Tuesday, February 13, 2018

Exasperated Exhale

After yesterday's inhalation:

At Tufts, Lawrence Bacow was tasked with reenergizing the university

It was the lead feature today with an additional article to be found upon the turn-in.

"Trump and House GOP push for stricter work requirements for welfare" by Liz Goodwin Globe Staff  February 13, 2018

WASHINGTON — Republicans, flying high after big victories on tax cuts and military spending increases, are turning their sights to shrinking the nation’s safety net, targeting food stamps, Medicaid, and other social service programs for poor Americans.

Getting right to it, huh?

President Trump’s proposed budget released Monday reinforced the emerging theme, with cuts of $17 billion from the nation’s food stamp program, known as SNAP, next year and a claim that “millions of Americans are in a tragic state of dependency” on the federal government and should be funneled into the workforce.

As the level of employment amongst able-bodied adults is at its lowest in more than 50 years and just as the stock market is getting ready to tank (as planned).

Trump’s plan dovetails with proposals from House Republicans to reduce spending on entitlement programs, an initiative that House Speaker Paul Ryan recently branded as “workforce development.” GOP lawmakers acknowledge the phrase could make slashing eligibility more palatable to the broader public by focusing on the job requirements and job training aspects of their plans. 

Why would they have to use semantics and trick us if it were in our best interests?

Presidential budgets are more likely to be used as door stops than as legislative blueprints in Congress, which jealously guards its power of the purse. But Trump’s support for cutting food stamps lends much-needed political momentum to House Republicans, who have had a hard time persuading the more moderate Senate to take on the safety net in an election year. 

How can that be given we are told he is historically unpopular?

“You can tell [Trump] understands it, you can tell he gets it,” said Republican Representative Jim Jordan of Ohio, who introduced a bill to stiffen job requirements for food stamps and other entitlement programs in the House over the summer.

The recent budget deal, passed late last week, increased federal spending by hundreds of billions of dollars over the next two years and sparked Senator Rand Paul of Kentucky to blast his fellow Republicans over their deficit hypocrisy. That criticism has also increased interest in cutting spending on entitlement programs such as Medicaid and food stamps.

Ummmm, they are NOT ENTITLEMENTS! People PAID TAXES with the PROMISE that they would be taken care of in their turn. Greedy, $elf-$erving government has broken that trust.

So when are you pre$$ types going to stop distorting and misrepresenting things anyway? I'm full up on that!

The first piece of the plan is to tighten work requirements for food stamps in the new Farm Bill, which is likely to come up for a vote over the next six months.

Why do I see the hand of the Kochs behind this?


Reporters covering the event had to agree not to name donors present


$elf-cen$or$hip is a wonderful thing.

Currently, unemployed SNAP recipients with minor children must look for work, but Jordan and other House Republicans would like to require them to work or job train 100 hours a month, unless their children are under 2 years old. (Those with children between 2 and 6 years old would need to work 80 hours per month.)

In his budget, Trump has also asked for a significant chunk of food stamp money to be delivered to the program’s 43 million recipients in the form of a box of food from the Department of Agriculture instead of money loaded on a debit card to be spent at the grocery store.

If past delivery times of government services are any guide, the food will have rotted by the time you get it (which fits in perfectly with the feel of the French Revolution that has this society at this moment in time).

Jordan is also pushing to tighten work requirements for Medicaid and public housing. Trump’s budget would cut rental assistance for poor people by nearly $1 billion and calls on Congress to pass legislation to require able-bodied tenants in public housing to work. Trump also seeks $250 billion cuts in Medicaid, the state-federal program that provides health coverage for low-income people and others.

Yes, "regional workforce boards will monitor who complies." I hope the software isn't full of glitches like everything but bank ATMs, and did anyone just smell a whiff of Nazism as I just did? 

In one of the most Orwellian statements ever, the doctor who administers the program said “we’re shifting our focus from helping people gain coverage to helping people keep it” -- by threatening to take it away!

The broad effort to cut entitlement spending and require that recipients work was aired earlier this month at the GOP lawmakers’ annual policy retreat at the tony Greenbrier resort in West Virginia, where the lawmakers at an hourlong workshop discussed mandating new work requirements as a condition for receiving aid.

They weren't derailed at all!

There, Tarren Bragdon, the president of a think tank that pushes for welfare overhaul called the Foundation for Government Accountability, presented findings from a poll he commissioned that suggested more than 80 percent of Americans would support requiring people to work or volunteer in order to receive food stamps or public housing. Seventy-five percent backed work requirements for Medicaid.

“I think they were pleased by it,” Bragdon said of the lawmakers’ reaction to the poll. “We looked at some key demographics of our poll — how do suburban women feel about this? How do independents feel about this?”

They really thought about it.

The poll showed that while Americans are more skeptical about changing Medicare or Social Security, which benefit older Americans of all income levels, they are open to reforms to social safety net programs designed for the nation’s poor.

What $afety net?

Calling welfare reform workforce development was an attempt to make the notion more “palatable,” according to Representative Mark Walker of North Carolina, head of the Republican Study Committee. But the branding is still up in the air.

Yeah, we gotta be sold something via word games and sleight-of-hand deceit as they enrich themselves, their friends, and their corporate donors.

“I’m not sure actually who came up with that and I’m not sure how sticky it really is,” Bragdon said of the term workforce development. “We haven’t tested, you know, how voters feel about that.”

Well, here is your first answer: I didn't think I wanted a Democrat Congre$$, but now..... SIGH!!!!!!!!!!!! 

Ryan is also not pitching the program to fellow House Republicans as a way to cut costs, even though many GOP lawmakers say they are eager to find a way to reverse their deficit spending spree so far.


