Saturday, April 28, 2018

Saturday's Sour Pusses

"Some came for the java. Some for the independent releases. And others for the impromptu salons that could stretch for hours while patrons discussed art, local politics, the Pats, and potholes....."

And who knows, they “would love to be able to potentially come out of this, like the phoenix. You burn, and then you rise.” No foolin'.

Here is a guy who won't be rising from the ashes (even with an appeal and acquittal):

Boston College rescinds Bill Cosby’s honorary degree

He's now the face of evil with the wood being taken to him, and getting ridden out of town on a rail. It is “a positive step forward, and it shows that we’ve reached a tipping point in how our culture responds to sexual harassment and assault.”

Of course, as reprehensible as his crimes are, at least he didn't kill anyone (that we know of):

"N.H. man to be charged with murdering former fiancee in North Andover" by Laney Ruckstuhl Globe Correspondent  April 27, 2018

Officials have issued a warrant for the arrest of a Merrimack, N.H., man in connection with the death of his former fiancee whose body was found in her North Andover home last weekend.

Brian Chevalier, 51, had been “previously engaged” to Wendi Davidson, 49, according to a statement from the Essex district attorney’s office Friday.

A neighbor discovered Davidson dead in the basement of her North Andover home last Saturday. The Essex district attorney’s office has said she appeared to have died from strangulation.

Chevalier, who has been accused of past attacks on women, was arrested in Imperial County in Southern California Wednesday for parole violations and a larceny charge out of Massachusetts, according to the district attorney’s statement.

These guys seem to gravitate toward California for some reason.

The district attorney’s office said Chevalier is expected to appear in Imperial County Superior Court Monday on a fugitive from justice charge. He will have the opportunity to waive rendition and agree to return to Massachusetts.

Chevalier had recently been released from New Hampshire state prison. In December, he finished serving 10 years for a 2003 kidnapping of a woman in Cheshire County, according to Department of Corrections records.

According to court records, the kidnapping victim testified that he forcibly engaged her in “sexual bondage.” Chevalier asserted that their interactions were consensual.

He's no Chevalier when it comes to chivalry.

The New Hampshire Union Leader reported at the time of Chevalier’s trial for that assault that the victim was a former girlfriend. She told police that she had been held hostage for 21 hours, the paper reported, during which time Chevalier sexually assaulted her while binding and choking her, and threatened her life.

While Chevalier was convicted of kidnapping in that case, he was acquitted of 10 other charges, including sexual assault and criminal threatening.

The Union Leader reported in 1990 that Chevalier had been indicted on five counts of aggravated felonious sexual assault of a 27-year-old woman. He allegedly choked and raped the woman on multiple occasions. The case was dismissed in a mistrial when the jury was unable to agree on a verdict, the newspaper reported in 1991.

Chevalier was also convicted of assaulting a fellow prisoner in 1995 while serving time in New Hampshire state prison for a burglary charge, according to records.


Amongst the #MeToo moment, the domestic violence issue has been lost. Simpson meant nothing.

"US attorney supports ICE arrest of Chinese immigrant in federal court" by Akilah Johnson Globe Staff  April 27, 2018

In a statement this week, US Attorney for Massachusetts Andrew Lelling lent his support to the arrest of immigrants in federal court, a practice that has drawn the ire of the state court system and immigration advocates and attorneys who have sued to have practice barred.

Lelling’s statement came Thursday, the day after a federal judge in Boston expressed outrage that Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents detained a Chinese woman in court after she was sentenced to probation for using a fake passport and visa.

Xinyan Wang, 27, a student in Pennsylvania, had pleaded guilty to using an assumed name and fraudulent documents to take the Graduate Record Exam, or GRE, as someone else in Boston. After she was sentenced, immigration officials took custody of Wang.

The “agents who escorted Wang out of the courtroom . . . were doing their jobs: enforcing federal law,” Lelling wrote in his statement. “Their efforts to protect the public should be applauded, not criticized.”

Wang, he said, “was a guest in this country” who “answered that invitation by committing a federal felony.”

Michael Shea, acting special agent in charge of US Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations in Boston, said his agency “appreciated the support of the United States attorney and his recognition that the legitimate mission” of ICE might “under certain circumstances require enforcement actions to be carried out in courthouse surroundings.”

This week’s arrest comes amid growing controversy over immigration officials making arrests at state courthouses. Several civil rights groups sued the government last month, asking the state’s highest court to forbid ICE from arresting people inside or near state courthouses, saying the arrests have been chilling for defendants, victims, and witnesses, and trample on the constitutional rights of the accused. 

Except they are not citizens, thus not afforded constitutional rights, and the article began by telling us there were outside of federal courts!

According to the suit, some immigrants who have cases in state courts are defaulting on judge’s orders, violating probation, or failing to receive court-ordered drug and mental health services because they are in ICE custody. Victims are afraid to seek relief and protection from the courts, and witnesses are reluctant to testify for fear of being picked up by immigration officials, the suit said.

On Wednesday, ICE agents appeared at Wang’s sentencing, and, according to a Reuters report on the case, US District Judge Indira Talwani was not pleased when they showed up with the intention of taking Wang into custody, if she was not sentenced to prison in her federal case.

Talwani questioned why officials could not contact Wang’s lawyer so she could turn herself in, Reuters reported. The wire service quoted Talwani as saying, “I see no reason for places of redress and justice to become places that people are afraid to show up.”

Wang was a graduate student at Lehigh University in Pennsylvania working on a fiber optics project that was to be the subject of her dissertation when her adviser’s lab ran out of funding in 2015 or 2016, court documents said. This, the documents said, essentially “put an end to the project on which her PhD was to be based . . . and her graduate education just fell apart.”

