Monday, August 20, 2018

Back Down to Earth

After being sent into orbit and getting lost in space with yesterday's New York Sunday Times,  the Globe's lead story calls for a cab:

"Michael Cohen, Donald Trump’s ex-lawyer, investigated for bank fraud in excess of $20 million" by William K. Rashbaum and Ben Protess New York Times   August 20, 2018

NEW YORK — Federal authorities investigating whether President Trump’s former personal lawyer and fixer, Michael Cohen, committed bank and tax fraud have zeroed in on well over $20 million in loans obtained by taxi businesses that he and his family own, according to people familiar with the matter.

People familiar with the matter. Who would they be?

Investigators are also examining whether Cohen violated campaign finance or other laws by helping to arrange financial deals to secure the silence of women who said they had affairs with Trump. The inquiry has entered the final stage and prosecutors are considering filing charges by the end of August, two of the people said.

They tell you the source with the very next word, hah! The article is based on a leak from the DA's office. That's the only way they would know, and that's all they have for charges? More bank and tax fraud? One is left to ask where were the previous authorities regarding these charges, and if they are the same officials why now? 

That is not a defense of Cohen, btw. I'm sure he's been up to some untoward if not illegal $tuff.

Any criminal charges against Cohen would deal a significant blow to the president. Cohen, 52, worked for the president’s company, the Trump Organization, for more than a decade. He was one of Trump’s most loyal and visible aides and called himself the president’s personal lawyer after Trump took office.

Okay, the motive for the article and its placement has been established.

The bank loans under scrutiny, the total of which has not been previously reported, came from two financial institutions in the New York region that have catered to the taxi industry, Sterling National Bank and the Melrose Credit Union, according to business records and people with knowledge of the matter, including a banker who reviewed the transactions.

Federal investigators in New York are seeking to determine whether Cohen misrepresented the value of his assets to obtain the loans, which exceed $20 million.

They are also examining how he handled the income from his taxi medallions and whether he failed to report it to the IRS.

What does all this have to do with election interference in 2016, other than a device to pressure this scum to spill?

The two lenders were cited in the search warrants for raids that federal agents conducted this spring on Cohen’s office, home, and a hotel room where he was staying, several of the people familiar with the matter have said.

Sterling received a grand jury subpoena seeking records related to the loans, one of the people said.

There is no indication that either bank suffered a loss as a result of the loans or that Cohen missed payments, which are ordinarily important aspects in a bank fraud case. Although bank fraud without a loss is rarely charged on its own, it is sometimes charged in conjunction with other crimes, which may be what happens in Cohen’s case.


They are thinking of charging him with bank fraud when there was no bank fraud! Maybe in conjunction with later charges, but if this elemental charge that is wrapping up the case is bogus, the later charges threat is a thread of hope and evidence of pressure tactics.

And talk about disinformation, distortion, and conspiracy theories! New York Times is trying to push their political agenda and wishful thinking with this slop (and the Globe front paged it, frown) and they holler at any who questions their veracity? Puh-leeze!

At this late stage of the inquiry, it is still possible that Cohen may plead guilty rather than face an indictment. He has hinted publicly and has stated explicitly in private that he is eager to tell prosecutors what he knows in exchange for leniency.

Is that was this is, a deal in the works?

A cooperation agreement would probably include a provision that Cohen also provide information to the special counsel, Robert Mueller, who is investigating possible involvement by the Trump campaign in Russia’s meddling in the 2016 election.

Like I said, it's pressure tactics, etc.

It is unclear whether the prosecutors and Cohen’s lawyers have had detailed discussions about a potential cooperation deal, but it is unlikely that the government would bring charges without having done so, but if a plea deal is not reached, either because Cohen and prosecutors cannot agree on the terms or because prosecutors determine he does not have valuable information or is not credible, the government would probably seek to bring charges well before the midterm elections.

Oh, a but, but, if, if I wanted to watch legal analysts bandied about speculation, I would watch some TV program.

If the matter is not finalized by the end of August, prosecutors probably will wait until after the election, one of the people familiar with the inquiry said in recent weeks. That schedule would conform with the Justice Department’s informal policy of avoiding bringing politically sensitive cases that could influence voters close to an election.

That's why they deep-fixed the Clinton email corruption case. Only reason Comey brought up Weiner at the end was because the NYPD found the stuff and told the federal DAs office that they would only turn it over if the FBI publicly acknowledged receipt, and if not they would expose it themselves.

Cohen and his lawyers declined to comment on the investigation when contacted over the weekend and last week.

Federal officials in New York and Washington also would not comment.

Hi, this is the (name of flack here) from the New York Times (call abruptly ends as other end hangs up the line).

The investigation into Cohen burst into public view April 9, when federal authorities searched his home, office and the hotel room, a move that sent a seismic wave through Washington and rattled Trump’s inner circle.

The investigation began under Mueller, who then referred the evidence to the US Attorney’s Office in Manhattan. That office is now leading the inquiry along with the FBI and IRS, which have conducted an extensive review of Cohen’s personal business activities.

Days after the search, Cohen went to court in an attempt to limit the evidence prosecutors could review, claiming much of what was seized was covered by attorney-client privilege. Trump joined the effort.

During that litigation, prosecutors revealed that they had been investigating Cohen for fraud for “months” and had previously obtained a search warrant for his e-mail accounts.

Trump railed against the investigation on Twitter and complained that “attorney-client privilege is dead.” His lawyer, Rudy Giuliani, referred to the agents who carried out the searches as “storm troopers.” (The normally combative Cohen, for his part, told an interviewer that they were “were extremely professional, courteous, and respectful.”)

At the time, some of Trump’s advisers came to view the investigation into Cohen as more dangerous to the Trump presidency than Mueller’s inquiry.

In recent decades, Cohen has had a wide range of personal business interests, in addition to his work for the Trump Organization. He was a real estate investor, had a personal injury law practice, and was involved with a gambling boat in Florida, but federal investigators appear to be especially focused on his work as an investor in taxi medallions, the permits that drivers need to legally operate yellow cabs in New York City.