The tax overhaul and last week’s bipartisan spending deal have set the stage for a $1.2 trillion deficit next year, with annual deficits topping $1 trillion “indefinitely,” according to the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget. (In 2014, the deficit was $483 billion.)

Any move to cut food stamps and other antipoverty programs would face fierce resistance from Democrats, but Republicans in the House who are leading the effort describe the changes as morally necessary — a way to ensure that people in poverty have a chance to move out of it and climb up into the middle class. Ryan has talked about reinvesting the savings from people who stop collecting benefits into job training programs.


That is so f***ing morally bankrupt it makes you realize these political puppets have no soul.

“What we have to do is change an entire culture of thinking so that the government is there to maybe be a bridge sometimes but it’s not there to be your eternal resting place,” Walker said.

Unless it is providing tax subsidies to campaign contributors, feeding the war machine, writing checks for Israel, or funding their lavish political lifestyles off the backs of taxpayers -- as they make Congre$$ their eternal resting place!

Btw, what kind of taxpayer-funded health plan does he have anyway?!!!

Walker sees welfare changes as part of a “profamily agenda” that includes reducing the high number of incarcerated people in the country. He is expecting a “backlash” once Republicans begin tackling the issue but thinks Americans will eventually be sold on it.

“I can tell you historically that just because something isn’t popular from the start doesn’t mean that it’s not good for the American people,” Walker said. “We can talk government policy, we can talk the civil rights movement, we can talk a whole lot of things.”

Where do they find scum like him anyway?

Even if the House adopts Trump’s ideas on food stamps, it is unlikely that every Senate Republican plus nine Democrats would sign on as well, which is what it would take to pass the Senate. When President Clinton sought stiffer work requirements for temporary cash assistance for poor families in the 1990s, a Republican-led House crafted a bill that both parties backed.

“Unless people are going to be serious about sitting down and doing bipartisan entitlement reform we’re probably not going to make any progress,” said Representative Charlie Dent, Republican of Pennsylvania. “We could pass a bill every now and then out of the House, but nothing will get to the president’s desk.”

So I'm just being frightened and worked up for no reason then? The top story in the whole paper is an exercise in fear over something that doesn't stand a chance of passing? 

WTF, Globe?


What they did was they used his budget as a chance to take the ax to Trump, taking food out of the mouths of kids, etc (hope it isn't out of date government surplus).

So what is for supper?

I think I'll go hungry then.

"White House proposes $4.4 trillion budget that adds $7 trillion to deficits" by Julie Hirschfeld Davis New York Times   February 13, 2018

WASHINGTON — The $4.4 trillion budget that President Trump sent to Congress on Monday calls for steep cuts in domestic programs and entitlements, and large increases for the military, while envisioning deficits totaling at least $7.1 trillion over the next decade.

The blueprint, which has little to no chance of being enacted as written, amounts to a vision statement by Trump. The plan does not completely embrace the two-year budget deal struck by Congress and signed by Trump last week to boost both domestic and military spending by $300 billion.

As they used to say, much ado about nothing and yet it fills the print in my paper.

Mick Mulvaney, Trump’s budget director, informed House Speaker Paul Ryan, Republican of Wisconsin, in a letter that the president is proposing to pour much of the increased domestic spending in that package into defense and fixing “some longtime budget gimmicks” that have added to the nation’s deficits.

“The administration does not believe these nondefense spending levels comport with its vision for the proper role and size of the federal government,” Mulvaney wrote.

I'm sure the police state will be fully funded and expanded.

That bill, which Trump signed into law last week, would increase military spending by $195 billion over the next two years and increase nondefense spending by $131 billion over that period. But Trump’s budget proposal calls for a different approach and says Congress should not spend that nondefense money. Mulvaney, in his letter, said spending at the levels Congress authorized would add too much to the deficit.

And about that extra military money?

"More money for the Pentagon, however, is not the simple solution some might think. Even with the spending caps of recent years, the defense budget has been robust by historical standards. Todd Harrison, a defense budget specialist at the Center for Security and International Studies, says military funding has been near the inflation-adjusted peak levels of the armed forces buildup during the 1980s under President Ronald Reagan. The problem, Harrison says, is ‘‘We are stretched too thin. We are trying to do too much with the size force that we have.’’

I hate to say it, but that robustness was under Saint Obama!! 


Why do you think they did all this? Why do you think women are now eligible to be drafted, and what horrific false flag is going to be the catalyst for such things?

Trump, who once proclaimed himself the “king of debt,” also calls for $200 billion over the next decade in new spending to improve the nation’s infrastructure.

The infrastructure plan calls for giving government agencies the authority to sell off airports, roads, and other federal assets. The president wants to divest assets when federal agencies can show the sale would ‘‘optimize taxpayer value.’’

He never asked the owners -- the American people -- whether we wanted to sell.

The proposal says Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport and Dulles International Airport, both in Virginia, are among the types of assets that could meet the criteria. Other potential assets that could be divested include transmission lines operated by the Tennessee Valley Authority. 

In other words, he wants to PRIVATIZE these things. 

Btw, can't we get those names removed?

Presidential budgets are little more than vision statements even under normal circumstances, given that Congress controls the federal purse strings and may disregard the wishes of whomever is sitting in the Oval Office.

That is even more true this year, after congressional leaders in both parties essentially went around Trump to strike their own budget deal that bore little resemblance to the one he was drawing up.

Lawmakers spread federal dollars around in the kind of legislative horse trading that the president has often decried as a symptom of “the swamp.”