Should have joined the union.

She left graduate school in 2016 but didn’t want to leave the country, so she enrolled in a nearby community college in order to keep her student visa, court documents said. But she didn’t have a job. Her $20,000 annual graduate assistantship ended with her graduate education. So she began taking graduate school entrance exams, posing as other people, for money, court documents said.

The Educational Testing Service, which administers the GRE, contacted investigators on Oct. 16, saying they suspected an imposter was scheduled to take the test in a few days, the criminal complaint said. The testing service sent over records that the criminal complaint said showed Wang had taken the GRE or Test of English as a Foreign Language five other times in Pennsylvania and New York.

The photos taken by the company of test-takers each time resembled Wang but she used different names and dates of birth on each of the registration forms and documents she presented at each testing site, the complaint said. And that’s what she did when she checked in to take the test in Boston, documents show.

“It was wrong of course, but she was financially desperate and did not want to take more money from her parents than she already was,” her attorney, Syrie Fried, wrote in the sentencing memo. “Ms. Wang had no conception that she was breaking American law or committing crimes by her behavior. She knew she was violating the integrity of the . . . testing process.”

Ignorance is no defense!


She tried to get a Real ID, but.....

"The RMV had more troubles issuing licenses Thursday and Friday" by Adam Vaccaro Globe Staff  April 27, 2018

Massachusetts was among several states that had problems issuing driver’s licenses Thursday and Friday, the latest troubles to hit the rollout of a new system that has led to long wait times at Registry of Motor Vehicles branches.

The RMV said issues with a national database interfered with licensing, but that the system was working again by Friday afternoon.

The agency first disclosed Thursday afternoon that it could not issue any licenses or permits. By midday Friday it had limited ability to issue and renew licenses, but not to motorists who were using passports or immigration documents to prove their identity under new licensing rules, because of a “national database issue.”

“National system issues impacting licensing in all 50 states,” the RMV tweeted Friday. “Please consider non-urgent license/ID business on another day. We apologize for any inconvenience.”

Motor vehicle departments in other states reported similar issues, including Virginia and New York.

The RMV installed new software in late March that allowed the agency to issue so-called Real ID licenses that are compliant with federal identification rules. Spokeswoman Judith Riley said the new software did not cause the end-of-week licensing problems.

The new documentation requirements, combined with a learning curve for employees using the new software, have led to long delays at many of the state’s RMV branches in the month since the new system was launched.

The shutdown Thursday and Friday could create a backlog of renewals next week that will further slow service. In the first days of the new Real ID system, officials said a brief shutdown of RMV services to install the new system created a backlog of transactions once it was ready.

Although state officials anticipated longer waits because of the changes to the system, they have claimed that the software system itself, installed by Fast Enterprises of Colorado, is mostly working as intended, but.....

BUT WHAT?!!!! 


"Charlie Baker has made great efforts to distance himself from Trump. His party? Not so much" by Frank Phillips Globe Staff  April 27, 2018

Governor Charlie Baker, in what should be a triumphant celebration of his first term and a strong launch of his reelection race, will face pockets of raucous resistance at Saturday’s state Republican convention from his party’s more conservative factions.

As 2,300 delegates gather in Worcester for their annual confab, they are expected to force Baker, a moderate Republican who distances himself from President Trump, to grapple with the party’s anticipated endorsement of state Representative Geoff Diehl, an outspoken Trump ally, in the US Senate race.

How “ironic.” 

Diehl’s strong showing represents deep suspicion and anger among the conservative pro-Trump base of the party, many of whom say they feel aggrieved over how Baker has purged them from the party’s organization and embraced a moderate agenda in his first term.

Plus he has “a lot of statewide grass-roots support.’’

The party-wrangling has emerged despite Baker’s popularity in public polls and $7.9 million political bankroll that dwarfs all Democrats’ campaign funds combined.....


That gets me to the front page and items related:

Buoyed by anti-Trump wave, 13 Democrats chase open Third District seat

Globe has already endorsed Koh.

Report criticizes ex-State Police head for arrest report rewrite

More importantly, there will be NO CHARGES!

We really need an outsider to investigate the State Police.

Such a shame since I began reading this morning with a smile on my face:

"North and South Korea set bold, but difficult, goals for peace" by Choe Sang-Hun New York Times   April 28, 2018

SEOUL — The leaders of North and South Korea agreed Friday to work to remove all nuclear weapons from the Korean Peninsula and, within the year, pursue talks with the United States to declare an official end to the Korean War, which ravaged the peninsula from 1950 to 1953.

At a historic summit, the first time a North Korean leader had ever set foot in the South, the leaders vowed to negotiate a treaty to replace a truce that has kept an uneasy peace on the divided Korean Peninsula for more than six decades, while ridding it of nuclear weapons.

The agreements came at the end of a day of extraordinary diplomatic stagecraft emphasizing hopes for reconciliation and disarmament that was broadcast live around the world, beginning with a smile and handshake that North Korea’s leader, Kim Jong Un, and the South’s president, Moon Jae-in,  shared at the border village of Panmunjom and extending to a quiet, 30-minute talk they had near the end of the day in a wooded area of the village.

The turn-in was just after the handshake, and it didn't take long for the NYT to spoil the mood.

Their meeting was marked by some surprisingly candid moments but still, the agreement was short on details, timetables, and next steps.

But still!

The event, at the Peace House, a conference building on the South Korean side of Panmunjom, was closely watched because it could set the tone for the even more critical summit between President Trump and Kim, two leaders known for bold, if unpredictable, actions who put the world on edge last year with threats of a nuclear war.