Uber is clearing them out, thank God.

A review of court filings, business and property records, and interviews with people with knowledge of the matter has provided the clearest picture to date of the scope of that inquiry.

One witness who could provide evidence about the possible bank and tax fraud is Evgeny Freidman, Cohen’s longtime friend and former business associate who began cooperating with federal prosecutors this spring.

Freidman, known as the Taxi King for his once vast and longtime holdings in that industry, managed taxi medallions owned by Cohen and his family between 2012 and 2018. In 2016, a federal judge found that Freidman, a lawyer who was disbarred earlier this year, had transferred more than $60 million into offshore trusts to avoid paying debts. New York City regulators have barred him from continuing to manage medallions.

Bo$ton had one of those, too! 

Thank God for Uber!

Freidman was facing up to 25 years in prison in an unrelated state fraud case in Albany involving his taxi business, but he struck a deal with state prosecutors under which he avoided prison in return for cooperating with federal authorities investigating Cohen.

Several people with knowledge of the matter have said investigators are focusing, in part, on precisely what was done with the monthly payments of the income from the taxi medallions that Freidman made to Cohen, what representations Cohen made to the banks about those payments, and whether they were reported on Cohen’s taxes.

Freidman’s lawyer, Patrick J. Egan, said Friday, “It would be against Mr. Freidman’s interest to make a public statement regarding an ongoing criminal investigation.”

What this all traces back to, and what we will never see in the Globe, is money-laundering for the Jewi$h mafia with the loot coming out of the Ukraine, which is somewhat of a transfer station for all the worldwide loot that needs to be laundered.

Andrew MacMillan, a spokesman for Sterling, declined to comment, and a spokesman for Melrose did not respond to a message seeking comment.

A Long Island accountant who worked for Cohen and Freidman could also provide testimony about the payments, according to several people with knowledge of the matter. The accountant, Jeffrey A. Getzel, has testified before the grand jury hearing evidence against Cohen.

Getzel’s lawyer, Peter J. Larkin, declined to comment.

It is unclear whether prosecutors might seek to charge Cohen with conduct related to the presidential campaign or his work for Trump.....

Oh, yeah, that. If there were something, they wouldn't be wrapping up, would they?

By the time you finish the piece you realize it's nothing but a page A1 axe-grinding hatchet job, and nothing more. This is essentially a none story, just Trump's in trouble even though the charges have nothing to do with him. It's pressure tactics by the special counsel's office, and what an abysmal failure they must be. 


I spoke too soon, they found a tape:

"The recording was among 12 handed over to prosecutors from a trove of Cohen’s material that FBI agents seized in April. It is the only recording of substance between Cohen and Trump, according to people familiar with the material. Others include Cohen speaking to broadcast media figures, according to the people. The tape also shows how enmeshed the Trump Organization had become in politics and the effort to protect Trump’s image. Cohen can be heard telling Trump that he had consulted with the company’s chief financial officer, Allen Weisselberg, “when it comes time for the financing” of the payments to the Enquirer’s parent company. Cohen’s lawyers argued that Trump’s team manufactured a dialogue to make it more favorable for their client. “They have been getting away with saying that a lie is the truth and don’t believe the media,” said Lanny J. Davis, a lawyer for Cohen. “But they walked into a trap here because a tape is a tape. It’s a fact. If you’re for Donald Trump, don’t believe me. I’m a Democrat. Believe your own ears.”

Are they like the never-produced Omarosa tapes, who had her week of fame apparently because she is now missing from the Globe's pages. They must have finally figured out how foolish they were looking and how played they had been)?

As for Lanny Davis is a Clinton crony and Democratic fixer. This is going nowhere (that's why Sessions is laughing and closing ranks as he visits. Should have fired him long ago, and I guess Jim Jordan won't be wrestling away the House Speakership anytime soon). Kavanaugh will protect all the secrets as the pre$$ continues to kick him around.


"The lawyer representing an adult-film actress who claims to have had an affair with President Trump stuck his toes deeper into electoral waters Sunday as he addressed about 200 people at a picnic held by New Hampshire Democrats. Michael Avenatti told attendees at the Hillsborough County Democrats’ fund-raiser that, “In normal times, I would not be with you today. I would be back in Los Angeles enjoying my good fortune. But these — as all of you know — are anything but normal times.” Despite the outspoken attorney’s frequent appearances on cable news shows criticizing Trump, the pugnacious president has been uncharacteristically quiet about Avenatti, though he referred to Daniels as “a total con job” in a tweet that led Avenatti to file a defamation suit against the president. Avenatti said in media interviews that he would run for president in 2020 if Trump seeks reelection and “if I think that there is no other candidate in the race that has a REAL chance at beating him,” and he has recently become a fixture at Democratic events. Sunday marked Avenatti’s first appearance as a potential candidate in the state that holds the first-in-the-nation presidential primary. In a polished stump speech, Avenatti drew on a biblical metaphor to describe Democrats. “In the eternal battle of Davids versus Goliaths, we are the party of Davids,” he said. He also told reporters there is a “significant” chance Trump won’t seek reelection or even serve a full four-year term in office, depending on the outcome of special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 election and whether Democrats make big gains in Congress in November. Francie Smith, 69, a retired first-grade teacher, said she worries about Trump’s impact on the future of women’s rights. “I say often to my husband [Joseph Smith, 73, a retired Army veteran from Amherst, N.H.], ‘Think about what kind of a world you want those girls to be growing up in,’ ” she said. “Think of the Supreme Court.”

Let me process that for a minute (I notice a theme in today's Bo$ton Globe Lawerly as well). 

Was the woman just ignorant of where she was? She is worried about the kind of world girls will be growing up in? Consider who is his client and her indu$try? Is that the kind of world you want them growing up in, never mind the pedophelia and ruling cla$$ perversions that are pandemic these days? 

On the other hand, I can see why they would be in favor of retaining the right to abortions. I mean, if the girl is going to work in fornication films of questionable taste, you know, sometimes a sperm slips past the goal post! 

