Monday, March 12, 2018

Leaping Forward

I was kind of out of it on Sunday so.....

"Millennials, white-collar workers bringing new life to unions" by Katie Johnston Globe Staff  March 12, 2018

The ranks of organized labor have been shrinking for decades, and an upcoming Supreme Court decision involving the ability of public-sector unions to collect fees from nonmembers is expected to further sap the movement of much-needed funds.

But signs of life are flashing in unexpected places.

Millennials and professionals are bringing new energy to the movement, especially in New England, where more than half of union members are doctors, lawyers, teachers, architects, and other white-collar employees.

Workers across many industries are increasingly banding together and standing up against management as part-time and contract work grows, automation amps up, and wages barely budge, labor observers say. Silicon Valley tech workers have started a coalition to unite. Journalists from the HuffPost to the Los Angeles Times have organized for the first time. And campaign workers are bargaining collectively with several congressional campaigns in what may be a first for national politics.

In Boston, graduate students at Harvard and Northeastern are seeking to unionize — following recent success at other schools — as are teachers at two Roxbury charter schools. Language teachers at EF Education First in Boston just approved the firm’s first US contract, staffers at Emerson College are working out details of their inaugural agreement, and public defenders are holding rallies to demand collective bargaining rights.

“I really believe this is a fulcrum and that the labor movement is really shifting,” said Tom Juravich, interim director of the Labor Center at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. “What we’ve seen in the last couple of years are young people saying, ‘You know what, I’m tired of being a contingent worker with no benefits and no job security.’ ”

That flies in the face of all the economic dogma I've been fed regarding the greatest economic $y$tem the world has ever seen.

As the economy shifts, it’s people like Al Nolan, a longtime financial investigator at the Massachusetts Board of Bar Overseers, which investigates complaints about lawyers, who are increasingly driving union membership, and changing the nature of unions to fit the jobs in today’s economy.

They are for elite bureaucrats and staffers now!

Organized labor may never have the power it did in the 1950s, when more than a third of workers in the country were unionized, compared with 10.7 percent today. And if the Supreme Court rules it’s unconstitutional for public-sector unions to charge nonmembers to cover collective bargaining costs, it would cut into unions’ revenues, leaving them with fewer benefits to offer workers.

But this infusion of young professionals is helping to stanch the bleeding. In 2003, 34 percent of union members nationwide were in professional and technical occupations; by last year, it was 42 percent, according to the Department for Professional Employees at the AFL-CIO. In New England, such professionals now make up 51 percent of union members.

The Stage Directors and Choreographers Society, which just signed an agreement with a 14-theater collective in the Boston area, including New Repertory Theatre and the SpeakEasy Stage Company, has had an influx of youth in recent years, said Laura Penn, executive director of the national union. And it makes sense.

“The world is kind of going a little crazy, and this need to engage and make a difference, the construct of a union fulfills that,” she said. “It’s kind of a tribal thing. We have an access point to the larger world. And for us it’s everything from political engagement to equity and diversity to workplace conduct.”

Unions’ commitment to social justice also attracts young people, said Jessica Tang, the 36-year-old president of the Boston Teachers Union, which is helping organize the staff at two independently operated charter schools in Roxbury, where many teachers are in their 20s. Millennials tend to be open to joining the labor movement, Tang said, in part because they haven’t “bought into the [negative] stereotypes that right-wing and anti-labor groups have tried to hammer home for so long,” she said. 

It hasn't been just them!

Like some of the initially skeptical employees at the Board of Bar Overseers, Illona Yukhayev, a 32-year-old instructional technologist at Emerson College, didn’t know if she was “union material.” She has a master’s degree and a job she loves, helping college faculty with their technology needs.

But then she got a peek behind the curtain at negotiating meetings, including the fact that the man who had her job before her made $10,000 more a year than she did, even though they had similar backgrounds and he didn’t have an advanced degree.