Boy, they really killed the joy quickly.

China’s state news media played the summit prominently, even though China had been left on the sidelines with little influence over the proceedings. The Chinese Foreign Ministry praised the courage of the two Korean leaders and said it welcomed “the new journey” for peace on the Korean Peninsula.

Trump thanked President Xi Jinping of China for his “great help” in the process, so let's hope he doesn't stab him in the back.

The tone of the summit — much of which was broadcast live in South Korea but not North Korea — was convivial and at times jocular, with Kim showing surprising honesty about the differences in conditions between the two nations.

Yoon Young-chan, Moon’s spokesman, said Kim acknowledged the poor road conditions in his country, a startling admission for a member of his ruling family, which is considered godlike and faultless among North Koreans. Kim also revealed that the North Koreans who visited the South during the Winter Olympics in February all admired the bullet train there.

After Moon spoke of wanting to visit North Korea, Kim said, “It will be very embarrassing,” alluding to roads there.

Kim also repeated a lighthearted line he had used in his meeting with South Korean envoys who visited Pyongyang, the North Korean capital, last month, apologizing to Moon for disturbing his sleep with missile tests and forcing him to attend meetings of his National Security Council.

“I heard you had your early-morning sleep disturbed many times because you had to attend the NSC meetings because of us,” Kim said. “Getting up early in the morning must have become a habit for you. I will make sure that your morning sleep won’t be disturbed.”

The parties would have to overcome significant obstacles to a formal peace treaty, including China’s likely demand that US troops leave South Korea.

In their joint statement, the two Korean leaders said that within a year, they would push for a trilateral conference with the United States, or a four-party forum that also included China, with the aim of “declaring an end to the Korean War” and intentions to “replace the armistice with a peace treaty.”

Kim and Moon also agreed to improve inter-Korean relations by opening a liaison office in the North Korean border town of Kaesong and arranging a reunion later this year of families separated by the war. And they said Moon would visit Pyongyang in the fall.

Moon, a progressive leader who says he likes to see South Korea “in the driver’s seat” in pushing the peace effort forward, is trying to broker a successful summit between Kim and Trump, which is expected in late May or early June.

Kim rattled the region last year by testing long-range missiles and trading threats of nuclear war with Trump. But then he abruptly shifted gears, saying he was willing to give up his nuclear weapons for the right incentives and proposing the meeting with Trump.....


I'm tired of being whipsawed by the war pre$$ when it comes to peace. They poop on it every time.

"Kim’s peace push leaves dilemma for Trump" by Andy Sharp Bloomberg News  April 27, 2018

Screw it then.

TOKYO — Kim Jong Un’s historic call for peace also included an unspoken message to President Trump: North Korea won’t surrender its nuclear weapons easily.

The agreement Kim reached Friday with South Korean leader Moon Jae-in promised “a new era of peace” and sought a formal end to the seven-decade-old Korean War. While it said both countries are committed to a nuclear-free Korean Peninsula, it gave no details on concrete steps to achieve it.

(Blog editors face turns to frown. I don't care about details right now, they haven't even met yet!)

More ominously, North Korean’s state-run media released a commentary shortly after the agreement was announced calling on the United States to drop its “anachronistic hostile policy” and “bad manners.”

Ours is called a free pre$$.

The commentary declared North Korea a “world-level” political and military power, and said it would contribute to creating “a world without nuclear weapons,” but as a condition for dismantling its nuclear weapons program, North Korea has demanded a peace treaty officially ending the war and making it a recognized nation. It is also expected to seek an end to economic sanctions, and possibly removal of US nuclear weapons that defend South Korea and Japan.

What's the problem?

“If North Korea gets a deal with the United States that serves their interests, they would be happy with that,” said Mintaro Oba, a former State Department official who worked on North Korean issues. “But in the event that things fall apart, they want to be able to blame the United States and alienate it from its South Korean ally in the process.”

Trump expressed optimism on Friday — even declaring “Korean War to end!” — but simultaneously sounded a note of caution. “Good things are happening, but only time will tell!” he said on Twitter.

Friday was filled with unprecedented scenes, starting with Kim’s step over the ankle-high concrete slab dividing the Korean Peninsula — and then his walk back across the border hand-in-hand with Moon.

Kim also called for frequent meetings between the leaders, which would be a major shift given only three summits have taken place since the war. And he capped it off with live remarks to reporters, something no other North Korean leader had done before.

I'm not going to let the pre$$ ruin the good feelings.

Now the attention turns to Kim’s meeting with Trump. It is also unclear what each side means by the word “denuclearization.”

“The commitment to ‘complete denuclearization’ is ambiguous, and subject to different interpretations,” said Youngshik Bong, a researcher at Yonsei University’s Institute for North Korean Studies in Seoul.

So far, it’s not clear whether any of those sensitive topics have been discussed. Trump has vowed to maintain sanctions on North Korea until he gives up his nuclear weapons.

The next few months are crucial. For all the warm words, Kim still claims to possess the capability to strike the United States with a nuclear weapon — and Trump has threatened war to stop him.

“Considering the level of North Korea’s nuclear and missile capabilities now, the declaration today falls short of expectations,” said Shin Beomchul, a director at the Asan Institute for Policy Studies who studies North Korea’s military. “The two leaders left most of the details for denuclearization on Trump.”

While the North Korean leader can still retreat from his peace pledge and go back into escalation mode at any time, Friday’s overt friendliness with Moon could add an obstacle.