The third thing you realize is now that the treason talk has subsided and the Obama spying has been outed, the pre$$ has turned the page back to the porn

He's your guy, Democrats! Just got the Globe's endorsement!

RelatedOn Trump-obsessed cable TV, the defense never rests

The offense (as they pat themselves on the back) never rests in the Globe.

"College-bound? The fees could end up being a big surprise" by Deirdre Fernandes Globe Staff  August 20, 2018

It’s turned into something of a summertime ritual: decoding the college bill.

Colleges and universities across the country sent out their invoices in recent weeks for the upcoming school year. Beyond traditional tuition, room, and meal costs itemized in the statements, institutions have tacked on a dizzying array of fees over the years, adding thousands of dollars to the cost of earning a degree and often leaving students and their families confused about why the final tab is higher than they expected.

Drives up $tudent debt too, a crucial lever of control later in life -- or at least a stream of revenue for some lender, even the government.

The pile-on can be overwhelming: There’s the athletic center fee and the mentoring fee, a capital projects fee and a library fee. And, oh, don’t forget about the technology fee.

Fees help colleges shore up their budgets, pay for in-demand amenities such as state-of-the-art gyms, and spread out costs more fairly, by charging extra to students who use certain services or equipment, but the ultimate result is that even families who have done their homework before their children commit to colleges can find surprises lurking among the line-item charges, said Shannon Vasconcelos, director of college finance at College Coach, a Watertown advising firm.

“It’s very confusing . . . what’s on there and if it should be there,” Vasconcelos said. “They can feel nickeled-and-dimed a little bit.”

And we are talking $chool here, not bank rip-off schemes.

In some cases, savvy families can get a fee or two waived — but many of them are mandatory.

Some fees kick in even before the first class begins (mandatory two- or three-day orientations that can cost more than $500) and don’t ease until students collect their diplomas (graduation fees to cover the costs of the rental facility, cap and gown, and printing costs, from $25 and to more than $200).

Science majors are charged hundreds of dollars in lab fees, and aspiring filmmakers must pay extra for studio time. Boston University automatically bills for a $130 Sports Pass, reminding students that cheering on the home team is a cornerstone of college life and to “make the most of your Boston University experience. Be excited, be passionate, be a fan!” (The pass entitles students entry to over 70 games, a value of $600, the university notes.)

You might want to transfer:

After a decade of squabbles, BU’s biolab is in business

Ebola will be on Bo$ton's streets by Christmas! 

Better get your vaccination!

At New England College, a small, rural school in New Hampshire, students who need more one-on-one mentoring can pay $4,600 a year extra.

BU officials say that students can opt out of the Sports Pass once they get their bills. New England College officials said the mentoring program is an optional service that has about 80 students enrolled and that helps increase the retention rate of participants.

Some fees are universal, such as for health insurance (yearly premiums can cost as much as $3,000) while others are more obscure and tied to a particular college (students at the University of Northern Colorado voted a few years ago for a mandatory LEAF fee — for Leadership for Environmental Action Fund — of $20 annually to support environmentally sustainable projects).

Seems like a good idea for the kids that wouldn't do it, even under Obummercare.

Consumers may think of fees as add-ons, but at many institutions they support fairly basic needs.

Fitchburg State University charges undergraduates a capital projects fee of $1,470 annually that helps pay for new buildings and campus structural improvements, including dining halls and athletic fields.

And some financial aid programs, such as tuition-specific scholarships, don’t cover these fees, forcing students to pay for them out-of-pocket or through loans.

“If you have 10 or 20 fees, all of sudden you feel like you’re opening your telephone bill,” said Robert Kelchen, an assistant professor at Seton Hall University who has studied student fees.

From 2000 to 2017, fees at public universities increased by more than 100 percent, while tuition increased by 80 percent, Kelchen found.

Fees now make up about 21 percent of what colleges collect in tuition and fees annually, he said.

Why this increasing reliance on fees?

At public colleges and universities, decreasing taxpayer support and a reluctance to draw controversy by raising tuition have turned fees into a crucial financial spigot, Kelchen said.

In Massachusetts, tuition at state and community colleges has remained flat for nearly a decade, while fees have skyrocketed.

That’s why at Fitchburg State the annual cost of tuition is $970, but the university fee, which covers administrative, facilities, and academic expenses is $7,500. The total cost to attend Fitchburg State for Massachusetts residents is about $21,300, still lower than at many private colleges.

Also, most Massachusetts public higher education institutions are allowed to keep their fee revenue on campus, while they must turn tuition money over to the state, providing another incentive to leave tuition untouched but raise fees. According to state higher education officials, the governor’s budget has called for a study on whether seven state universities and 15 community colleges should be able to keep tuition money, but the proposal failed to win legislative support the past two years.

It's always about the money and who gets it.

Private colleges may face less political pressure to keep tuition flat, but they aren’t immune from fee creep, as they try to lure students with lower tuition.

“It’s easier to get a new fee than increase tuition in some cases,” Kelchen said. “Pay close attention to fees as well as tuition.”

That’s what Bruce Brumberg of Newton was doing when he saw that the bill Cornell University had sent for his son included about $2,800 for health insurance.

Colleges require students to have health insurance that covers medical care at facilities near the campus, so most will automatically bill students and expect them to fill out forms to opt out.

His son is covered under the family’s plan, and Brumberg didn’t want the college plan, but it took him several attempts last month and additional paperwork from his own insurance company before the university waived the fee, he said.

Costs such as health insurance aren’t always broken out on the traditional admissions pages that students and parents check when researching institutions, Brumberg said.

“There have to be better forms of communication, so at least parents who are looking at college costs are aware of it,” he said.

It can be an even greater challenge for first-generation students who are navigating the college process for the first time, and often on their own, said Thalia Pena, a college affordability adviser with uAspire, a Boston-based organization that works with low-income students.

Many are receiving a flood of e-mails and paperwork from colleges over the summer, and unless the documents are clearly marked, the fees can be easily overlooked, Pena said.

