Monday, March 5, 2018

Monday Mind F***

It began with the 50 cent increase(!!) I was never warned about! 

Things must be going awfully bad in the pressroom

"Zombie agencies are nearly impossible to kill" by Annie Linskey Globe Staff  March 05, 2018

WASHINGTON — Just over a year ago Donald Trump came into the White House promising to slice the federal bureaucracy with such ferocity that, as he put it, “your head will spin.” Shortly after taking office, he identified 19 little-known federal offices for elimination.

But despite Trump’s efforts to do away with what he sees as government waste, the bureaus are all still living, breathing, and spending taxpayer dollars. These zombie agencies are proving to be difficult to kill.

The CIA needs some conduit to cover the theft of funds.

From regional development commissions to arts councils, to offices responsible for fostering foreign aid, all these bureaus have continued their work.

“There’s not very much progress being made,” complained Justin Bogie, a senior policy analyst in fiscal affairs at the conservative Heritage Foundation. “I don’t think the prospect of budget cuts is good.”

Not for the next two years, anyway.

This is a president who pushed through a $1.5 trillion tax bill, unilaterally announced tariffs that rocked the global financial markets, and launches near-daily attacks on the nation’s law enforcement institutions, yet he is now bedeviled by an age-old Washington problem: He can’t seem to get rid of even an obscure $4 million federal bureau.

That’s in part because doing so requires delving into the nitty-gritty of government, an exercise that Trump has shown little interest in pursuing. So while he has used his Twitter feed and knack for showmanship to stylistically redefine the presidency, in matters of bureaucracy and budgets precious little has changed.

And fiscal discipline hasn’t been much of a priority for anyone with power in Washington. The tax cut didn’t include spending offsets, and more recently Congress and the White House reached a budget framework that lifts spending limits, pushing the estimates for the national debt to World War II-era levels.

“There is very little pressure to get rid of anything in the budget,” said Maya MacGuineas, president of the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget, a Washington-based group that supports cutting the federal government. “Every single line item has a really strong constituency.”

They mean corporate $pecial intere$t.


Related: Sunday Brainwashing

That would put you below the flip for today and contradict what we were told earlier.

Crop of liberal candidates look to rattle normally sleepy DA races 


"In sidewalk analysis, city finds inequality" by Meghan E. Irons Globe Staff  March 04, 2018

The divide between the haves and have-nots in Boston has always been stark, often measured by the quality of schools and the safety of streets.

But a new city analysis underscores a basic disparity that is often overlooked, though it’s in plain sight: Residents in the city’s poorest neighborhoods — Roxbury, Mattapan, and parts of Dorchester — are much more likely to contend with buckled asphalt, cracking concrete, and tree roots smashing through their sidewalks.

Indeed, sidewalks are part of the city’s legacy of neglect in low-income neighborhoods.....

That's when I got tripped up. Wasn't watching where I was going (wink).



"Trump plan to allow oil drilling off New England unites foes in opposition" by David Abel Globe Staff  March 05, 2018

For decades, they have done battle — through street protests, in courtrooms, on Beacon Hill. It takes a lot, something broadly and viscerally opposed, to unite the traditional foes.

But the Trump administration’s new plan to allow drilling for oil and gas off the shores of New England has done just that, forging a bipartisan coalition of fishermen, environmental advocates, industry groups, and scientists against the plan.

At a recent press conference held to denounce the plan, Peter Shelley of the Conservation Law Foundation noted that the last time he stood on the same side as so many fishermen was some four decades ago, when the federal government last pressed such a proposal.

“It’s ridiculous, and very discouraging, that we’re back here 40 years later,” he said....

And I've only been blogging ten.


Also seeEPA’s Pruitt cancels trip to Israel

It's because of the expense, but doesn't Israel usually pick up the tab? They do for Congre$$ and the $tatehou$e.

His place will be filled by Poland.


"Senators urge Trump to take lead on gun-control efforts" by Karoun Demirjian Washington Post  March 04, 2018

WASHINGTON — Senators from both parties are imploring President Trump to take a leading role in pushing for gun-control legislation, arguing that political cover from the president is vital to passing a bill — and to keeping Republicans from getting punished in the upcoming midterm elections.

‘‘I think he knows that the mood of the country has shifted, such that he and his party are going to pay a huge price in the polls in 2018 and 2020 if they don’t start supporting things like universal background checks,’’ Senator Chris Murphy, Democrat of Connecticut, a major proponent of gun control, said on ABC’s ‘‘This Week.’’

The machines have already been rigged, 'eh?

RelatedJoe Biden, in public and private, hints at a 2020 run

Doesn't he have #MeToo problems

The elite string-pullers are running out of candidates, aren't they?