They are just looking for any excuse at all to shut down peace.

Every public message Kim sent Friday — including hugging, smiling, and handshaking — was viewed by the world, although the events were not broadcast live in North Korea.

As an entourage of North Koreans stayed behind, Kim approached the border that has divided North and South Korea for almost seven decades. On the South Korean side of that border — marked by a small barrier — Moon was waiting. Both shook hands, before Kim stepped into South Korea.

Kim then went off script, asking the South Korean leader to also step into North Korea.

Kim and Moon then walked off to North Korea hand in hand, where they stayed for some moments before returning and heading to Panmunjom, the so-called ‘‘truce village.’’

These images could go into history as a record of a day when tensions on the Korean Peninsula faded — or as a moment of false hopes.

I know I'm not getting mine up when it comes to the war-promoting pre$$.


RelatedThe pomp and circumstance of the Korea summit

Doesn't he mean Pompeo and Circumstance?

"Pompeo dives into NATO diplomacy as allies confront Russia" Associated Press   April 27, 2018

BRUSSELS — Less than 24 hours after assuming his post, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo plunged Friday into NATO diplomacy as the allies sought to toughen their response to Russian interference on its periphery and elsewhere.

On his first overseas trip as America’s top diplomat, Pompeo hit the ground running with a series of meetings at NATO headquarters in Brussels aimed at underscoring the alliance’s relevance in a crisis-filled global environment that includes persistent or worsening conflicts in Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, and Ukraine. ‘‘The work that’s being done here today is invaluable and our objectives are important and this mission means a lot to the United States of America,’’ Pompeo told NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg. ‘‘The president very much wanted me to get here and I’m glad we were able to make it, and I look forward to a productive visit here today,’’ Pompeo said.

Pompeo’s aim is to ensure that NATO maintains a unified position of ‘‘no business as usual’’ with Russia until it implements an agreement to end violence in eastern Ukraine and halts destabilizing actions for which it is blamed elsewhere, according to a senior US official.

That's where my print ended and where the web version continued.

Those include the poisoning of a former Russian spy in Britain last month and support for the government of Syria’s president, Bashar Assad, which is accused of launching a chemical weapons attack that led three NATO members — Britain, France, and the United States — to launch airstrikes on Syrian targets. 

Flogging those fake false flags again, I see.

At a breakfast meeting focused on Russia, NATO foreign ministers agreed on ‘‘the scale of Russian aggression’’ and that it ‘‘requires a response,’’ according to the US official, who was not authorized to discuss the closed-door meeting publicly and spoke on condition of anonymity.

‘‘We are in a situation where we’ve not been before,’’ Stoltenberg said after the meeting. ‘‘We’re not in the old Cold War, but we’re neither in the strategic partnership we were trying to build after the Cold War. So this is something new.”

“Therefore it’s even more important that we are able to combine, both to be strong and to have a clear position of unity in our approach to Russia, but at the same time to keep the channels for dialogue open,’’ he said. 

So they don't freeze in darkness this winter.

Friday’s meetings will set the stage for a summit of NATO leaders in July at which they are expected to outline more specifics about the response to Russia. The alliance has been trying to hold a meeting of the NATO-Russia Council — which has not met since October 2017, before the July 11-12 summit — but has been unable to arrange it.

Another of Pompeo’s objectives in Brussels is to prod allies, particularly Germany, to meet their commitments to spend 2 percent of their gross domestic product on defense by 2024, according to the official.


Let's pick it up there, shall we?

"Trump, Merkel cordial, but no apparent movement on Iran" By Jonathan Lemire Associated Press  April 27, 2018

WASHINGTON — President Trump welcomed German Chancellor Angela Merkel to the White House on Friday for a visit of less than three hours that apparently did little to mend US-European differences on issues such as trade and the Iran nuclear agreement.

Instead, they stressed the ties between the longtime allies and their shared goal of a nuclear-free North Korea.

Trump greeted Merkel outside the West Wing with a handshake and a kiss on each cheek, a traditional welcome but far short of the bountiful display of personal warmth that was seen earlier in the week when he played host to French President Emmanuel Macron for a three-day state visit.

The state visit is now considered a joke, and is a kiss appropriate these days?

In brief remarks alongside Merkel in the Oval Office, Trump called her an ‘‘extraordinary woman,’’ congratulated her on her recent reelection, and disputed any idea that their rapport was frosty.

‘‘We have a really great relationship. We actually have had a great relationship from the beginning,’’ Trump said.

Though her visit was short on pomp, Merkel’s message was similar to Macron’s — that America and Europe need to bury the hatchet on key issues, including global trade, climate, and international security.

Merkel used her meeting with Trump to try to paper over the differences, and said there was little progress on seeking permanent exemptions for the EU from Trump’s steel and aluminum tariffs. ‘‘The decision lies with the president,’’ she said.

Trump implicitly scolded Germany for not meeting its defense spending obligations to NATO, saying, it is ‘‘essential that our NATO allies increase their financial contribution,’’ to the pact.

Merkel said Germany’s latest budget will take defense spending to 1.3 percent of GDP. She acknowledged that’s far short of the 2 percent goal but said Germany is still aiming for that over time.

If they buy U.S. garbage it won't be a problem. That's what I was told yesterday. His beef is over the lack of weapons sales.

Merkel made a point of flattering Trump on one issue, declaring that the US pressure campaign against North Korea deserved most of the credit for the summit between the leaders of North and South Korea.

Trump praised Germany’s role in the effort but agreed with a reporter’s question that he would be ‘‘the closer’’ in the deal. ‘‘I think I have a responsibility’’ to oversee denuclearization of the Korean peninsula, he said.

