 percent over the last three fiscal years, reaching nearly 6,000 cases in fiscal 2017. The office has locations in Boston, Worcester, Holyoke, and Sandwich.

Hull will be paid $375,000 annually, a nearly $100,000 increase over the salary paid to Nields, a pay boost the administration said was needed to attract a qualified person.

That is the problem with our $y$tem: no more dollar a year men (except Trump).

In announcing Hull’s appointment, the Baker administration included comments from Dr. Richard D. Goldstein, who leads the Robert’s Program on Sudden Unexpected Death in Pediatrics at Boston Children’s Hospital.....

They are pretty much behind everything, aren't they?


RelatedParents make plea for patient bill of rights at State House

All mothers, and why would they have to do that in Massachusetts?

Where are the nurses?


The city of Lawrence is now being accused on anti-semitism.

The new lord of the manor:

"New York’s iconic Lord & Taylor building to become WeWork headquarters" by Michael J. de la Merced and Michael Corkery New York Times  October 24, 2017

NEW YORK — From the moment it opened its doors more than a century ago, the Lord & Taylor building on Fifth Avenue in Manhattan has stood as an icon of old-school retail, but after Christmas next year, less than a quarter of its space will be home to Lord & Taylor’s flagship store. Instead, the retailer said Tuesday, the Midtown Manhattan fixture will become the new global headquarters of WeWork, the seven-year-old office space startup.

In selling its flagship building to a WeWork joint venture for $850 million, Lord & Taylor and its parent, the Hudson’s Bay Co., are bowing to pressures that have increasingly weighed on the retail industry. It is an acknowledgment that even the grand physical shopping spaces of old can now fetch higher values as offices catering to millennial workers.

Across the United States, retailers are rethinking the uses of their physical spaces, as more shopping moves online and consumers prefer to spend less time in stores. Many struggling malls have converted their stores into rock-climbing gyms, movie theaters, and community colleges. Other shopping centers stand mostly empty. 

Some have suggested they will be used as detention facilities during a time of national emergency.

Over the past year, Macy’s has closed dozens of its department stores, though it has held onto its flagship one on 34th Street in Manhattan.

But selling off landmarks also comes with risks. Many old-line retailers have struggled to strike a balance between cashing out their valuable real estate and holding on to historic buildings that have come to define their brands.

It is a difficult task that Lord & Taylor is now undertaking.

Founded by the English merchant Samuel Lord in 1826, the department store was once a favored retailer of high society, but as the company moved into the mass market in subsequent decades, it lost much of its luster.

It was under Richard Baker, a veteran real estate investor, that Lord & Taylor recovered. Baker led a 2006 takeover of the department store company, and used that as a springboard for further acquisitions, from the Canadian chain Hudson’s Bay to Saks to the e-commerce outlet Gilt Groupe. He is now chairman and interim chief executive of Hudson’s Bay.

But as the retail industry has been battered by the tidal waves of e-commerce, Hudson’s Bay has seen its stock price fall by nearly a third over the past year. Hudson’s Bay has faced enormous pressure to sell its trove of real estate holdings — including its crown jewel, the Saks Fifth Avenue flagship store farther up Fifth Avenue. That property was appraised recently at $3.7 billion.

One of Hudson’s Bay’s shareholders, the real estate investment firm Land and Buildings Investment Management, has pushed for the company to sell the Saks store, suggesting it might be desirable to a hotel developer or as bricks and mortar space for Amazon.

“The path to maximizing the value of Hudson’s Bay lies in its real estate, not its retail brands,” Jonathan Litt, the founder of Land and Buildings Investment Management, wrote in a letter to the board of Hudson’s Bay in June.

That pressure apparently has had an impact. Last week, the department store operator said that its chief executive, Gerald Storch, had stepped down and that he would be replaced on an interim basis by Baker.

And Tuesday’s announcement acknowledges Litt’s criticism to some extent. Beyond the Lord & Taylor building sale, Hudson’s Bay struck agreements to lease some of its other retail space to WeWork, including in Hudson’s Bay stores in Canada.

WeWork’s partner in its real estate joint venture, Rhône Capital, will also invest $500 million in Hudson’s Bay.....


RelatedSEC ignored years of warnings about cybersecurity before massive breach

The warnings date back to dates to at least 2008, meaning massive neglect under Obama (his whole presidency was photo-ops and neglect, folks), and why would they worry when it is the government, Jewi$h mafia, and cyber software firms themselves that are responsible for the hackings?

Meanwhile, what is truly important inches along:

"Caterpillar and 3M were responsible for almost all of the 167-point gain in the Dow Jones industrial average, which sent the 30-stock index to a record high....."

Time for me to melt away.

Have a Happy Halloween!