She recently worked with a student who didn’t realize until the end of her first year that she could waive the more than $1,000 cost of the college’s health insurance because she was already covered under her family’s plan, Pena said.

“It would have made a more manageable bill, if she had caught that,” Pena said. “It was money that could have been used for something else.”

Yeah, like more jet fighters!

About 10 percent of undergraduate students report buying the university’s health insurance, according to a 2017 survey by the American College Health Association, a trade group.

If students or families don’t understand why they’re being charged a certain fee, it is worth asking the college’s finance office and checking if it can be waived, said Vasconcelos, with College Coach, but Vasconcelos warns that it’s unlikely colleges will scrap many fees.

“Once a fee is implemented, somebody is counting on the money,” she said. “It’s hard to get rid of it.”

No kidding? 

Why did $tate government just come to mind?


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"Massachusetts’ Sept. 4 primary is coming up fast" by Joshua Miller Globe Staff  August 20, 2018

Ah, the day after Labor Day.

The coffee-fueled scramble to kick into gear at work after a long holiday weekend. The frantic preparations to get kids ready for school. The wrenching heartache of leaving summer behind.

And this year: An important primary election that will determine key races for Congress, governor, and the state Legislature.

Why, pray tell, did the powers-that-be decide to hold the Massachusetts state and federal primary election on Tuesday, Sept. 4? And how will that affect turnout?

There’s the official answer and the conspiratorial answer.

First, the formal word from Secretary of State William F. Galvin: The day after Labor Day was the least worst option allowable by law.

Massachusetts statute requires the primary to be held on the seventh Tuesday before the general election, which this year would have fallen on Sept. 18, but that happens to coincide with the beginning of the most important Jewish holiday, Yom Kippur, which begins that Tuesday evening.

Yeah, so? 

Where are the separation of church and state guys when you need them? 

Oh, right, they are all Jews pushing their divisive agenda and views on other people and shoving them down your throat.

In such an instance, state law mandates the secretary of state choose a primary date “within 7 days of the second Tuesday in September” — that’s seven days before or after Sept. 11.

Still with us?


Here’s another twist: Galvin said he couldn’t choose Tuesday, Sept. 11, itself because that is also a Jewish holiday, Rosh Hashanah. And the secretary, a Boston Democrat, said he did not want to choose Thursday, Sept. 6, the first day back to school for many children, including most Boston Public School students.

Well, if you needed any more evidence that Jews control politics in Ma$$achu$etts, I don't know what to say. At best, the state apparatus is bending over backwards for a small minority at the expense of the rest of us.

Of course, the whole confluence of dates and events just spooked me out. I'm glad it isn't being held on that day, the same day of the week as 17 years ago. The fact that a Jewish holiday begins on such a day, to me, is ominous regarding another false-flag, terror mind-f***. That's how they manipulate and control you, planting mental triggers in your mind to be tapped when necessary. A horrific anniversary event would also give an excuse to crack down harder with the total surveillance state and quell rising dissent.

Mondays and Wednesdays pose troubles of their own, his office said, with few voters associating those days with going to the polls, and there are a host of religious and cost-related reasons not to hold an election on a Friday, Saturday, or Sunday.

“This is not something I created,” Galvin said in a telephone interview. “This was the hand I was dealt.”

He said after soliciting public input in December and January, he made the best decision he could.

Still, on such a whirlwind day, will people slog to the polls? Won’t it affect turnout?

“I don’t think it’s going to have a dramatic effect,” Galvin argued.

Won't be showing up anyway. 

Now for the conspiracy angle:

Galvin’s Democratic challenger, Boston City Councillor Josh Zakim, strongly hinted that the secretary of state chose the day after Labor Day in order to suppress turnout and help his own reelection bid.

“It’s a fair assumption,” Zakim said in a telephone interview. “It’s not done in the spirit of transparency or openness. . . . It’s not convenient for a lot of voters and it’s just another obstacle to participation.”

Zakim argued that “it’s a question that he needs to be asked.”

That is very interesting, because had Galvin gone the other way he would have criticized him for holding it on a high Jewish holy day. 

Asked about the allegation that he set the primary day to help himself, Galvin — saddled for decades with the State House nickname “Prince of Darkness” — pushed back hard. “It’s ridiculous,” he said. “As far as my personal race, it has nothing to do with it.”

He was yielding to greater forces, and he is called that because his office decides which scandals go public and how much information to release. I read it in the Globe once. So the last thing you want from your secretary on the phone outside is "It's Secretary Galvin to see you, Mr. Speaker."

The secretary emphasized the constraints of the law and calendar: “I think we picked the best date we could under the circumstances.”

For his part, the GOP candidate for secretary of state, Anthony Amore, noted that the way dates align was foreseeable, and it would have been prudent for Galvin and the Legislature to have addressed the primary day conundrum long ago.....

There is a lot of things they should have done a long time ago.


Zakim is only running for Secretary of State because he faced a tough reelection in Bo$ton.

Think I'll vote Republican in that one, where walk-ins are welcome and it's a baseball town (and paper). 


I thought the treason talk had ended, but here it is again:

"John Brennan considers legal action to stop clearance revocations" by Felicia Sonmez and Carol Morello Washington Post  August 19, 2018

WASHINGTON — Former CIA director John Brennan said Sunday he is willing to take President Trump to court to prevent other current and former officials from having their security clearances revoked, escalating a battle over whether the president is misusing the power of his office to retaliate against opponents.

‘‘I am going to do whatever I can personally to try to prevent these abuses in the future, and if it means going to court, I will do that,’’ Brennan said in an appearance on NBC News’s ‘‘Meet the Press.’’

Oh, I'm so glad I never watch those Sunday shows anymore. 

Brennan, who is among Trump’s most outspoken critics, had his security clearance abruptly revoked by the White House last week.

Since then, Brennan said Sunday, a number of lawyers have gotten in touch with him and offered advice on pursuing a possible injunction to prevent Trump from taking similar actions in the future.

More lawyers in today's Globe.