‘‘If he and Republicans don’t start showing some movement in the wake of Parkland, there aren’t going to be as many Republicans around for him come 2019 for his entire agenda and perhaps for his political salvation,’’ the senator continued.

Actually, House Speaker Paul Ryan is confident Republicans will triumph at the polls in November even without the gerrymandering.

Of course, there is always the unexpected.

During a Wednesday meeting with congressional leaders, Trump upended long-held GOP bargaining positions on guns, not only endorsing expanded background checks, but also lending support to a ban on assault weapons and stating that when it comes to confiscating weapons, authorities should ‘‘take the guns first, go through due process second.’’

He just lost his base and proved there is no difference between him and his predecessors. Not only that, he just validated the charges of fascist against him.

In the days since, White House staffers have scrambled to temper that message, while Senator Joe Manchin III, Democrat of West Virginia [who] coauthored with Senator Patrick Toomey, Republican of Pennsylvania, a bill to require universal background checks that failed to pass the Senate in 2013, speaking Sunday on CBS’s ‘‘Face the Nation,’’ added that he believed that ‘‘if President Trump would have been president in 2013, that bill would have passed.’’

Yeah, you need a Republican president to pass gun control, for were it a Democrat president it would be blocked. Just as you needed a Democrat president to provide cover for welfare reform.

Manchin said students from Parkland school are keeping the pressure on, and their message is resonating across the nation. “We see a movement we have never seen before,” he said.

The agenda-driving hyperbole is a tell.

In the past, mass killings generally led to an uptick in sales as people worried about the government restricting access. But with Parkland, things are different. Gun owners apparently have faith that Trump won’t impose more restrictions..... 

I put my faith in no man.


RelatedBill restricting gun purchases heading to vote in Florida Senate

Prosecutors in Cosby retrial want 19 women to testify

Oh, yeah, remember him?

"Scholars around the world say term limits are an essential hallmark of a functional democracy, a tool to check corruption and promote accountability. But on Saturday, President Trump hinted that he may have other ideas. In a freewheeling speech to Republican donors at his Florida estate, Trump praised Chinese President Xi Jinping for ditching term limits, according to a recording of the speech obtained by CNN. ‘‘Maybe we’ll have to give that a shot some day,’’ Trump said....." 

First take away your guns, then hold onto to the office like a dictator! Wow!

Btw, Xi's a lot like Putin from what I read, and wants additional terms to see through his agenda of fighting corruption, eliminating poverty, and transforming China into a modern leading nation by midcentury.

"Putin says Russia will ‘never’ extradite citizens accused by US" Associated Press  March 04, 2018

WASHINGTON — Russia will ‘‘never’’ extradite any of the 13 Russians indicted by the United States for election-meddling, Russian President Vladimir Putin said, even as he insisted they didn’t act on behalf of his government.

Putin’s comments in an NBC News interview airing Sunday illustrated the long odds that the Russian operatives will ever appear in US court to answer charges of running a social media trolling and messaging operation to interfere in the 2016 presidential election.

Of course, there is "no evidence any votes were changed." To admit otherwise would call ALL of THEIR elections into question! 

Even worse, the charges Mueller is bringing are for money laundering and illegal foreign lobbying years before.

The United States has no extradition treaty with Moscow and can’t compel it to hand over citizens, and a provision in Russia’s constitution prohibits extraditing its citizens to foreign countries.

‘‘Never. Never. Russia does not extradite its citizens to anyone,’’ Putin said.

As opposed to say, Colombia or the Czech Republic?

Even if the Russians never face justice in the United States, the sweeping indictment served the added purpose of increasing the public’s awareness about the elaborate foreign campaign to meddle in American democracy, legal analysts have said.

They must be referring to AIPAC.

For years, the Justice Department has supported indicting foreigners in absentia as a way to shame them and make it harder for them to travel abroad.

The detailed, 37-page indictment from special counsel Robert Mueller last month alleges Russian operatives working for the Internet Research Agency used fake social media accounts and on-the-ground political organizing to exacerbate divisive political issues in the United States.

As if the pre$$ needed the help!


Putin must be laughing his ass off by now, and one wonders if the U.S. is trying to influence their election.

Also see
5 die in terror attack at Russian church

That's not funny, nor is the dispatching of the plane crash down the memory hole. Haven't seen a word since.

Instead, one went down a week later in Iran! Same treatment by the pre$$, too.


Italy tilts to the right, populists in national election

My printed paper gave me the AP's version, which has also been rewritten and reedited. 

That occurs more than snow in Rome (guess who was just there).

"Angel Merkel forms government with Social Democrats, ending crisis in Germany" by Melissa Eddy New York Times   March 04, 2018

BERLIN — Germany’s Social Democrats voted in favor of forming another government with Chancellor Angela Merkel’s conservatives, ending nearly six months of political limbo and setting Europe’s economic powerhouse on a path to the political stability it craves — at least for now.