Trump’s plan includes a request for $85.5 billion in discretionary funding for veterans’ medical care and $13 billion in new spending to tackle opioid abuse through prevention, treatment, and recovery support services as well as mental health programs.

Trump’s second federal spending plan also proposes steep cuts for the Environmental Protection Agency, despite Congress’ rejection of a similar plan last year to dramatically shrink the agency’s budget.

More than 150 retired US general and admirals and 1,200 veterans have urged the Trump administration not to make steep cuts to the State Department, foreign aid, and other overseas programs, the Associated Press reported.

The retired generals include George Casey, David Petraeus, Stanley McChrystal, and Wesley Clark. They say that ‘‘today’s crises do not have military solutions alone.’’

Thank God we have the generals as our leading peace advocates.


"Trump raises doubts on his own commitment to infrastructure plan" by Ken Thomas Associated Press  February 13, 2018

WASHINGTON — President Trump sent Congress a sweeping plan Monday to rebuild the nation’s depleted roads and bridges — then immediately raised doubts about how committed he was to delivering on that campaign promise. 

How did they get so depleted? 

What the hell was Obama doing the last eight years anyway?!!!

‘‘If you want it badly, you’re going to get it,’’ Trump told state and local officials during a meeting at the White House. ‘‘And if you don’t want it, that’s OK with me too.’’

Trump suggested that his proposal, aimed at spurring $1.5 trillion in spending over a decade, was not as important to him as other recent administration efforts to cut taxes and boost military spending.

‘‘If for any reason, they don’t want to support to it, hey, that’s going to be up to them,’’ Trump said of the Republican-controlled Congress. ‘‘What was very important to me was the military, what was very important to me was the tax cuts, and what was very important to me was regulation.’’

Speaking of infrastructure, Trump added: ‘‘This is of great importance, but it’s not nearly in that category. Because the states will have to do it themselves if we don’t do it. But I would like to help the states out.’’

The administration’s plan is centered on using $200 billion in federal money to leverage more than $1 trillion in local and state tax dollars to fix America’s infrastructure, such as roads, highways, ports, and airports. The administration released a 55-page ‘‘legislative outline’’ for lawmakers who will write the legislation.

With the plan heavily dependent on state and local dollars, Democrats warned it would raise tolls on commuters, sell off government-owned infrastructure to Wall Street, and eliminate critical environmental protections.....

That is his vision statement, and the ‘‘pyramids in Egypt were built faster than some of the projects.’’



"Meet the criminal who went undercover in the country’s largest MS-13 takedown" by Shelley Murphy and Maria Cramer, Globe Staff February 12, 2018

The FBI hatched a deal to bring him back from El Salvador in 2013, just a year after he had been deported following a lengthy prison stint in Florida. His mission: infiltrate the notorious MS-13 gang in Massachusetts.

In return, Mako and 17 of his relatives would eventually gain entry to the United States and the federal witness protection program, along with money for rent, food, health care, and more — a tab that grew to about $500,000, but the man who helped authorities build one of the nation’s biggest cases against the international street gang was also getting away with crimes of his own, allegedly plotting dozens of robberies and getting involved in the brutal stabbing of a rival gang member at a Chelsea park.

That's how it works! They protect their assets. Think Whitey Bulger!

Now, the government has kicked him out of the witness protection program and prosecutors said they won’t call him to testify at the ongoing trial of four reputed MS-13 members, a case Mako helped make. Mako’s story, which was outlined in copious court filings, interviews and testimony playing out in court, is one of extraordinary circumstances, danger, and deceit.

How long before he ends up dead?

Amid President Trump’s heated call for a crackdown on immigration and MS-13, the Boston case underscores the high cost of taking on America’s most violent street gang, and the uncomfortable alliances that law enforcement makes in pursuit of a winning case.

Or setting up some terrorist patsy plotter.

Authorities say Mako is the linchpin to the federal government’s largest MS-13 takedown in history, which netted 61 defendants. Yet, defense attorneys have portrayed him as the latest example of a wayward cooperating witness who played the FBI and received money and protection while continuing his criminal ways.....



And you wonder why I'm frowning and not interested in the Olympics?

And the national lead story on page A2?

Senate launches open debate on immigration overhaul

Dramatic portraits of the Obamas unveiled at Smithsonian The unveiling attracted hundreds of friends, colleagues, and media Monday, including former Vice President Joe Biden, director Steven Spielberg, actor Tom Hanks, and television producer Shonda Rhimes.

Globe took a second look at them later, and there are rumors about a certain iconic director (#166 in your program).

"Democratic candidates reap financial benefits of anti-Trump fervor" Washington Post  February 13, 2018

WASHINGTON — Democratic challengers riding a wave of displeasure with Republican leaders in Washington are collecting hundreds of thousands of dollars — sometimes in a matter of days or weeks — as anti-Trump fervor is translating into hard cash for this fall’s midterm fights.

In Texas, in New Hampshire, in Wisconsin seat held by House Speaker Ryan.

The strong showings in recent campaign finance filings offer a glimmer of hope for Democrats, who face a changing environment in their effort to regain the majority. Polls that just weeks ago showed deep frustration with Republicans and the president now show voters softening toward Republican, as they warm to the tax law and feel the effects of a strong economy.....

Well, that second part has recently been called into question

Thankfully, the tax cuts were passed as the market was being propped up. 

If only you could create your own money, huh?


Puerto Rico officials say power back to most after blackout 

In the places where they had power (critical installations lost are back up); something like half the island still has nothing. They can rightly ask where is their bailout given that "investor" held debt is what undermining everything (as well as the endemic corruption across all AmeriKan in$titutions these days).