‘‘If my clearances — and my reputation, as I’m being pulled through the mud now — if that’s the price we’re going to pay to prevent Donald Trump from doing this against other people, to me, it’s a small price to pay,’’ Brennan said.

It's been a over a two year obsession with him, when he told Harry Reid about the existence of the Steele dossier so Reid would write a letter that would enable the DoJ and FBI to get warrants to spy on and attempt to infiltrate the Trump campaign. 

He did not immediately elaborate on what such a legal move would look like.

Asked during an appearance on Fox News Channel’s ‘‘Sunday Morning Futures’’ about a possible lawsuit by Brennan, Rudy Giuliani, Trump’s personal attorney, described it as a welcome opportunity.

‘‘I would volunteer to do that case for the president. I would love to have Brennan under oath,’’ Giuliani said. ‘‘We will find out about Brennan, and we will find out what a terrible job he did.’’

And you can ask him all sorts of stuff about his time in the national security apparatus -- like the spying on the Senate Intel Committee while they were investigating torture at his agency, and then lying to members of Congress about nit before quietly making the rounds and apologizing for it.

And who is Guliani? 

Well, he was the mayor of NYC on September 11, 2001, and he helped destroy a crime scene by allowing all the WTC steel to be shipped overseas. As a former federal prosecutor, he should know better. Meanwhile, Mueller had just been promoted to FBI director two weeks before the attacks. As an underling, who knows what memos he blocked or investigations he stymied. The important thing is he was put in the chair to cover it all up. His involvement sees to it, and yet he is presented to us now as the paragon of prosecutorial probity.

On Friday, 14 former CIA directors and deputy directors from Republican and Democratic administrations, as well as a former director of national intelligence, called Trump’s revocation of Brennan’s clearance a blatant attempt to ‘‘stifle free speech’’ and send an ‘‘inappropriate and deeply regrettable’’ signal to other public servants. 

I love it when the deep state has to show its face and fangs! 

As the furor over Trump’s move has intensified, the president has showed no signs of backing down.

In the ‘‘Meet the Press’’ interview, Brennan also defended his previous statement denouncing Trump’s performance at a summit with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Helsinki last month as ‘‘treasonous.’’ Some of Brennan’s detractors have argued that the remark pushed his criticism of Trump into overly partisan territory.

‘‘I called his behavior ‘treasonous,’ which is to betray one’s trust and to aid and abet the enemy,’’ Brennan said. ‘‘I stand very much by that claim.’’

It's what made me become active again.

Brennan received some support on Sunday from Mike Mullen, a retired Navy admiral and former chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, who said Trump’s threat to revoke the security clearances of those who have been critical of him is a sign that the president is ‘‘creating a list of political enemies.’’

Mullen said that while Trump has the authority to pull the security clearances of former national intelligence and other officials, his doing so is ‘‘incredibly problematic.’’

‘‘It immediately brings back the whole concept of the ‘enemies list’ under President Nixon,’’ Mullen said in an appearance on ‘‘Fox News Sunday,’’ adding that it was also reminiscent of the anticommunist crusade led by Joseph McCarthy in the 1950s.


You wanna talk Nixon, let's talk the Obama spying operation on the campaign that used the law enforcement and national security institutions to spy on the opposing campaign. Not private plumbers doing dirty tricks, and then trying to use the same agencies to cover it up.

Mullen said that he does not support Brennan being as critical of Trump as he has been but believes that the former CIA director and others should not have to fear that they will be stripped of their security clearances because of their criticism.

Yeah, these guys close ranks.

Former CIA director Michael Hayden, whose security clearance the White House has warned is also in danger of being revoked, said during an appearance on CNN’s ‘‘State of the Union’’ that the relationship between the president and that national security community is ‘‘dangerously close to being permanently broken.’’

Kind of like a veiled threat, like Schumer when Trump first took office.

Others on Sunday morning rallied to Trump’s defense.

National security adviser John Bolton backed the idea of a formal review to determine whether former officials should keep their security clearance and said Brennan may have ‘‘crossed the line.’’

‘‘I think a number of people have commented that he couldn’t be in the position he’s in of criticizing President Trump and his so-called collusion with Russia unless he did use classified information,’’ Bolton said on ABC’s ‘‘This Week,’’ but he added he has no knowledge of a specific instance.


Trump needs to watch the words they put in his mouth:

"Trump speechwriter fired after appearance with white nationalists" Washington Post  August 19, 2018

WASHINGTON — A White House speechwriter was dismissed last week after revelations that he had spoken at a conference attended by white nationalists, according to three people familiar with the decision.

But he isn't one, right? Those other guys just attended it.

Darren Beattie, who was a visiting instructor at Duke University before he joined the White House staff, was fired Friday after a media inquiry about his appearance at the 2016 H.L. Mencken Club conference, where Beattie spoke on a panel alongside Peter Brimelow. 

Why fight this one, eh? 

You can get a new speechwriter. They are a dime a dozen.

Brimelow, founder of the anti-immigrant website, is a white nationalist and ‘‘regularly publishes works by white supremacists, anti-Semites, and others on the radical right,’’ according to the Southern Poverty Law Center, an advocacy group that tracks extremists.

First Alex Jones, now Vdare. Whose next?

Btw, the Jewi$h SPLC and ADL think Jewi$h supremacism is okay, and Israel just codified it in law. It's the one supremacism you are not allowed to mention in polite company.

Earlier this year, Brimelow described himself as a believer in ‘‘racial nationalism’’ who sees the future of the United States ‘‘precipitating out on racial lines.’’

CNN’s K-File, an investigative unit, published a report on Sunday on Beattie and his appearance at the Mencken event, which has been attended in the past by white nationalist Richard Spencer. Spencer is a prominent figure in the alternative right, a movement whose adherents are known for espousing racist, sexist, and anti-Semitic points of view.

He says he is a White Zionist, proving that they are playing both extremes so they can mold opinion towards the middle and get their desired goals as well as being seen as the moderating force of reason and civility.