“That kind of thing wakes you up,” she said, “and you start seeing, OK, the union can make a difference here.” 

So it is a $elfi$h thing then. Not coming together for the greater good or the cause, but what can it do for me thing, I see. Ask not, 'eh? 

I'm not saying she shouldn't be paid the same or more; that's not my point and the divisive segregation by my pre$$ into all groups but cla$$ and the still yawning by the second wealth inequality is hardly addressed.


All of a sudden the corporate pre$$ is telling us unions “allow us to be more free” and open up job opportunities for young people (not children anymore) at nonprofits and such because the economy has room to grow and support a flood of new workers

Here's to your new job!


‘I was blindsided’: How a routine immigration interview turned into an arrest

That's when things start going backward

I should have read the fine print at the bottom of the page (just a glitch, I'm sure).


"California’s war against Trump administration builds" by Maria Sacchetti Washington Post  March 11, 2018

SAN FRANCISCO — California and the Trump administration are engaged in an all-out war over immigration enforcement, the president’s signature issue on the campaign trail and in the White House. It is a deeply personal battle in the nation’s most populous and economically powerful state, where 27 percent of the 39 million residents are foreign-born.

It's an Icahnic battle.

The stakes are high for the Trump administration because if California defies the White House on sanctuary cities, then others can, too, jeopardizing Trump’s main campaign promise to deport many of the nation’s 11 million illegal immigrants.

The administration has urged states to follow the lead of Texas, a state that passed a law requiring officials to cooperate with Immigration and Customs Enforcement even as California enacted policies that do the opposite.

California’s defiance marks a seismic shift in a state that has morphed from the nation’s biggest critic of undocumented immigrants a generation ago into their fiercest protector.

In 1994, nearly 59 percent of voters passed Proposition 187, a ballot initiative that sought to deny public benefits to those here illegally and expel undocumented children from public schools.

The measure was ultimately blocked in court. But outrage over its passage, fueled by the state’s rapidly growing Latino population, helped turn a Republican stronghold into a mecca for Democrats.

Since then, California has granted undocumented immigrants privileges they can’t get in most other states: driver’s licenses, in-state college tuition, and even some financial aid. In January, this vast state officially became a sanctuary jurisdiction.

Officials say they are not stopping immigration agents from arresting criminals and are making allowances so agents can take serious offenders into custody at state prisons. But ICE says California’s efforts puts its workforce in danger, forcing agents to pursue criminals on the streets, often without local police backup.

Officials also fear ICE’s unfettered enforcement policies will make cities less safe by deterring undocumented immigrants who are not criminals from reporting crime.....


Time to take a breath (it's not like robbing a bank) before firing these off:

"A man suspected of shooting two California police officers, killing one of them, was arrested after barricading himself in an apartment and holding a SWAT team at bay for more than 15 hours, authorities said. Police in Pomona tried to stop the man, identified as Isaias De Jesus Valencia, 39, on a road after receiving a call about reckless driving Friday night. He allegedly refused to pull over and led officers on a chase, Los Angeles County sheriff’s officials said. Governor Jerry Brown ordered flags at the Capitol to fly at half-staff and said Police Officer Gregory Casillas’ ‘‘brave sacrifice will never be forgotten.’’ Outside the Los Angeles County coroner’s office, dozens of police cars lined the streets and officers saluted as the slain officer’s body was brought there in a procession Saturday....."

They brought Valencia out "wearing only his underpants" -- leaving me to wonder if he had a driver's license.

"A student at East Boston High School was taken into ICE custody after he was arrested Wednesday for allegedly threatening to “shoot up” the school, officials said. Kevin Vasquez Funes, 19, was arrested by Boston police and charged under the so-called bomb threat statute, which also covers threats to do harm with a gun or other weapon, said Jake Wark, a spokesman for the Suffolk district attorney’s office. He was ordered held on $5,000 bail at an arraignment hearing in East Boston Municipal Court Thursday and told to return to court on March 14, Wark said. ICE agents then arrested the El Salvador native at his home on Friday, according to John Mohan, a spokesman for the agency. “Agency records indicate he illegally entered the US in 2015, and he will remain in ICE custody pending immigration proceedings,” Mohan said. Daniel O’Brien, a spokesman for the Boston Public Schools, confirmed Vasquez Funes was a student at the school but wouldn’t elaborate on the threats he allegedly made....." 