Donald Trump Jr.’s wife taken to hospital after powder found in mail

I thought we were all done with this false flag, pay-op, mind-bending crap with the above portrait having left the scene. I was wrong.

"Conspiracy suit over Charlottesville assails ‘alt-right’ leaders" New York Times  February 13, 2018

NEW YORK — Despite the protesters’ assertion that they are blameless, much of the country found their racist chants and Nazi iconography deplorable. And six months later, their defense, which started on the airwaves and the Internet, is being tested in the courthouse.

In a direct assault on the “alt right” movement, a sprawling lawsuit contends that the leaders of the Charlottesville gathering engaged in a conspiracy to foster racial hatred and are legally responsible for the 30 injuries and the death of a woman.

The defendants — an array of neo-Nazis, white identitarians and old-line pro-Confederates — have ridiculed the charges as an act of “lawfare” maliciously intended to silence them and destroy them financially..... 



The agent provocateurs need to come home.

"One of the world’s largest advertisers threatens to pull ads from Facebook, Google" by Hamza Shaban Washington Post  February 13, 2018

WASHINGTON — One of the world’s largest advertisers is threatening to pull its ads from social sites, such as Facebook and YouTube, if the tech companies don’t do more to minimize divisive content on their platforms.

Unilever’s chief marketing officer, Keith Weed, called on Silicon Valley on Monday to better police what he describes as a toxic online environment where propaganda, hate speech, and disturbing content that exploits children thrive.

‘‘Fake news, racism, sexism, terrorists spreading messages of hate, toxic content directed at children — parts of the Internet we have ended up with is a million miles from where we thought it would take us,’’ Weed said in a speech at the Interactive Advertising Bureau’s Leadership Meeting in Palm Desert, California. ‘‘It is in the digital media industry’s interest to listen and act on this.’’

Last year Unilever spent nearly $9.5 billion marketing its brands, including Dove, Lipton tea, Axe, and Ben & Jerry’s ice cream. One quarter of that budget, or about $2.4 billion, was spent on digital advertising.

Weed said that the company promises to boost more ‘‘responsible content’’ including ads that tackle gender stereotypes, and will only partner with digital networks that pledge to use an industry standard for ad metrics and improve consumer ad experiences. Weed said he has already begun discussions with Facebook, Google, Twitter, Amazon.com, and Snap.

‘‘[I]t is acutely clear from the groundswell of consumer voices over recent months that people are becoming increasingly concerned about the impact of digital on well-being, on democracy — and on truth itself,’’ Weed said. ‘‘This is not something that can brushed aside or ignored. Consumers are also demanding platforms which make a positive contribution to society.’’

Google and Facebook, the two Web companies that dominate online advertising, have come under heightened pressure from lawmakers, academics, and industry critics to invest more heavily in filtering out misinformation and abusive content on their networks.

Maybe this would help:

"A few years ago, Google created a new kind of computer chip to help power its giant artificial intelligence systems. These chips were designed to handle the complex processes that some believe will be a key to the future of the computer industry. On Monday, the Internet giant said it would allow other companies to buy access to those chips through its cloud-computing service. Google hopes to build a new business around the chips, called tensor processing units, or TPUs."

Think of all the followers you could have!

Last year, Google’s YouTube faced a backlash from US advertisers who said the company was not doing enough to prevent their ads from being played alongside derogatory and extremist content.....


Speaking of extremist alarmism:

Satellites show warming is accelerating sea level rise

Says who?

Weinstein’s company should compensate victims, N.Y. official says

What did he say?


"$88b sought to rebuild Iraq after ISIS siege" by Malak Harb Associated Press  February 13, 2018

KUWAIT CITY — Kuwait on Monday opened a week of meetings to raise $88.2 billion in international aid to rebuild Iraq after the Islamic State onslaught there.

While the United States will not make any new direct aid pledges at the conference, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson is expected to announce a financial package of more than $3 billion, an American official said. Far more money will be needed, Iraqi officials say.

I would rather have not destroyed that country based on lies and have had that money go for food stamps and health care.

The war against the Islamic State displaced more than 5 million people. Only half have returned to their hometowns in Iraq.

However, officials acknowledge a feeling of fatigue from international donors, especially after the wars in Iraq and Syria sparked the biggest mass migration since World War II.

President Trump himself on Monday tweeted that America was ‘‘so stupidly spending $7 trillion in the Middle East, it is now time to start investing in OUR country.’’

Billions of dollars poured into Iraq after the 2003 US-led invasion that toppled dictator Saddam Hussein, with what feels now like little visible effect.

It all went into defen$e contractor pockets!

While Iraq is OPEC’s second-largest crude producer and home to the world’s fifth-largest known reserves, it says it needs $7 billion to repair its oil and gas fields. It has struggled to pay international firms running them.

The United States alone spent $60 billion over nine years — some $15 million a day — to rebuild Iraq.

And rebuilt damn near nothing, or whatever was rebuilt was smashed again.

At least Bechtel and Halliburton got rich!

Around $25 billion went to Iraq’s military, which disintegrated during the lightning 2014 offensive of the Islamic State, which grew out of Al Qaeda in Iraq. US government auditors also found massive waste and corruption, fueling suspicions of Western politicians like Trump who want to scale back foreign aid.

So let's pour more money down the rathole.

The $3 billion package now planned for Iraq from the Americans would come from the Export-Import Bank of the United States, according to a US official. The official said the package would be structured so that the initial amount could rise to as much as $5 billion over several years. The official spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss the package prior to its announcement.

So they are really loans? 

Don't we owe them more than that?