Once White House officials were informed about CNN’s pending report, Beattie reportedly was confronted and urged to step down immediately, but he apparently refused to resign, arguing that he was not racist and that he had made uncontroversial academic points at the Mencken gathering.

Mencken was a racist, so let's burn his books -- even as Dr. Suess gets off the hook.

Did this guy ever speak to Omarosa?

When it became clear that Beattie would not resign, he was dismissed, according to the people familiar with the matter, who spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss it publicly.

Beattie worked for Vince Haley, the head of speechwriting at the White House and, at times, he worked on speech projects for Stephen Miller, Trump’s top policy adviser and speechwriter, the people added.

Who is Jewish.

It was not clear Sunday whether President Trump or his chief of staff, John Kelly, were personally involved in Beattie’s departure.

‘‘Mr. Beattie no longer works at the White House,’’ White House spokesman Hogan Gidley said. ‘‘We don’t comment on personnel matters.’’

Since when? 


Sure had a lot of comments to make last week about Omarosa!

Web version made an additional call:

Beattie, when reached by phone on Sunday, declined to elaborate on his dismissal but provided a statement.

‘‘In 2016 I attended the Mencken conference in question and delivered a stand-alone, academic talk titled ‘The Intelligentsia and the Right.’ I said nothing objectionable and stand by my remarks completely,’’ Beattie said. ‘‘It was the honor of my life to serve in the Trump administration. I love President Trump, who is a fearless American hero, and continue to support him one hundred percent.’’

I can see why the print guys clipped that.


The devil went down to Georgia, where he was looking for an election to steal:

"Activists fight plan to close two-thirds of polling places in Ga. county" Washington Post  August 19, 2018

WASHINGTON — Voting rights activists in Georgia say they will launch a petition drive in an effort to collect enough signatures of registered voters to block a proposal to close more than two-thirds of polling precincts in a predominantly black county before this fall’s general election.

The two-member county election board — a third member stepped down recently — has scheduled a vote for Friday on the proposal to shutter seven of the county’s nine polling places, citing problems including facilities in disrepair or inaccessibility to persons with disabilities, but some activists are suspicious of the board’s motives, noting that Randolph County is 60 percent black and many residents have low incomes. The county, which covers 431 square miles, has no public transportation system.

All nine of the polling places were used for the May primaries and less than a month ago for statewide runoffs. Local news outlets reported heated discussions at meetings on Thursday and Friday, with residents and activists alleging the move was aimed at suppressing turnout in the county, in which more than 55 percent of the voters are black and have backed Democratic candidates in statewide elections.

County officials and a consultant hired by local officials said the closures were necessary because the sites were not compliant with the Americans With Disabilities Act and there was not time to fix them before the Nov. 6 general election. They also suggested that affected residents could vote by absentee ballot.....


Missouri is thirsting to vote:

"Drought takes toll on Missouri farmers’ crops, cattle" Associated Press  August 19, 2018

ST. LOUIS — Parts of Missouri are so dry that corn crops are suffering and hay for cattle is in short supply, with water becoming increasingly scarce, experts say.

Missouri has had below-average rainfall since winter. The US Drought Monitor map shows that nearly all of Missouri is experiencing drought, with several counties in the northwestern part of the state facing ‘‘exceptional’’ conditions — the most dire classification assigned by the monitor. Conditions were nearly as bad elsewhere along the northern tier and in southwestern Missouri.

Much of the western United States is also experiencing drought, but Missouri is the only Midwestern state with such severe conditions. Parts of Kansas also are extremely dry, but most of Illinois and Nebraska and the northern half of Iowa are drought-free.

‘‘That isolated nature really hurts some corn growers because they’re competing against other farmers in the Midwest that have had bumper crops,’’ said Mark Fuchs, hydrologist for the National Weather Service office near St. Louis. ‘‘That puts a lot of them on the brink of financial ruin.’’

I'm sure Trump will help, and it's the “cranberry industry that would be collateral damage

It's even hurting Ivanka.

Here is some food for thought after the fallout: you can always start a bus company.

The US Department of Agriculture lists soil moisture as ‘‘short’’ or ‘‘very short’’ in four-fifths of the state. As for Missouri’s corn crop, nearly half of it was listed as poor or very poor, according to the most recent USDA progress report. Only about a quarter was listed as good or excellent.

The drought has also hurt pastures, with about three-quarters in poor or very poor conditions, according to the USDA report.

Many pastures haven’t been able to support grazing cattle, prompting farmers to feed cattle with hay that might normally be saved for winter. It’s also hurt the hay crop, which is down about one-third from normal.

That's where the Globe's print hose ran out of water, but the web version kept irrigating:

‘‘It has been a very bad summer following a very bad winter as far as the feed supply,’’ said Eldon Cole, a University of Missouri Extension livestock specialist out of Mt. Vernon. ‘‘The winter was so long last year they had to feed hay until April. That caused them to run out of hay, and then we didn’t have a good growing season.’’

Kent Arnaud, 57, said this year’s drought may be the worst since 1980 at the 1,500-acre cattle farm he operates with his father and son near Monett in southwestern Missouri.

Arnaud said he and his relatives are scrambling to find enough feed for the cattle over the winter. They’ve even sold off some calves early so they won’t have to feed them in the cold-weather months. The calves are typically sold in November or December. 

Meaning meat prices temporarily went down.

Some farmers unable to sell drought-damaged corn were using it for cattle feed, Cole said.

The weather forecast offers some hope. Fuchs said most of Missouri is expected to get at least an inch of rain over the next week or so, and some especially dry areas in northern and southern Missouri could see 2 inches of rain.

Be careful cleaning your contact lenses


Federal court cases could decide future of DACA

When they do, let me know. 


DNA request denied in deaths of Colorado woman, children

Didn't make print.


Afghan president calls for cease-fire with Taliban

I'm working on a project regarding Afghanistan; however, after 12 years here I am taking a grain of salt with any peace talk in my war pre$$. The cease fire is supposed to last until November 21st, and it looks like the Taliban have taken over the rural areas in preparation for a U.S. and government pullback to key cities that have U.S. military bases.