While Merkel kept her answers brief, Trump expounded at length on subjects ranging the strength of the US economy under his leadership to the failings of his predecessors in the Oval Office.

Actually, the tax cuts aren’t driving growth so far, and don't ask about the bonuses over at the CFPB; however, he took on the NFL and won (can you hear me now guy didn't really switch?)

The chancellor could not maintain her poker face during a number of Trump’s comments at their news conference, her expression at times rotating between looks of amusement and bewilderment as the president parried with the press corps.

In the hours before Merkel’s arrival at the White House, Trump himself took note of their limited schedule, which included a 30-minute Oval Office meeting, followed by a working lunch and joint news conference.

While Macron and Trump went to great lengths to display their affection through hearty handshakes, hugs — and, at times, air kisses — the president has not displayed the same chemistry with Merkel.

In their first White House meeting last spring, Trump seemed to ignore photographers’ prompts to give Merkel the traditional photo-op handshake. And the chancellor looked on unhappily when Trump upbraided NATO nations last summer for not spending enough on defense as he stood in NATO’S gleaming new Brussels headquarters.

While Macron has been positioning himself as Europe’s ‘‘Trump whisperer’’ and conduit to an American president who seems intent on upending US relationships with allies, Merkel maintains her strength as the head of the largest economy in Europe.

And if this visit produces a similar lack of bonhomie, that might just be fine with Merkel, who has little to gain at home by being overly friendly with Trump, according to German political analyst Jan Techau.

‘‘For Merkel, it’s quite important domestically not to be seen to be getting too close to Trump,’’ said Techau, a senior fellow at think tank The German Marshall Fund of the United States.

Anti-American sentiment has been growing again in Germany since Trump’s election, with mainstream media regularly portraying the US president as a threat to the world.....

Anti-American sentiment at the same time that the AfD and far right is ascendant?


Don't worry, there is still a ‘‘beacon of hope, for our governments are listening.’’

Arizona, Colorado teachers rally, schools close for 2nd day

"Brokaw denies sexual misconduct claim by former reporter" Associated Press  April 27, 2018

NEW YORK — A woman who worked as a war correspondent for NBC News said Tom Brokaw groped her, twice tried to forcibly kiss her, and made inappropriate overtures attempting to have an affair, according to two published reports.

Linda Vester told Variety and The Washington Post that the misbehavior from the longtime news anchor at the network took place in NBC offices in Denver and New York in the 1990s, when she was in her 20s.

Variety reported that Vester, now 52, showed them journals from the time that corroborated the story.

Brokaw, who is 78 and has been married since 1962, denied doing anything inappropriate.

‘‘I met with Linda Vester on two occasions, both at her request, 23 years ago because she wanted advice with respect to her career at NBC,’’ Brokaw said in a statement to the two outlets issued through NBC News.

‘‘The meetings were brief, cordial, and appropriate, and despite Linda’s allegations, I made no romantic overtures towards her at that time or any other,’’ he said.

Another woman, who was not identified, made similar claims about Brokaw to the Post. 

In the wake of Cosby, this is not good.

Vester, who had reported from the Middle East and covered the Gulf War for NBC, was 28 when she was in Colorado in 1993 with Brokaw to cover Pope John Paul II’s visit to the United States.

‘‘We were in the Denver bureau, and there was a conference room. I’m standing there, and Tom Brokaw enters through the door and grabs me from behind and proceeds to tickle me up and down my waist,’’ she told Variety.

Vester said others were in the room, but no one ‘‘acted like anything wrong was happening.”

‘‘He was the most powerful man at the network, and I was the most junior person,’’ she said.

Vester said the next year in New York, Brokaw sent her suggestive computer messages in the office before later announcing on the phone that he was coming to her hotel room.

Vester said she felt powerless to tell him not to come.

‘‘He grabbed me behind my neck and tried to force me to kiss him,’’ she told Variety. ‘‘I was shocked to feel the amount of force and his full strength on me.’’

She said Brokaw left when she broke away and made it clear she did not want any more.

Vester left NBC in 1999 to work at Fox News, where she remained until 2006.

Brokaw is the most recent of many media personalities to be accused of sexual misconduct in recent months, including his former colleague Matt Lauer, who left the ‘‘Today’’ show and the network after several women came forward with allegations.

Lauer has admitted that he acted inappropriately, but denies any coercive or abusive behavior.



"Tom Brokaw denied sexual misconduct charges and told friends in a late-night email that he felt "ambushed and then perp walked" in the media as an avatar of male misogyny and stripped of his honor and achievement.

How does it feel being on the other side?

The 78-year-old broadcast journalist penned an emotional response to accusations that he had made unwanted advances on a former colleague, writing that "it is 4:00 a.m. on the first day of my new life as an accused predator in the universe of American journalism." The letter was first reported in the Hollywood Reporter and confirmed by The Associated Press.

Brokaw, meanwhile, withdrew on Friday as a commencement speaker at Connecticut's Sacred Heart University next month, saying his appearance would be a distraction.

The Washington Post and Variety reported the charges by Linda Vester, a former NBC News and Fox News Channel correspondent. Brokaw said he never sought an affair, and that Vester had approached him for advice. He said that he "may have leaned over for a perfunctory good night kiss" on the cheek in London.....



Maybe they can test the DNA:

"Genealogy site didn’t know it was used to seek serial killer" by Michael Balsamo Associated Press  April 27, 2018

SACRAMENTO — The genealogy website used to find the man accused of being California’s Golden State Killer had no idea its database was tapped in pursuit of a suspect who eluded law enforcement for four decades, the site’s cofounder said Friday.