That money would include loans, loan guarantees, and insurance devices to encourage US investment in Iraq. It marks something of a turnaround for Trump, who railed against the government agency during his 2016 campaign.

OMFG, it's for the benefit of corporations not Iraqis!

Even in Kuwait, some social media users questioned the focus on Iraq, asking why more wasn’t being done in their own country.

The Middle East as a whole, especially countries like Kuwait whose deep pockets rely on oil production, has taken a hit in recent years as energy prices crashed and only recently began regaining ground.

Kuwait, hosting the conferences this week, has a deep interest in seeing a stable Iraq, especially after Baghdad’s 1990 invasion of their small, oil-rich emirate, an operation ordered by Hussein.

Remember the lie about babies being thrown out of incubators?

Btw, the place was stable, like it or not, before the U.S. invasion in 2003 -- another war based on Bush lies!

Kuwait announced that $330 million had been pledged for Iraq by Monday at a humanitarian conference in Kuwait City.

That money is desperately needed, as more than 4 million children are in need of humanitarian assistance while 3 million are unable to regularly go to school in Iraq, said Geert Cappelaere, UNICEF’s regional director for the Middle East and North Africa. One in four Iraqi children across the country live in poverty in the nation of 37 million people.

Now they are waving children at us. 

‘‘There may be donor fatigue, but no one today can tell me there isn’t money. There is money to continue fighting, there is money to continue agendas that are not serving children,’’ Cappelaere said. ‘‘What we are asking today is to put that money where children’s interests are and we may get in the Middle East a much brighter future.’’

LOOK, a phrase of truth in my pre$$!!


Also see:

Ukraine deports opposition leader Mikheil Saakashvili to Poland

Poroshenko better be careful going forward (more about that to follow below).

Relic of World War II shuts London airport

Damn Nazis reaching out of the grave.

Speeding train plows into elephants in India, killing 5 animals This episode is the latest in an unfortunate pattern. As recently as December, a train in Assam killed five adult elephants, including one that was pregnant.

Cyclone Gita batters Tonga, heads toward Fiji Cyclone Gita has strengthened since hitting Samoa and American Samoa last week. President Trump on Sunday declared an emergency in American Samoa.

UK, Irish leaders seek to break Northern Ireland stalemate The British and Irish prime ministers met political leaders in Belfast on Monday, as the two main parties in Northern Ireland edged closer to unlocking a political stalemate that has left the region of 1.8 million people without a government for more than a year.

Might need a do-over, and the question is did anyone notice?

Russian plane crash relegated to page A5 today:

"Terrorism ruled out in Russian plane crash" by Vladimir Isachenkov Associated Press  February 12, 2018

MOSCOW — Wading through knee-deep snow, hundreds of emergency workers searched a vast field near Moscow on Monday for remains of the 71 victims from the crash of a Russian airliner, and aviation experts began deciphering data from the jet’s two flight recorders.

Investigators quickly ruled out a terrorist attack in Sunday’s crash of the An-148 regional jet bound for Orsk in the southern Urals.

The air disaster has reignited questions, however, about the twin-engine plane that was developed jointly by Russia and Ukraine but phased out of production amid the political crisis between the neighbors.

The model has a spotty safety record, with one previous crash and a string of major incidents in which pilots struggled to land safely. The plane hit the ground and exploded in a giant fireball.

The Investigative Committee, Russia’s top agency for looking into such disasters, said that before the crash, the plane was intact and there had been no fire on board. Officials would not speculate on possible causes.

The plane’s fuel tanks exploded on impact, gouging a deep crater and scattering wreckage across about 75 acres, according to the Emergencies Ministry, which used drones to direct the search. Pieces of the plane and human remains were buried in deep snow; some debris was found in nearby trees.

Like Flight 93 in Pennsylvania.

If it just crashed why would the wreckage be so scattered?

Deputy Prime Minister Arkady Dvorkovich told a Cabinet meeting that emergency teams have found both flight data and cockpit voice recorders, key to determining the cause of the crash. Investigators said they already have started working on them.

Never heard a word of them regarding 9/11.

President Vladimir Putin put off a planned trip to Sochi and stayed in Moscow to monitor the investigation. The Kremlin said President Trump called Putin to express his condolences.

To meet with who?

Officials said the search for victims’ remains will take a week.

The An-148, developed by Ukraine’s Antonov company in the early 2000s, once was touted as an example of Russian-Ukrainian cooperation, but it fell into trouble as relations between the two countries unraveled following Russia’s 2014 annexation of Ukraine’s Crimean Peninsula. Some airlines reportedly had to cannibalize planes to keep others airworthy.

They also cut corners on service, and for the last time, Russia didn't annex anything! The Crimeans voted to secede from Ukraine and join Russia after the Obama coup.

President Petro Poroshenko of Ukraine has used that model of plane for some of his trips.....



It's not what Israel is doing in Syria today, but Turkey:

"Turkey assails US over ties with Syrian Kurdish militia" by Philip Issa Associated Press  February 13, 2018

BEIRUT — Turkey’s foreign minister assailed the United States on Monday, claiming that US forces in Syria are intentionally stalling the fight against Islamic State militants as an excuse not to cut ties with Syrian Kurdish militiamen as Ankara has demanded.

Mevlut Cavusoglu told reporters in Istanbul that US forces are leaving ‘‘pockets’’ with ISIS militants intact to justify continued cooperation with the Kurdish militia.

Everyone knows they are protecting their created, funded, and directed proxies known as ISIS™.

Speaking ahead of a visit by Secretary of State Rex Tillerson later this week, Cavusoglu said Turkey’s US ties are at a make-or-break stage and that Washington needs to take ‘‘concrete steps’’ to regain Turkey’s trust.