"Quake cuts power, topples buildings on Indonesian island" by Rosidin Sembahulun Associated Press  August 19, 2018

SEMBALUN, Indonesia — A strong earthquake cut power across the Indonesian island of Lombok and destroyed buildings on Sunday, as the tourist area was trying to recover from a quake earlier this month that killed hundreds.

The magnitude 6.9 quake that hit just after 10 p.m. was one of multiple powerful earthquakes in the northeast of the island that also caused landslides. The nighttime quake was followed by strong aftershocks.

In Sembalun subdistrict, in the shadow of Mount Rinjani, the latest quake caused panic, but many people were already staying in tents after the earlier quake.

There was no immediate official information about casualties.

The National Disaster Mitigation Agency said power was cut across the island, hampering efforts to assess the situation. Some houses and other buildings in Sembalun had collapsed.

The quake also was felt in the neighboring islands of Bali and Sumbawa and as far away as East Java and Makassar in Sulawesi.

The daytime quakes, which included a magnitude 6.3 jolt, caused landslides on the slopes of Rinjani, an active volcano, and panic in villages. Indonesian Red Cross video showed huge clouds of dust billowing from the slopes.

A magnitude 7.0 quake that struck Lombok Aug. 5 killed 460 people, damaged tens of thousands of homes, and displaced several hundred thousand people.

Wasn't that when Pompeo was there?

Mount Rinjani has been closed to visitors since a July earthquake killed 16 people, triggered landslides, and stranded hundreds of tourists.....

Sorry to strand you, reader.


Also see:

Saudi Arabia hosts annual Muslim hajj pilgrimage

Maybe it is me, but it reads literally verbatim as yesterday's report.

Saves work and time, I guess, and is filler.

Argentines urged to quit Catholic church

After voters helped defeat the abortion law, not because of the worldwide and rampant sexual abuse scandal.

New Zealand minister cycles to hospital to give birth

I'm cycling away from caring, sorry.

800,000 displaced in flooding in southern Indian state

I only got a photograph for print, and the web version doesn't even have that.

South Koreans enter North to reunite with kin split by war

But we haven't gotten a damn thing out of the Koreans except, etc, etc. 

This is wonderful news, and the world going around us. They moving on their own. We can either come willingly or be dragged along. Your choice.


"Trump says his White House counsel not a ‘RAT’ like Nixon’s" by Emily Cochrane New York Times  August 19, 2018

BERKELEY HEIGHTS, N.J. — President Trump denied Sunday that White House counsel Don McGahn had “turned” on him while briefing investigators looking into Russian interference in the 2016 election, saying McGahn is not “a John Dean type ‘rat.’ ”

In a series of Twitter messages, Trump attacked The New York Times for its report describing the extensive cooperation between McGahn and investigators for special counsel Robert Mueller.

In the posts, the president confirmed that he had made the unusual decision to allow McGahn and other officials to cooperate fully with the inquiry. “I allowed him and all others to testify. I didn’t have to. I have nothing to hide,’’ he wrote, but Trump said the Times article had falsely insinuated that McGahn was working against him.

It wouldn't be the first time they have done it, nor will it be the last. 

I also have to confess a certain amount of embarrassment because I was fooled, and should know better.

“The failing New York Times wrote a fake piece today implying that because White House counsel Don McGahn was giving hours of testimony to the special counsel, he must be a John Dean type ‘rat,’ ” Trump said, referring to the Nixon White House counsel who cooperated with investigators in the Watergate investigation.

In a statement, The Times’s communications department said the paper stood by the report and the reporters who wrote it, Michael S. Schmidt and Maggie Haberman. In one of his tweets, Trump called them “two fake reporters.”

The article detailed how McGahn, fearing that he could be made a scapegoat by the president, has described Trump’s actions and anger toward the Russia inquiry in at least three voluntary interviews with investigators that totaled about 30 hours.

McGahn gave the investigators information that they might not otherwise have gotten, according to a dozen current and former White House officials and others.

The report said the president had wrongly believed that McGahn would act as his personal lawyer and solely defend his interests to investigators, but McGahn has viewed his role as a protector of the presidency, not of Trump, and people close to the president now believe it was a mistake to have cooperated so fully.

Why should I believe that? 

If the Times distorted yesterday, and now they are engaged in a cover-your-ass mode.... sigh.

McGahn, the article said, gave investigators a mix of information both potentially damaging and favorable to the president, and he cautioned to investigators that he never saw Trump go beyond what he viewed as the president’s legal authorities.

Trump used his tweets Sunday morning, which he wrote from his golf club in Bedminster, N.J., to intensify his assault on the special counsel investigation. He called the inquiry “McCarthyism at its worst” — a reference to Senator Joseph R. McCarthy’s persecution of suspected communist sympathizers in the 1950s.

That's the same thing Mullen said on Fox!

Dean, a frequent critic of the president, was the White House counsel for President Richard Nixon during the Watergate scandal. He ultimately cooperated with prosecutors and helped bring down the Nixon presidency in 1974, though he served a prison term for obstruction of justice.

They dug him up again, too.

In a Twitter message late Saturday, Dean said, ‘‘Trump, a total incompetent, is bungling and botching his handling of Russiagate. Fate is never kind to bunglers and/or botchers!’’

In response to Trump’s tweets, Dean added Sunday that he doubts the president has ‘‘any idea” what McGahn has told Mueller. Also, Nixon knew I was meeting with prosecutors, because I told him. However, he didn’t think I would tell them the truth!’’

Trump’s personal attorney, Rudy Giuliani, said Sundayon NBC’s ‘‘Meet the Press’’ that Trump didn’t raise executive privilege or attorney-client privilege during McGahn’s interviews because his team believed that fully participating would be the fastest way to bring the investigation to a close.

‘‘The president encouraged him to testify, is happy that he did, is quite secure that there is nothing in the testimony that will hurt the president,’’ Giuliani said.

You can here the Globe and its collective cohorts go DAMN!