The revelation came as former police officer Joseph DeAngelo made his first court appearance. Handcuffed to a wheelchair in orange jail scrubs, he looked dazed and spoke in a faint voice to acknowledge he was represented by a public defender. He did not enter a plea.

Authorities never approached Florida-based GEDmatch about the investigation that led to DeAngelo, and cofounder Curtis Rogers said law enforcement’s use of the site raised privacy concerns that were echoed by civil liberties groups.

The free genealogy website, which pools DNA profiles that people upload and share publicly to find relatives, said it has always informed users its database can be used for other purposes. But Rogers said the company does not ‘‘hand out data.’’

‘‘This was done without our knowledge, and it’s been overwhelming,’’ he said.

It's worse than Cambridge Analytica, isn't it?

For the team of investigators tracking the attacker suspected of killing 13 people and raping nearly 50 women during the 1970s and ’80s, GEDmatch was one of the best tools, lead investigator Paul Holes told the Mercury News in San Jose.

Officials did not need a court order to access GEDMatch’s large database of genetic blueprints, Holes said. Major commercial DNA companies say they do not give law enforcement access to their genetic data without a court order.

Investigators used DNA gathered at the crime scene and created a fake profile and pseudonym on the genealogy website several months ago, The New York Times reported, citing law enforcement officials. The genealogy site delivered several matches of individuals who were distant relatives of the suspect, which were used to track him.

DeAngelo, 72, was arrested Tuesday after investigators matched crime-scene DNA with genetic material stored online by a distant relative. From there, they narrowed the search down to the Sacramento-area grandfather using DNA obtained from an item he discarded, Sacramento County District Attorney Anne Marie Schubert said.

Civil libertarians said the practice raises legal and privacy concerns for the millions of people who submit their DNA to such sites to discover their heritage.

That sure puts the ads on TV in a different light. No wonder it is being promoted so heavily. The $urveillance $tate needs a DNA database!

There are not strong privacy laws to keep police from accessing ancestry site databases, said Steve Mercer, the chief attorney for the forensic division of the Maryland Office of the Public Defender.

‘‘People who submit DNA for ancestors testing are unwittingly becoming genetic informants on their innocent family,’’ Mercer said, adding that they ‘‘have fewer privacy protections than convicted offenders whose DNA is contained in regulated databanks.’’

I don't care about my ethnic ancestry. 

I'm me!

Although people may not realize that police can use public genealogy websites to solve crimes, it is probably legal, said Erin Murphy, a DNA expert and professor at New York University School of Law.

‘‘It seems crazy to say a police officer investigating a very serious crime can’t do something your cousin can do on a Tuesday,’’ Murphy said. ‘‘If an ordinary person can do this, why can’t a cop? On the other hand, if an ordinary person had done this, we might think they shouldn’t.’’

Although most consumers would have to get a genetic profile from a commercial company such as and 23andMe, the police may have obtained the DNA profile in their crime lab before uploading it to GEDmatch, she said.

DNA was just coming into use as a criminal investigative tool in 1986 when the predator, also known as the East Area Rapist, apparently ended his decade-long wave of attacks.

As a former police officer, DeAngelo probably would have known about the new method, experts said.

Police at the time suspected they were chasing a fellow cop or armed services member because he was so methodical and meticulous, said Wendell Phillips, a former Sacramento deputy who joined the hunt for the rapist who terrorized the suburbs east of the state capital.

In fact, officers assigned to a special task force were required to submit saliva samples to exclude anyone who shared a genetic trait, Phillips said. About 85 percent of people secrete their blood type in saliva and body fluids, but the rape suspect was in the roughly 15 percent who didn’t.

‘‘Obviously, you didn’t want the East Area Rapist on the team,’’ Phillips said. ‘‘That turned out to be a pretty good concern.’’

No one who knew DeAngelo over the decades connected him with the string of crimes throughout California from 1976 to 1986.

DeAngelo worked nearly three decades in a Sacramento-area supermarket warehouse as a truck mechanic, retiring last year. He was known by neighbors in suburban Citrus Heights for keeping his lawn manicured and cussing loudly.

Investigators are removing virtually everything from DeAngelo’s home in search of mementos such as class rings, earrings, and photos taken from crime scenes as well as weapons, Jones said.

DeAngelo, who has been charged with eight counts of murder, is on suicide watch in the psychiatric ward of the county jail and has been muttering to himself, said Sacramento County Sheriff Scott Jones. Authorities said more charges are likely to be filed later.

Police in the central California city of Visalia said Thursday that DeAngelo is now a suspect in a 13th killing and about 100 burglaries that occurred while he was a police officer in the neighboring farm town of Exeter from 1973 to 1976.


Maybe he can blame the Russians:

"Final House report clears Trump campaign in Russian meddling" by Nicholas Fandos New York Times   April 27, 2018

WASHINGTON — Republicans on the House Intelligence Committee isssued a final, redacted report Friday that found no evidence during a monthslong investigation that the Trump campaign aided Russia’s election meddling.

In the 250-page report, the lawmakers assailed President Trump’s political rivals and criticized the FBI and intelligence agencies for their responses to Moscow’s interference.

In dissenting views, Democrats on the committee accused the Republicans of prematurely closing the investigation out of a desire to protect Trump and asserted that eagerness by Trump campaign associates to accept offers of Russian assistance suggest “a consciousness of wrongfulness, if not illegality.”

Well, if it wasn't illegal..... sigh.