‘‘Our relations are at a very critical stage,’’ he said. ‘‘Either we will improve ties or these ties will totally break down.’’

Who lost Turkey?

Ankara is riled over Washington’s support for the Syrian Kurdish People’s Protection Units, or YPG — the top US ally in the fight against the Islamic State.

Turkey considers the YPG a ‘‘terrorist’’ group linked to Kurdish insurgents fighting within Turkey’s own borders.

Turkey’s military launched a cross-border operation into the Syrian Kurdish-held enclave of Afrin in northern Syria to rout the YPG from the region.

Ankara has also threatened to expand its offensive to the YPG-held town of Manbij, east of Afrin, where the United States has a military presence, setting the scene for a potential showdown between the two NATO allies that back different sides in Syria’s complex and multi-layered civil war, but the operations in Afrin have been slow-going.

In more than three weeks of fighting, Turkey has managed to capture a handful of hilltops and villages. Some 10,000 Syrian opposition fighters — paid, trained, and equipped by Turkey — are also participating in the campaign. Turkey has lost 31 soldiers in the campaign, according to its military.

Sipan Hemo, commander of the YPG, conceded that Turkey’s operation had taken ‘‘some strategic points’’ in the Afrin areas, but said it was not considered ‘‘a major advance.’’

Turkey’s martial superiority lies in its airpower. Kurdish fighters have shot down a helicopter but have no way to respond to the F-16s and other jets flying raids over Afrin.

Syria’s government maintains that Turkey’s operations are illegal and a violation of Syrian sovereignty. It is allowing the YPG to send humanitarian assistance through neighboring government-held territory to Afrin, but not troops or weapons, according to Hemo.

The YPG and its sister organization, the Democratic Union Party, or PYD, are demanding Syria adopts a decentralized and federated political structure, an outcome the government says is unacceptable, but the Kurds and the Syrian government have overlapping interests in the shared fight against ISIS, and in limiting Turkey’s intervention in Syria.

In a separate development Monday, the Syrian Kurdish militia said it is holding a ‘‘huge number’’ of foreign fighters in Syria and none of their home countries want them back.

It isn't separate; otherwise, they wouldn't bring it up!

Hemo said more than half of those detained in the battle against ISIS in Syria are foreign fighters from all over the world, including Russia, Europe, China, Japan, and Arab countries.

All in the employ of the CIA.


I'm done talking, sorry.

After the Globe has had their say I find this on the front section's back page:

"Girl, 17, has become symbol of Palestinian resistance" by Karin Laub Associated Press  February 13, 2018

NABI SALEH, West Bank — Ahed Tamimi, a teenager who has become an emblem of the Palestinian cause, is to go on trial before an Israeli military court Tuesday on a charge of slapping and punching two Israeli soldiers.

Palestinians have said the attack embodies their David vs. Goliath struggle against a brutal military occupation, but Israel has portrayed it as a staged provocation meant to embarrass its military.

Then let her go without charge and prove your magnanimity.

Israel’s full-throttle prosecution of Tamimi, one of an estimated 300 Palestinian minors in Israeli jails, and a senior Israeli official’s recent stunning revelation that he once had Parliament investigate whether the blond, blue-eyed Tamimis are a ‘‘real’’ Palestinian family have helped stoke ongoing interest in the case.

Amazing how Jews can question anyone else ethnic identity, but you question theirs and you are an anti-semite.

So what are the prison conditions for all those Palestinian children anyway?

The teen with the curly mane of hair who turned 17 in jail last month has become the latest symbol of the long-running battle between Palestinians and Israelis over global public opinion.

It's pretty clear who has won that war.

The case touches on what constitutes legitimate resistance to Israel’s rule over millions of Palestinians, already in its 51st year after Israel captured the West Bank, Gaza Strip, and East Jerusalem in 1967.

Ahed Tamimi’s supporters see a brave girl who struck two armed soldiers outside her West Bank home in frustration after having just learned that Israeli troops seriously wounded a 15-year-old cousin, shooting him in the head from close range with a rubber bullet during nearby stone-throwing clashes.

Anyone remember Rachel Corrie?

Israel has treated Tamimi’s actions as a criminal offense, indicting her on charges of assault and incitement that could potentially land her in prison for several years.

Tamimi’s middle-of-the-night arrest from her home in December and her pretrial court appearances, flanked by Israeli guards and looking impassive, have evoked a sense of history on a loop. Another generation of Palestinians seems locked in a cycle of protests and arrests by Israel, three decades after Palestinians staged their first uprising, throwing stones and burning tires in the streets. 

Her impassivity is likely the result of torture, drugs, or both. Pray God she hasn't been raped.

Since the mid-1990s, several US-mediated rounds of Israeli-Palestinian negotiations on setting up a Palestinian state alongside Israel have ended in failure.

Gaps in positions only widened in the past decade, as Israeli settlement expansion continued and the Palestinians failed to end a crippling political split between an internationally backed self-rule government in parts of the West Bank and the Islamic militant group Hamas that dominates Gaza.

Tamimi’s father, Bassem — who threw his first stone at the age of 14 and was an activist in the first uprising — said he expects the military court will deal harshly with his daughter and that she might remain in prison for some time.

Implying that they are born rock-throwers!

His wife, Nariman, is being prosecuted in the same Dec. 15 scuffle in their village of Nabi Saleh and has been locked up alongside their daughter.


Since 2009, residents of Nabi Salah have staged regular anti-occupation protests that often ended with stone-throwing clashes.

Ahed Tamimi has participated in such marches from a young age, and has had several highly publicized run-ins with soldiers. One photo shows the then-12-year-old raising a clenched fist toward a soldier towering over her.