The results announced Sunday clear the way for Merkel, who was long considered a de facto leader of Europe, to remain in the chancellery in Berlin for another four years.

Holding onto it like a guy with a toothbrush musta..... oh, never mind.

It will also allow her to work with French President Emmanuel Macron on overhauling the European Union in a crucial year.

SeeAngry French farmers boo Macron at Paris fair

Merkel will lead a diminished coalition, and many predicted that the country, shaken by the prolonged uncertainty that followed inconclusive elections in September, would not be the same again. Both main parties received their worst postwar results in those elections.

By now, the “grand coalition,” as the tie-up is known, looks anything but grand: In polls, it no longer commands a majority. And the far-right Alternative for Germany party, AfD, now the official main opposition in Parliament, has been gaining momentum.....


Once again, England stands alone.

Meanwhile, over in the Pacific:

"US aircraft carrier to visit Vietnam, with a message for China" New York Times   March 04, 2018

BANGKOK — For the first time since the Vietnam War, a US aircraft carrier is scheduled to make a port call in Vietnam, signaling how China’s rise is bringing together former foes.

Rear Admiral John V. Fuller, commander of the Carl Vinson strike group, said, “We hope to . . . promote security, stability, and prosperity in the region.”

The arrival of the Carl Vinson’s 5,500 sailors will mark the first time such a large contingent of US soldiers has landed on Vietnamese soil since the last US troops left in 1975.

During the four-day port call, the carrier’s personnel will visit an orphanage and a center for victims of Agent Orange, a defoliant used by the US military that is blamed for poisoning generations of Vietnamese.

For the record, that was chemical warfare and a war crime.

For the last month, the Carl Vinson has been deployed in the South China Sea. Six governments have competing claims there. In recent years, Vietnam, in particular, has watched warily as China has transformed bits of rock and reef it controls into sprawling artificial islands that double as military bases.

“The US is virtually the last man standing to which Hanoi can look for support in the South China Sea dispute,” said Murray Hiebert at the Center for Strategic and International Studies.....

Then take a seat, will ya?


Poles march for abortion rights

Hindu woman elected to Pakistan’s Senate

She promptly resigned.

Two top South Korean officials to meet with Kim Jong Un

So much for “Phase 2.”

Syrian troops advance in rebel-held region near capital

Not in print:

Cardinal Pell facing Australian court on sex abuse charges


DACA’s future rests with Congress, courts

I now understand why there is so much print regarding immigrants in my jew$paper. It's part of the agenda.




"Two who died in psychiatric hospitals were improperly medicated, report says" by Liz Kowalczyk Globe Staff  March 05, 2018

Two patients who died at Arbour Health System psychiatric hospitals were improperly medicated with numerous powerful drugs, according to a new report from an organization that investigated the deaths. One 32-year-old man was heavily sedated for days, leaving him unable to speak clearly or even open a cracker package.

The 48-page report from the Disability Law Center in Boston sheds light on the deaths of Michael Bakios and Amber Mace, who both died overnight in their beds in 2015 — Bakios at Westwood Lodge and Mace at Pembroke Hospital.

While the state Department of Mental Health cited hospital staff at the time for not closely monitoring Bakios and Mace and other lapses, the law center’s criticisms went further, focusing on the underlying issue of improper prescribing. Both patients died of “probable cardiac dysrhythmia’’ according to autopsy reports. Life-threatening heart problems are a risk of certain psychiatric drugs.

Christine Griffin, the law center’s outgoing executive director, said the state did not look deeply enough at how many drugs Bakios and Mace were prescribed — a dozen each — and whether they were appropriate. And she said the state did not require adequate improvements.

“I don’t think anyone said loudly enough: ‘This is wrong,’ ’’ Griffin said in an interview.

What it shows is the awesome power of the pharmaceutical companies. This was a problem when I began blogging, and absolutely nothing has changed.

In an e-mailed statement to the Globe, state mental health officials disagreed with that characterization.

Related: Baker ‘extremely disappointed’ with data breach at revenue department

I'm disappointed that they lied about it three times before they "changed course."

Then we find out they were ripping off fathers and keeping child support payments!

Mental health officials said they are not responsible for how drugs are prescribed. “It is not DMH’s role or authority to investigate the specific clinical decisions (including medication decisions) made in individual cases by physicians employed at licensed facilities,’’ said the e-mail from spokeswoman Daniela Trammell.

Arbour spokeswoman Judy Merel said in an e-mail that the company would not comment on the report from the Disability Law Center, which is an independent federally funded organization with congressional authority to investigate abuse and neglect of disabled people.