I'm trying to stay above it all.

BPD Officers Recover Firearm and Arrest One on Gun-Related Charges in Mattapan

They really are their brother's keeper!

ACLU sues Trump administration to stop family separation

Puerto Ricans who fled post-storm chaos face uncertain future in temporary housing program

And they ARE citizens!

Thousands remain without power after recent storms

That's here and there are still trees down. Some places have been flooded for a week and are sinking.""

Latest nor’easter could bring up to 18 inches of snow to Boston area

Time for winter to exitGood thing spring is almost here

"Trump repeats his support for execution of drug dealers" by Seung Min Kim Washington Post  March 11, 2018

MOON TOWNSHIP, Pa. — During a rally Saturday meant to bolster a struggling GOP candidate for a US House seat in this conservative western Pennsylvania district, President Trump also veered off into a list of other topics, including North Korea, his distaste for the news media, and his own election victory 16 months ago.

Trump said that allowing prosecutors to seek the death penalty for drug dealers — an idea he said he got from Chinese President Xi Jinping — is ‘‘a discussion we have to start thinking about. I don’t know if this country’s ready for it. The only way to solve the drug problem is through toughness.’’

The U.N. says he ‘‘needs to submit himself to some sort of psychiatric evaluation.’’  

On Saturday, his call for executing drug dealers got some of the most enthusiastic cheers of the night. As Trump spoke about capital punishment policies in China and Singapore, dozens of people nodded their heads in agreement.

Trump was officially here to inject some last-minute political capital behind Republican Rick Saccone, whose race against Democrat Conor Lamb could be a harbinger of the Republican Party’s prospects in the midterms.

The fix is in.

But Trump quickly steered away from his main objective. He touted his decision to meet with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and boasted that it was something his predecessors couldn’t do.

Tillerson is apparently out of the loop (not the first time).

Trump also delivered a profane attack on the news media, including NBC and CNN. And he claimed that 52 percent of women voted for him in his presidential win (it was 52 percent of white women, according to exit polling).

They bring it on themselves.

Trump talked up his decision last week to impose tariffs on steel and aluminum imports — a move deeply opposed by congressional Republicans yet popular in this Pittsburgh suburb, the heart of steel country.

Related: "The United States was ‘‘the steward, the leader, of establishing, of developing a system of international relations,’’ Norbert Röttgen, an ally of German Chancellor Angela Merkel who is the head of the foreign affairs committee of the lower house of Germany’s parliament, said at a conference in Brussels. ‘‘Now, we are living in historic times of unraveling.’’

Both candidates in the special election to fill the seat vacated by Tim Murphy, a Republican, back the president’s decision on the import duties.....


Also seeIn Pennsylvania, Trump is back in campaign mode

He is going to get his wish for a military parade, and here is the face of Trump's 2020 primary challenger and that of his general election opponent

Did you see who else was on the comeback trail?

White House looking to expand legal team amid Russia inquiry

It is a "sign that the White House has recognized the investigation is probably going to continue for some time"so they hired some Clinton and Bush flunky. You know where the investigation won't be going.

5 people killed in Manhattan helicopter crash 

Not in print, but this photo was (kind of an in-your-facer considering what happened on 9/11 three separate times).


"China’s historic move would let Xi rule indefinitely" by Chris Buckley and Steven Lee Myers New York Times  March 11, 2018

BEIJING — President Xi Jinping set China on course to follow his hard-line authoritarian rule far into the future on Sunday, when the national legislature lifted the presidential term limit and gave constitutional backing to expanding the reach of the Communist Party.