It's okay if you bring the kids to an illegal immigration, global-warming, anti-Trump, or other such rally though.

Despite the personal pain, the father said he is optimistic heading into the courtroom and that he believes he is witnessing progress.

He argues that his daughter’s case and the outpouring of support for her — more than 1.7 million people have already signed an online petition calling for her release — signal the beginning of the final chapter of Israel’s occupation.

Kissinger said they would be gone by now.

‘‘I see that we are starting the turning point in our history, to deal with our occupier and colonization in a different way,’’ said Tamimi. ‘‘Yes, there is a price [to pay]. . . but this generation Ahed represents will be the generation of freedom.’’

In Israel, several senior officials have called for harsh punishment of Ahed Tamimi.

‘‘She is not a little girl, she is a terrorist,’’ said Culture Minister Miri Regev, alleging that Tamimi has been manipulated by what she described as ‘‘extreme leftist elements’’ promoting the idea of a bi-national state for Israelis and Palestinians. ‘‘It’s about time they will understand that people like her have to be in jail and not be allowed to incite to racism and subversion against the state of Israel,’’ Regev told the Associated Press.

Jew supremacism is okay, though!


Speaking of racism:

Looking into its past, MIT finds its first president once owned slaves

Web Globe scrubbed that "startling news(?)" from history.

What the hell happened to John Kelly?

I don't know, what?

Man suspected of killing girlfriend and stabbing parents was recently hospitalized, records say

Needham girl’s father: ‘This is the worst time of our lives’

For others, it is the be$t:

Lawyers for anonymous Powerball winner are bombarded with offers of help from strangers

Fund-raiser will send hundreds of Boston students to see ‘Black Panther’ for free

Now I see why everyone will be talking about it.

Hockey instructor accused of raping boy, 9


Three Andover High boys hockey coaches placed on leave amid DCF investigation

Head coach thought he was Herb Brooks.

Andover High coach denies accusations amid DCF probe

Andover Public Schools officials seek to hire outside investigator to probe hockey allegations

Good thing hockey is a white game:

"Walsh says police tweet that honored white Celtics coach for Black History Month was ‘inappropriate’" by J.D. Capelouto Globe Correspondent   February 12, 2018

Mayor Martin J. Walsh says it was “inappropriate” for the Boston police to send a Black History Month tribute message on Twitter that honored a white man.

“Yesterday’s tweet from the Boston Police Department was completely inappropriate and a gross misrepresentation of how we are honoring Black History Month in Boston,” Walsh said Monday in a statement.


The Police Department, facing mounting criticism, apologized earlier in the day for the post, which celebrated former Boston Celtics coach and president Red Auerbach, who was white. “BPD realizes that an earlier tweet may have offended some and we apologize for that,” said a tweet from the department.

“I am personally committing to the people of Boston that we will always honor our black leaders, activists, and trailblazers with the respect they deserve, not just in February, but every day and every month of the year,” Walsh said. 

Lip service.

He cited the accomplishments and contributions of the black community, noting the achievements of abolitionist Harriet Tubman, recently retired state Supreme Judicial Court chief justice Roderick Ireland, artists like New Edition and Michael Bivins, longtime activist and one-time mayoral candidate Mel King, and Superintendent Lisa Holmes, the first black woman to lead the Boston police academy training program. Likewise, Police Commissioner William B. Evans released a statement Monday.

The Police Department tweet, which was deleted less than an hour after it went up Sunday night, was posted on the department’s official account “in honor of #BlackHistoryMonth.”

The tweet credited Auerbach with being the first NBA coach to draft a black player, field an all-black starting five, and hire the league’s first black coach.

He doesn't get any credit for that?

The pushback to the tweet was swift, with many people saying the post was tone-deaf, inappropriate, and missed the point of Black History Month.

A coalition of civil rights organizations released a statement that said the tweet “amplifies the need for continued work to deepen our collective understanding of our shared history and the role that Black people have played in it especially in this City where we consistently stumble on issues of race.”

And they didn't there would be no need for them. Think of that for a while.


"Governor’s office warns pot regulator about stoned drivers, marijuana use by youths" by Dan Adams and Joshua Miller Globe Staff  February 13, 2018

Massachusetts is likely to experience a surge of stoned drivers and an increase in youth marijuana use and risk “significant” black-market pot sales if cannabis regulators carry out their plan to license a wide variety of unique marijuana sellers, such as movie theaters and delivery services, the state’s top public safety official warned Monday.

As if they were not already?

In a letter to the independent Cannabis Control Commission, Secretary of Public Safety and Security Daniel Bennett also cautioned that the agency’s draft regulations would allow “an applicant with a criminal history of cocaine or heroin trafficking” to work as a pot shop clerk, delivery driver, or cannabis farm employee.

And yet the legislature is working on criminal justice reform. 

The comments were the third scolding dished out to the cannabis commission by Governor Charlie Baker’s administration in a week — a sign of a growing tussle over the ambitions for and sweep of the recreational pot market that’s set to debut in July.....

Simply more excuses to justify delay.


Means you will have to take the train:

Future fare increases on the table as MBTA faces budget woes

What a rip-off.

‘The world lost’ when youths killed his son, grieving dad says A group of youths stalked, beat and fatally shot his son. 

The black boy gets buried at the bottom of A4 while the white girls that were stabbed and run over were placed on page B1. Unconscious racism from the Globe?

Police went too far when, searching car, they looked under hood, SJC rules

I couldn't see under because it didn't make print.

Comcast among companies suspending their advertising on WEEI

She happy now?