The strikingly divergent conclusions closed a chapter for a congressional committee that, while charged with oversight of US spy agencies, has fractured into warring factions that often seemed to see the advancement of political agendas as their primary mission.

In the charged political climate that has engulfed Washington, the report — the first out of several government investigations into Russia’s interference — is certain to serve as a useful political tool for Trump and his allies.

The president quickly seized on the Republicans’ findings, touting the conclusions on Twitter.

Related: "Former FBI director James Comey has dominated news headlines while promoting his book about ethical leadership."


That's like a fox promoting his security credentials in regards to the henhouse!

Republicans did not entirely spare Trump’s campaign in their report, but their criticisms were in most cases limited to bad judgment.

Because that's likely all it was. 

“While the committee found that several of the contacts between Trump associates and Russians — or their proxies, including WikiLeaks — were ill-advised, the committee did not determine that Trump or anyone associated with him assisted Russia’s active measures campaign,” the Republicans wrote.

Wikileaks didn't get the stuff from the Russians, they got it from Seth Rich and other fed-up Democrats.

Republicans criticized the Obama administration for a “slow and inconsistent” response to Russia’s active measures. And they admonished the campaign of Hillary Clinton and the Democratic National Committee for hiring Fusion GPS, a research firm, to investigate ties between Trump associates and Russia. The firm in turn hired Christopher Steele, a former British spy, who produced a salacious dossier outlining a conspiracy between the campaign and the Russians.

That's about as close to investigating those matters as my pre$$ gets.

The full House report, heavily blacked out in parts by US intelligence agencies, includes recommendations on issues as diverse as cyber and election security, as well as a call for the executive branch to consider administering mandatory polygraph tests to political appointees with top-secret security clearances who are not confirmed by the Senate.

Like Jared Kushner? 

What is he up to these days anyway?

Although they absolved the Trump campaign, the Republicans warned that the government of President Vladimir Putin of Russia would be back without significant deterrence efforts.


The investigation was one of several by the government into Russian election interference and possible ties to the Trump campaign. The Justice Department’s special counsel investigation is continuing, and the Senate Intelligence Committee is moving forward in its own.

Representative Devin Nunes, the California Republican who leads the committee, became a reliable ally for Trump who engaged in attempts to pin blame on Obama administration officials and so-called deep state bureaucrats to undermine Trump.

Well, if the shoe fits!

In a separate development Friday, newly released e-mails showed that in at least one instance Natalia V. Veselnitskaya, the Russian lawyer who met with Trump campaign officials in 2016, worked hand in glove with Russia’s chief legal office to thwart a Justice Department civil fraud case against a well-connected Russian firm.

Veselnitskaya, who sought the meeting at Trump Tower on the premise that she would deliver damaging information about Hillary Clinton, had long insisted that she is a private attorney, not a Kremlin operative.

In an interview broadcast Friday by NBC News, she acknowledged that she was not merely a private lawyer but a source of information for a top Kremlin official, Yuri Y. Chaika, the prosecutor general.....

That's it? 

That's the "collusion?"


They are still sticking it to Paul Manafort, case being handled by US District Judge Amy Berman Jackson, and Michael Cohen, whose case is being handled by Clinton trollop Kimba Wood.

And now this:

"Woman charged with stealing funds from Museum of Russian Icons in Clinton" by Travis Andersen Globe Staff  April 27, 2018

The former business manager of the Museum of Russian Icons in Clinton pleaded guilty Friday to a federal wire fraud charge for stealing hundreds of thousands of dollars from the organization over a three-year period, according to prosecutors and legal filings.

Jennifer Delorey McNamara, 36, of Clinton, entered her plea in US District Court in Worcester, US Attorney Andrew E. Lelling’s office said in a statement.

McNamara’s lawyer, Peter Ettenberg, said drugs were a factor in the case.

“The only comment I will have is that my client is extremely remorseful and she is one of the examples of how terrible the opioid problem is and that it can strike anyone,” Ettenberg wrote in an e-mail.

McNamara faces a maximum prison term of 20 years when she’s sentenced on Aug. 2, as well as a fine of up to twice the amount that she stole, according to the release.....

Wow, bankers got nothing!

There is even a “diplomatic component. The Museum of Russian Icons enhances relations between Russia and the United States,” so you can blame her for the war.


"3 killed as Gaza protesters again charge fence" by Iyad Abuheweila New York Times   April 27, 2018

They haven't been charging fence! 

Is that how you are going to start it out, NYT?

GAZA CITY — Urged on by a Hamas leader who told them not to fear death but to welcome martyrdom, hundreds of Palestinian protesters tried to cross the security barrier from Gaza into Israel on Friday, and Gaza officials said at least three people were killed.

Israeli troops defended the fence with lethal force. The military said it responded after some protesters threw explosives, firebombs, and rocks, while others rolled burning tires toward the fence.

Witnesses said that at one point two Palestinians approached the fence with handguns, and one fired at least seven rounds at Israeli soldiers before the two fled. The soldiers threw a hand grenade in response, the witnesses said, but the armed men were long gone.

I'm wondering how they got them, and honestly, it smells like another false flag -- if it even happened at all.

As of Friday evening, the Gaza Health Ministry said three protesters had been killed, all of them shot in the head. About 600 others had been wounded, about 200 of them by live ammunition, it said.

Using wire cutters, hooks, and winches, the demonstrators tried to pull down the barriers that Israeli forces have relied upon to hold back the protesters. The demonstrators have increasingly vowed to rush into Israel and reclaim the lands their forefathers left behind.

Okay, that does it! 

The NYT can go fly a kite

Yup, the unarmed Gazan protesters are threatening to invade Israel!!