Attorneys for the families of Mace and Bakios also declined to comment. The report referred to Mace and Bakios by pseudonyms.

A Globe review last June found that the seven psychiatric hospitals then owned by Arbour had repeatedly and sometimes egregiously shortchanged patient care while reaping robust profits.

I called it Arbour Day.

Arbour has long defended its record, saying it cares for some of the state’s most challenging patients. It is owned by Universal Health Services, the biggest psychiatric hospital company in the country.

Asked why a hospital would medicate a patient to such a degree, Griffin, who retired from the law center last week, said she was not certain. “Is it to keep them quiet? Is it to keep them compliant? Is it a doctor who doesn’t know better? I think it is all of these reasons.’’

Gue$$ again.

She said the state should more closely oversee how psychiatric hospitals medicate patients.

Department of Mental Health officials said the agency and the Disability Law Center have “fundamentally different oversight roles.’’ The mental health department “assures compliance with licensing and operational standards,’’ while the law center “has a more specific focus on protection and advocacy on behalf of individual patients,’’ the agency’s e-mail said.....

So the state isn't really looking out for patients?


Storm recovery continues two days after nor’easter

Thus the climate change protest because of the “worst-case scenario.”

In ‘Black Panther,’ activists see a cultural moment for kids that’s not to be missed

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

A more cynical person would see a created interest -- or something even more nefarious.

"A wave of feverish anticipation, fawning critical acclaim, and groundbreaking cultural meaning pushed ‘‘Black Panther’’ to a record-setting $192 million debut in North American theaters, firmly establishing the superhero sensation as a box-office landmark. Last week’s top film, the erotic romance sequel ‘‘Fifty Shades Freed,’’ slid to third place, with $16.9 million in its second week for Universal. Sony’s ‘‘Peter Rabbit’’ held much stronger, taking the No. 2 spot with $17.3 million in its second week....." 

Rule of thumb is a 50% drop off in the second week:

‘‘Black Panther’’ scored one of the best second weekends ever with an estimated $108 million in ticket sales, putting it on track to rank among the highest-grossing blockbusters ever. Ryan Coogler’s Marvel sensation is on a box-office course that few films have managed, according to studio estimates Sunday. It is only the fourth film to earn $100 million in its second weekend. Only ‘‘The Force Awakens’’ had a better second weekend than ‘‘Black Panther,’’ which dropped 47 percent after its opening weekend of $201.8 million. The film’s success didn’t appear to hurt the handful of new releases....."

Not only am I getting mixed messages, I'm getting fantasy regarding the "box-office course that few films have managed." We will see if he has the staying power of Wonder Woman.

If only we could "unravel a Confederate flag, to divide it into its most basic threads and segregate them into red, white, and blue piles, deconstructing the symbol of the Civil War, white supremacy, and racism through conversation."


Gina Scalcione, 77; East Boston activist fought closing of local church

West Brookfield residents look for answers, solace in the anguish of four slayings


The birders are coming!

Don't look up!

Fla. school shooting survivor commits to Mass. college

Ben (of Ben & Jerry’s fame) arrested for noisy protest in Burlington, Vt.

Not in printHarvard professor put on leave amid reports of sexual harassment

What was in printHarvard panel will explore Puerto Rico’s hurricane recovery

What recovery?


David Ogden Stiers of ‘M*A*S*H’ dies at 75

Roger Bannister, 88, first runner to break 4-minute mile

Sammy Stewart, 63, popular pitcher who fought addiction to crack cocaine

He liked the chalk.


Shriners may stop treating young burn patients in Boston under its consolidation plan

"A new app wants you to swab your cheek to match with a genetically compatible date" by Rebecca Robbins, February 26, 2018

Anew online dating app is pitching DNA analysis as a cure for catfishing, endless left swiping, and the myriad other ailments of 21st-century courtship.

Pheramor, which launches this week in Houston with several thousand singles already signed up, operates like a cross between 23andMe and OkCupid. Users swab their cheeks, mail in their samples for sequencing, and then browse profiles of potential dates with whom they’re assigned a compatibility score between 0 and 100 percent.

The analysis is based on a comparison of an immune-modulating gene family known as HLA, or human leukocyte antigens (as well as interests on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter).....


Maybe you can now find your lost love.

The sun got in my eyes when I tried to read that.


Threat of shootings turns school security into a growth industry

I think we ju$t found another rea$on for the $taged and $cripted cri$i$ drill$ being reported a$ live and real.

Tribes to join in demolition ceremony at casino site

They know the problems that come with them.

China to release economic targets

Noble Group paid co-ceo $20 million as company lost $5 billion

Think of it as a reward.


Google’s expansion plans are helping to turn New York City into a tech hub

Then there are pages B14 and B15.



Must have bought them at Macy's because..... sigh.