Herald bankruptcy auction, with 3 bidders, is Tuesday

Looks like the end for, you know. 

Have they planned right?

"Defense contractor General Dynamics bets on government IT work with $6.8b deal for CSRA" by Phil Serafino and Thomas Black Bloomberg News  February 13, 2018

PARIS — General Dynamics Corp., the maker of Abrams tanks and nuclear submarines, is making a record bet on reinvigorating its information-technology business.

The US defense contractor has agreed to buy CSRA Inc. for about $6.8 billion to expand its computer-services offerings for government agencies and military customers. The acquisition will make General Dynamics the number two provider of federal IT services, trailing Leidos Holdings Inc.

CSRA, which provides services such as cybersecurity and data analytics, gives General Dynamics more heft as defense spending rises under President Trump and computer-technology contracts get bigger and more complex.

Only problem is you can't eat the stuff.

‘‘What we’re doing with this transaction is taking our good GDIT business and making it better, stronger, a more viable competitor,’’ General Dynamics chief executive Phebe Novakovic said on a conference call with analysts and investors. ‘‘It’s low risk. It’s got terrific return on invested capital and great cash flow.’’

As defense outlays increase, General Dynamics’ government-services business should return to the levels of sales and growth that were typical before cuts begin in 2011, said Dan Johnson, chief of the company’s information systems and technology unit. “It would appear that the market is starting to be populated with larger opportunities’’ requiring broader skill sets, he said on the conference call. ‘‘We think this is a marriage made in heaven to go after that marketplace.’’

The acquisition is the biggest ever for General Dynamics, surpassing its purchase of business-jet maker Gulfstream almost 20 years ago. The CSRA deal, expected to close in the first half of this year, will result in a computer-services provider with $9.9 billion in sales, General Dynamics said. That will vault the company ahead of Booz Allen Hamilton Holding Corp. as a provider of such offerings to the government.

CSRA was formed in 2015 from the combination of Computer Sciences Corp.’s government business with SRA International. The Falls Church, Va., company provides civilian and military information technology including cybersecurity, data analytics, and support for companies such as Microsoft Corp.....

Others say the deal is a ‘‘headscratcher.’’


"Burlington software development company XebiaLabs lands $100m in new funding" by Andy Rosen Globe Staff  February 12, 2018

XebiaLabs, a Burlington startup that helps large companies roll out complex software programs, said Monday that it had raised $100 million in its latest round of investment.

Yes, there is money out there if they wanted to feed and care for you.

The fund-raising haul vaults the company into the upper echelon of Boston-area startups, in terms of venture investment, and highlights the increasing interest in the field of DevOps, which seeks to align the development of applications with the people who will operate them.

In an interview, XebiaLabs chief executive Derek Langone said even companies that are not traditional computing businesses can spend millions of dollars annually on software. He said XebiaLabs has helped its clients — including General Electric, Air France KLM, and KeyBank — use that money more effectively.

“Every big corporation has become a software company. It’s fundamental to their business, whether they’re in banking, they’re an airline, they’re a health insurer, whatever,” Langone said. “So getting more efficient about building and delivering software to their own customers as well as their internal consumers has been mission critical.”

XebiaLabs has now raised about $122 million since it was founded in 2008 and has about 140 employees, 45 of whom are in Massachusetts. The privately owned company declined to release financial results but it said it made money in 2017, when its new business more than doubled.

Investors in the latest funding round included Susquehanna Growth Equity, a growth-stage investor, and the venture firm Accel, which has invested in Facebook, Spotify, Etsy, and other companies.....


And those looking out for you?

White House budget plan proposes cutting CFPB budget, restricting enforcement powers

Linda Pizzuti Henry acquires portion of shares of Fenway Sports Group

FDA approves another Vertex drug for treatment of cystic fibrosis

Remington to seek bankruptcy protection

They are the gunmaker tied to the Sandy Hook hoax.

Disney raises prices

Icahn against plan for Xerox to be taken over

Victims of Madoff fraud to get another $76.5m

Ford tells more Ranger owners not to drive them because of faulty air bags

Deployed going through the drive-thru:

"Burger King propped up parent Restaurant Brands International Inc. last quarter as the battle for customers escalated across the fast-food industry....."

Food fight!

"Broadcom lines up biggest debt financing ever for Qualcomm bid" by Molly Smith and Jacqueline Poh Bloomberg News  February 12, 2018

Broadcom Ltd. has lined up as much as $106 billion of debt financing to back its proposed acquisition of Qualcomm Inc., winning what would be the biggest corporate loan on record at a precarious time for credit markets.

As much as $100 billion of the funding would be provided by a group of 12 lenders including Bank of America and JPMorgan Chase, Broadcom said in a statement Monday, a record loan financing. The banks provided a firm commitment to fund the deal, a step up from their previous agreement that allowed them to back out if markets were seizing up.

Now banks appear to be on the hook for the funding if the deal goes through, just as credit markets are showing early signs of strain. The US junk bond markets just had their worst week in two years, and investment-grade corporate debt has been weakening all year, according to Bloomberg Barclays indexes. Broadcom is rated one step above speculative grade.

What are you talking about? I've been told the economy is great!

‘‘These big blowout kind of financings usually signal we’re at the end of something, perhaps a big cycle for M&A debt in this case,’’ said Noel Hebert, an analyst at Bloomberg Intelligence. The transaction comes as the Federal Reserve is tightening the money supply, which often makes investors less willing to take risk.

Broadcom would have to work hard to make sure it remains investment grade, because with junk ratings, ‘‘it’d get ugly quick,’’ Hebert said.....

I haven't checked stocks today.