Under the red-starred dome of the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, nearly 3,000 delegates of the National People’s Congress, the party-controlled legislature, voted almost unanimously to approve an amendment to the Constitution to abolish the term limit on the presidency, opening the way for Xi to rule indefinitely.

Yeah, China is not Japan.

The amendment was among a set of 21 constitutional changes approved by the congress, which included passages added to the Constitution to salute Xi and his drive to entrench party supremacy.

Xi is using his formidable power to dismantle parts of the political order set in place in the 1980s and 1990s by Deng Xiaoping, who led China on a path of economic opening and liberalization.

This includes the system of collective leadership and regular, orderly transitions of power that became the norm after Deng died in 1997.

Xi “has shown the world that he can scrap decades of institutional building with hardly any public dissent from the elite,” Victor Shih, a professor at the University of California San Diego, who studies elite Chinese politics, said by e-mail after the vote.

Ever since the party said two weeks ago that it wanted to remove the 35-year-old line in the Constitution limiting the president to two consecutive terms, there was never any real doubt that the congress would approve the move.

But the lopsided outcome — 2,958 votes in favor, two against, three abstentions, and one invalid vote — underlined how much Xi dominates politics and feels emboldened to demand drastic changes.

Next weekend, the congress is expected to continue that show of lock step support for Xi by voting him into a second five-year term as president, along with electing a new lineup of government officials.

Reminds me of the aid votes for Israel that come out of the U.S. Congre$$.

Sunday’s constitutional amendments marked a victory not just for Xi’s own ambitions, but also for his quest to entrench the Communist Party at the heart of politics, society, and the economy as China ascends globally.

Xi, 64, has in effect created a new legal basis for ruling for another decade or longer as president.

“Under Xi Jinping, China is making a U-turn,” Susan Shirk, the head of the 21st Century China Center at the University of California San Diego, wrote in a recent assessment of Xi. “Personalistic rule is back.”

The amendments also reflected his goal of expanding party influence across China’s increasingly complex and wealthy society.

Supporters say ending the term limit will allow Xi to avoid becoming a lame duck in his second term, and give him added authority to pursue other parts of his agenda: overhauling the military, stamping out graft, reducing extreme poverty and fixing an economy grown dependent on debt and heavy industry.

Some Chinese people worry that the abrupt change augurs a return to the strife over succession that troubled the eras of Mao and Deng.

“Abolishing the term limit on the leader of state does not make a leader but a usurper,” Wang Yi, a former law lecturer who now works as a church pastor in Sichuan, said via a phone message. “Writing a living person’s name into the Constitution is not amending the Constitution but destroying it.”

This was not the direction that many imagined Xi would take when he stood at the congress in 2013 to accept his first term as president, soon after he became Communist Party general secretary.

In his first months as leader, Xi vowed fidelity to China’s 1982 Constitution, which brought in the two-term limit on the president, and paid homage to Deng, the patriarch who had vowed to end lifelong rule so an autocrat like Mao could not reemerge. But he now appears intent on at least partly undoing Deng’s political legacy.....


Then there is "the election attracted little attention — no opinion polls were conducted and there was no televised debate by the city’s largest broadcaster." 

That would be in Hong Kong (same thing in Colombia).

Also see:

"France’s far-right leader Marine Le Pen put forward a new name for her National Front party Sunday. Le Pen spoke a day after the surprise appearance of Steve Bannon, the former chief strategist for President Trump, at a party congress. In a fiery speech Saturday, Bannon told party members to “let them call you racists” and praised the National Front for standing up to France’s political and economic establishment....."

Pentagon warns Syrian forces on use of chemical weapons

Mattis just blew the whistle on any potential false flag and his criticism regarding the targeting of hospitals by Syrian forces could also apply to the Saudis in Yemen and “the Russians don’t need any excuse to keep bombing.”