Never mind the Zionists continuous stealing of land!

This was the fifth straight week of demonstrations in a series billed as the Great Return March, meant to highlight the decade-old Israeli blockade of the impoverished coastal enclave as well as to rekindle international sympathy for Palestinian refugees’ claim of a right to return to what is now Israel. 

Fifth straight week, and only deserving of coverage on Slow Saturdays now.

At least 40 demonstrators were killed and 1,600 wounded in the first four weekly protests.

Print ends there, at least the number is now up to 40 (plus the three yesterday, right?).

That is where the print piece ended.

A 21-year-old man who gave his name only as Ahmed said he had seen five men shot as they pulled away a barbed-wire barrier which demarcates a buffer zone just inside Gaza territory and amounts to the Israelis’ first line of defense

So even if they break through the fences, they are in a no-mans land. 

That's not the impression I was left with earlier. The NYT seemed to imply a wave of invaders busting through the fence!

But for the first time since these protests began on March 30, witnesses and Israeli officials confirmed, at least some of the Palestinians trying to cross into Israel made it as far as the second barrier about 30 yards away — an electrified, sensor-laden fence that runs along the 1949 armistice line separating Gaza from Israel.

Oh, there is a SECOND BARRIER, huh? 


Why are those Israeli snipers shooting at all then?

Ibrahim Shahid, 26, said he was among a group of about 12 men who cut through the barbed wire and then began climbing the electrified fence. He said he saw an Israeli soldier firing “randomly” at the group and added that three men were shot in the head. Another, he said, was shot in the abdomen and wounded.

“One of them — his last breath was on my shoulder,” Shahid said, his T-shirt soaked with blood.

One Israeli soldier threw a grenade at the group, he said. Asked how he had avoided injury, he added, “I was lucky.”

(I'm speechless at the inhuman Israeli monsters)

Hamas militant group has called the protests peaceful, though participants have thrown firebombs at Israeli soldiers and are routinely attaching them to kites that sail over the fence, setting fires to Israeli farmland

Makes up for all the olive trees the Zionist settlers have burned down.

So that's the Palestinian Air Force, huh? 

A bunch of kites with molotov cocktails attached?

Israel, defending its use of deadly force, has described the protests as riots that could turn into an invasion at any time.

That is so far out there it doesn't dignify a response.

An Israeli military spokesman, Lieutenant Colonel Jonathan Conricus, said soldiers used live fire in Friday in response to what he called “a serious attempt to tear down the fence” involving at least 20 or 30 Palestinians who tried to attach a hook to it to pull it down with a winch.

“It again shows exactly what we are talking about,” he said. “This is not a peaceful demonstration. There’s nothing serene about this. They’re trying to infiltrate into Israel, damage our infrastructure, and kill Israelis.”

Have you checked out the Israeli-created rubble in Gaza over the years?

Reminded that Israel’s critics have denounced the country for attacking unarmed demonstrators with deadly force, Conricus said: “They aren’t the ones defending Israeli citizens from a hateful mob of thousands of Palestinians. It doesn’t matter if someone is carrying flowers if he’s tearing down the fence. That’s a violent threat.”

I am so sick of these guys and their whining, and so is the rest of the world.

Israeli officials some some of the protesters at Friday’s rally threw explosives, firebombs, and rocks, while others rolled burning tires toward the fence.

The protests are building toward what is meant to be a climax on May 15, when Palestinians will mark the 70th anniversary of what they call the Nakba, or catastrophe — the establishment of Israel and the war surrounding its creation. During this time, hundreds of thousands of Palestinians fled or were expelled from their villages.

That last sentence is as close as they get to describing Israel's ethnic cleansing and genocide.

Friday’s demonstration at the eastern edge of Gaza City — adjacent to the old Karni Crossing, a cargo terminal that allowed goods to cross between Israel and Gaza until it was shut down in 2011 — started relatively late in the day.

But thousands began rushing toward the barrier fence after a rousing speech by the senior Hamas leader Ismail Radwan, setting off a tremendous barrage of tear gas from the Israeli side that did not deter many.

“When we are brave, we are getting closer toward martyrdom, martyrdom, martyrdom,” he said.


As usual, the U.N. is complaining about Israeli actions while doing nothing about it, and I saw something somewhere where some Israeli minister called Palestinian kids a nest of snakes deserving to be killed.

It's all in the stars, I guess:

"What’s your sign? Millennials want to know" by Rachel Raczka Globe Correspondent  April 27, 2018

Banu Guler, founder of Co—Star, an app said to use predictive AI and NASA data to provide emoji-coded horoscopes, star chart profiles, and “hyper-personalized astrology,” believes astrology is about a sense of belonging, a mechanism many of us reach for as a means to feel more understood.

“Most young people don’t use astrology the way older generations did. Instead, [millennials] use it as a tool to define who they are and how they relate to each other,” Guler said.

While young people’s access to data is ever-growing, they continue to be astrology’s biggest supporters. The National Science Foundation has repeatedly polled Americans about their attitudes toward astrology, reporting over the years a decreasing belief that the practice can be considered “scientific.” Nevertheless, young people are the most likely to view astrology as scientific, in some way.

There the kids go again! 

I blame the indoctrinating and inculcating ejewkhazion $y$tem.

Still, many young astrology fans see it as less about science and more about spirituality — and compatibility.....

You know what I'm not compatible with?


Yup, "despite decades of well-documented debunking," the Globe found it newsworthy.

RelatedHow ‘Fortnite’ took over your kids’ lives in a few short months

See: Can We Talk?

Gotta get that frown of your face first.