Oh, the aid got through after Turkey allowed it?

Man to be sentenced in $3M pita bakery financing scheme 

He is a dual national.

"A 19-year-old Palestinian was killed Saturday in clashes in the northern West Bank. The teen was shot in the chest during confrontations with Israeli settlers, but it was unclear whether he was shot by settlers or troops, officials said. After Palestinians approached the Itzhar settlement, soldiers fired five rounds to disperse them (AP)."

You see where my jew$paper placed it, right?

They dreamed of building an empire and they nearly did it, but it looks like Putin has pissed off a certain group of people (btw, the book is real and even if it were not that is what has happened these past 100+ years), and I'm sick of the whining.

Time to (brieflywash my hands of the whole silly affair.


"Shooter sought healing from California veterans center" by Michael Balsamo Associated Press  March 11, 2018

YOUNTVILLE, Calif. — As a child, Albert Wong had always dreamed of joining the Army, said Cissy Sherr, who was his legal guardian and began caring for him when he was 6 after his father died and his mother developed medical issues.

‘‘He had a lot of role models in the Army,’’ Sherr said Saturday. ‘‘He was patriotic and he wanted to do that forever.’’

Sherr and her husband raised Wong for several years, enrolling him in Catholic school and signing him up for baseball, basketball, and track teams. Together, they traveled to Florida, Hawaii, and Boston, where he experienced snow for the first time.

‘‘He was a pretty happy-go-lucky kid,’’ Sherr said. ‘‘He always had a smile on his face.’’

When Wong became a teenager and Sherr and her husband worked full time, they decided to put him in foster care. He stayed with a foster father in San Francisco who had other teenage boys and he attended high school near San Francisco.

An older adopted brother, Tyrone Lampkin, recalled playing hockey and going fishing with Wong when they were kids. They also got into fights. Wong’s outbursts at times forced him to live elsewhere for stints, including the time as a teenager he pushed another brother down the stairs, breaking his leg, Lampkin told the Santa Rosa Press-Democrat in a story published Sunday.

Wong served in the Army Reserve from 1998 until 2002, enlisted for active duty in May 2010 and was deployed to Afghanistan in April 2011, according to military records.

He found his calling.

He was a decorated soldier and was awarded the Expert Marksmanship Badge. But that also meant Wong was tasked with dangerous assignments, where he saw ‘‘really horrible things’’ that affected his mental well-being, Sherr said.

Like what?

Sherr said after Wong was honorably discharged from the Army in 2013, he planned to enroll in school and earn a degree in computer programming and business.

Wong, who had a passion for working out at the gym, would often bring his ailing mother her favorite foods and spent a lot of time with her before she died last year, Sherr said.

But post-traumatic stress affected his ability to adjust to everyday life, Sherr said. He had trouble sleeping and was always wary of his surroundings.

‘‘I think he realized that it started to catch up with him,’’ she said.....

I'll take a stab at why this event is being foisted on us now, be it real or not. It's to disarm the returning veterans via mental illness and PTSD diagnoses because they would be the leaders in any resistance to government oppression due to their trained skills.


It is important to remember that the military can easily subject soldiers to mind control like the Manchurians Nassan, Alexis, and all the others. It could also be that he was fulfilling his orders and mission as a psyops agent.

I'd say I'm crazy, but.....

"Digital ads, social media hide political campaign messaging" by Nicholas Riccardi Associated Press  March 11, 2018

NEW YORK — The main events in a political campaign used to happen in the open: a debate, the release of a major TV ad, or a public event where candidates tried to earn a spot on the evening news or the next day’s front page.

That was before the explosion of Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube as political platforms.

Now some of a campaign’s most pivotal efforts happen in the often-murky world of social media, where ads can be targeted to ever-narrower slices of the electorate and run continuously with no disclosure of who is paying for them. Reporters cannot easily discern what voters are seeing, and hoaxes and forgeries spread instantaneously.

Then they are no different than newspapers.

Journalists trying to hold candidates accountable have a hard time keeping up. 

Maybe you could get the facts from the Clinton's 2016 pool reporter.

‘‘There’s a whole dark area of campaigns out there when, if you’re not part of the target group, you don’t know anything about them,’’ said Larry Noble of the Campaign Legal Center in Washington, which seeks greater transparency in political spending. ‘‘And if reporters don’t know about it, they can’t ask questions about it.’’ 

And if they do know they can self-censor so they can keep their overpriced job.

The problem came to widespread attention during the 2016 presidential race, when Donald Trump’s campaign invested heavily in digital advertising, and the term ‘‘fake news’’ emerged to describe pro-Trump propaganda masquerading as online news. Russian interference in the campaign included covert ads on social media and phony Facebook groups pumping out falsehoods.

Do they front page them and pump 'em out as fast as newspapers?

The misinformation shows no sign of abating.

That's why I'm sick of reading the Globe after more than 20 years.

The US Senate election in Alabama in December was rife with fake online reports in support of Republican Roy Moore, who eventually lost to Democrat Doug Jones amid allegations that Moore had sexual contact with teenagers when he was a prosecutor in his 30s. Moore denied the accusations.

Politicians also try to create their own news operations. US Representative Devin Nunes’s campaign funded a purported news site called The California Republican, and the executive director of Maine’s Republican party last month acknowledged that he runs an anonymous website that is critical of Democrats.

Phony allegations are nothing new in politics. But they used to circulate in automated phone calls, mailers that were often tossed in the trash, or, as far back as the 1800s, in partisan newspapers that published just once a day, noted Garlin Gilchrist, executive director of the Center for Social Media Responsibility at the University of Michigan.

And then it sits on a news rack.

The difference now is how quickly false information spreads.

Related: A lie can travel half way around the world while the truth is putting on its shoes.”

There is a dispute about who said, but it was a long time ago.

‘‘The problem is something that’s always existed. . . but social media is a different animal than news distribution in the past,’’ Gilchrist said.

A study released this past week found that false information spreads faster and wider on Twitter than real news stories.

SeeFalse news spreads more rapidly on Twitter

Researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology traced the path of more than 126,000 stories on Twitter and found that the average false story takes about 10 hours to reach 1,500 users compared with about 60 hours for real ones. On average, false information reaches 35 percent more people than true news.

A data analysis by Buzzfeed’s news site after the 2016 election found that the most popular fake stories generated greater engagement on Facebook than the top real stories in the three months before Election Day.

Because it’s increasingly easy to fabricate videos, which are viewed as the most reliable evidence available online, reporters ‘‘need stronger tools’’ to weed out frauds, Gilchrist said.

Yeah, no kidding! Government does it all the time! That's why they are removing old Sandy Hooks stuff, but the cat is out of bag regarding the staged and scripted crisis drills gone "live" to promote certain agendas.


Fla. governor signs gun control bill

Despite the NRA’s most powerful lobbyist.

Florida is f***ed up anyway.

As for the young people fighting for gun control, they can learn from the student movement against the Vietnam War while they are protesting the pipelines in Canada in the wake of an oil spill in October that is considered the largest since the Deepwater Horizon episode.

Social media also upends campaign advertising practices. Federal regulations require a record of every political advertisement that is broadcast on television and radio. But online ads have no comparable requirements.

Earlier this month, Twitter’s CEO, Jack Dorsey, announced that the platform would take new steps to try to stop harassment and false information.

Facebook has partnered with media organizations, including the Associated Press, to flag false information on its platform.

You got that backwards.

It recently announced plans to reform its political advertising, including making all ads on a page visible to all viewers, regardless of whether they were intended to see the spots. It also will require a line identifying the buyer on every political ad and create a four-year archive.

Still, because there are so many candidates for office in the United States, Facebook is limiting itself to federal races at first.

‘‘Facebook is moving faster than regulators are around the world toward some better stuff,’’ said Sam Jeffers of the UK-based group Who Targets You, which pushes for better online campaign disclosure.


At least you don't have to pay off political consultants and operatives (Globe racist or sexist?).

Man arrested for allegedly dousing woman and child in lighter fluid

The mother of his child and his son. How heartless.


"Bankruptcy may be the next step for big radio station chain iHeartMedia" by Jon Chesto Globe Staff  March 11, 2018

It was a big bet on the future of radio, but an ill-timed one. The Boston private equity giants Bain Capital and Thomas H. Lee Partners won an auction for the country’s largest radio station operator, Clear Channel Communications, in late 2006.

Now that gambit is likely to lead to a bankruptcy filing, one that could take place any day.

That’s because the two investment firms pulled off their acquisition through a leveraged buyout, the kind of deal that involves heavy amounts of debt. Loans were easy to get back then.

“It’s going to be a business school case study of what not to do” in a leveraged buyout, said Mark Williams, a finance lecturer at Boston University. “They took on an unhealthy amount of debt, much higher than average . . . What they did is they bet the farm.”

Unfortunately for the two private equity firms, the Great Recession turned out to be deeper and longer than any other economic slowdown since the 1930s. Advertising budgets were hit hard. And even once the national economy began to mend, many advertisers still spent less on radio spots — as well as on the Clear Channel billboard business iHeart has a controlling stake in — and more on social media and other digital outlets.

Regardless, people with knowledge of the situation say the two firms still expect to roughly break even on their initial investment, in large part because they had bought iHeart debt at discounted prices. 

Did the execs also get a nice payout?

But the bankruptcy could still be a black mark for the renowned private equity firms, which declined to comment.

“They hit a lot of home runs, but I don’t think this one was a home run,” said Mark Powers, a business lawyer at Bowditch & Dewey. “No matter how you slice it, it’s always a disappointment when your investment has to go to Chapter 11.”


Did you know that iHeartMedia is anti-union?

So when does the biotech bubble pop and will anyone be going to prison?

Related: "one of the best-kept secrets in most Massachusetts cities and towns: a program that allows cash-strapped homeowners over age 65 to defer paying property taxes."

What a deal, huh? 

Might want to take out a mortgage at the official bank of the Bo$ton Red Sox.

Banks are all the talk today:

"The economies in China, Canada, and Hong Kong are among those most at risk of a banking crisis, according to early warning indicators compiled by the Bank for International Settlements. Canada, whose economy grew last year at the fastest pace since 2011, was flagged thanks to its households’ maxed-out credit cards and high debt levels in the wider economy. These same issues also afflict China and Hong Kong, according to the study. “The indicators currently point to the buildup of risks in several economies,” analysts Inaki Aldasoro, Claudio Borio, and Mathias Drehmann wrote in the BIS’s latest Quarterly Review, published Sunday. The study offered some surprises: For example, Italy wasn’t shown as being at risk, despite its struggles with a slow-growing economy and banks mired in bad debts. While China was flagged, a key warning indicator known as the credit-to-gross domestic product “gap” showed an improvement, said the BIS, which is known as the central bank for central banks. This may suggest the government is making progress in its push to reduce financial-sector risk."

Thankfully, Xi isn't going anywhere.

Doing a better job than in Germany anyway.

"Shortly after taking the job, Federal Reserve chairman Jerome Powell highlighted the need to communicate monetary policy better. He may learn a thing or two from Indonesia. Bank Indonesia has about 625,000 Twitter followers — the most of any central bank. Among its almost 12,000 tweets are updates on exchange rates and inflation, prize giveaways, and a jaunty music video explaining how to spot fake bank notes. Bank Indonesia spokesman Agusman, who like many Indonesians uses one name, said policy makers realized social media had become a necessity, considering the country’s large millennial population."

Thus we end where we began, except for noting the more than 50% drop from last week regarding the box office receipts.