Giuliani said having Trump sit down for an interview with Mueller’s team wouldn’t accomplish much because of the he-said-she-said nature of witnesses’ recollections.

‘‘It’s somebody’s version of the truth, not the truth,’’ he said. ‘‘Truth isn’t truth.’’ 

Not if you read the pre$$ everyday.

The “truth isn’t truth” comment echoed the phrase “alternative facts” coined by White House counselor Kellyanne Conway in 2017.


"As Trump dismantles clean air rules, an industry lawyer delivers for ex-clients" by Eric Lipton New York Times   August 19, 2018

WASHINGTON — On Tuesday, President Trump is expected to propose a vast rollback of regulations on emissions from coal plants. The proposal strikes at the heart of climate-change regulations adopted by the Obama administration to force change among polluting industries.

The rollbacks are part of the administration’s effort to bring regulatory relief to the coal industry, and other major sources of air pollution, but to proponents of a tougher stance on industries that contribute to global warming, corporate lawyer, William L. Wehrum is regarded as the single biggest threat inside the EPA.

Now that Pruitt is gone and Wheeler is in charge.

Wehrum has been able to push his deregulatory agenda without running into ethics troubles because of a quirk in federal ethics rules. The rules limit the activities of officials who join the government from industry — but they are less restrictive for lawyers than for officials who had worked as registered lobbyists.

In an interview, Wehrum said he was following the rules carefully, and even some critics say he generally seems to be obeying the letter of the law.....

Can't you just here the pre$$ saying, "AW SHUCKS!?"



"Former students allege decades-old sexual abuse at private school" by Justin Wm. Moyer Washington Post  August 19, 2018

WASHINGTON — A private school in Maryland has launched an investigation into allegations that a culture of sexual abuse flourished decades ago with administrators’ knowledge.

It's not just the Catholic Church or Hollywood.

Multiple former students told The Washington Post they were groomed and sexually abused by teachers in the 1970s at Key School in Annapolis, and in some cases had intimate contact with adults that lasted years.

Two Baltimore lawyers are leading the investigation into the alleged misconduct at the school, which serves students from prekindergarten through 12th grade. Matthew Nespole, the current head of school, said this month that a February review of the allegations indicated former Key officials failed to protect students.

‘‘It appears that members of the Key community neglected to respond appropriately to contemporaneous reports made by former students of faculty misconduct that includes the sexual victimization of students,’’ the statement said.

The allegations surfaced after 59-year-old Carolyn Surrick, who said she was abused by two Key teachers starting when she was 13, fought for years to shine a spotlight on her story and those of other accusers.

She wrote about the alleged abuse on social media in January. One other accuser had spoken publicly before Surrick’s campaign this year. Five additional women later came forward.

Surrick and other accusers said it was widely known that some Key teachers had sex with underage students.

Some teachers were fired after complaints from students or parents, according to interviews with accusers, but many stayed in the classroom, continuing the alleged abuse. 



I'm sorry, what did you say?


"Venezuelans jittery ahead of sweeping economic reforms" by Scott Smith Associated Press  August 19, 2018

CARACAS — Residents across Venezuela’s capital spent a nervous weekend bracing for dramatic measures that President Nicolas Maduro has announced to rescue a downward-spiraling economy, including a radical shift in the nation’s currency.

The changes start to kick in Monday with the introduction of a new monetary system that lops five zeros off the country’s fast-depreciating bills. Maduro will also raise gasoline prices to international levels.

Because of the currency shift, the plan calls for a more-than-3,000 percent increase in the minimum wage.

Critics say the combination of new measures will only make things worse. Opposition leaders have seized on tension among residents, calling for a nationwide strike and protest Tuesday.

You have to give the guy credit for trying to break away from the slavery of international bank indebtedness.

The opposition hopes to draw masses into the streets against Maduro’s socialist ruling party — something they’ve failed to do in over a year.

Banks will close Monday as they prepare to release the ‘‘sovereign bolivar,’’ the new currency printed with five fewer zeroes in a bid to tame soaring inflation. Maduro’s government says that in late-September, the world’s cheapest gas will rise to international levels to curtail rampant smuggling across borders.

Maduro said Friday that the minimum wage will also soon jump dramatically.

Economists say the package of measures is likely to accelerate hyperinflation rather than address its core economic troubles, like oil production plunging to levels last seen in 1947.

‘‘The bolivar’s redenomination will be like going under the knife of one of Caracas’s famed plastic surgeons,’’ Johns Hopkins University economist Steve Hanke wrote in a Forbes commentary. ‘‘Appearances change, but, in reality, nothing changes. That’s what’s in store for the bolivar: a face-lift.’’

What goes unmentioned in all of this is the CIA campaign of destabilization reminiscent of what was done in Chile in the 1970s, and that is making the economy scream until you get a change in regime.

Lines on Saturday were longer than normal at a Caracas street market, where people stocked up because of uncertainty about what will come this week. Many were frustrated by bank card readers that were slow to register or that failed altogether, forcing some to leave their goods and walking away empty-handed.

‘‘You have to be patient,’’ a shop worker selling grains told a growing line of customers. Many other stores remained closed, uncertain what prices to set for their goods.

It's like waiting in line at the post office.

Venezuela was once among Latin America’s most prosperous nations, holding the world’s largest proven oil reserves, but a recent fall in oil prices accompanied by corruption and mismanagement under two decades of socialist rule have left the economy in a historic economic and political crisis.

And now you understand U.S. interest. It's a hell of a gas pump, and would be safe from enemy attack with two oceans between us should a WWIII break out.

Inflation this year could top 1 million percent, according to economists at the International Monetary Fund.

They are the last place you want to borrow money, and this is coming to America if the dollar is abandoned as the reserve currency and oil is no longer sold in dollars.

Inflation has made it difficult to find paper money. The largest bill under the outgoing cash system was the 100,000-bolivar note, equal to less than 3 cents on the commonly used black market exchange rate. A cup of coffee cost more than 2 million bolivars. 

I would have to forgo a Globe.

The new currency will have two coins and paper denominations ranging from 2 up to 500. The lowest represents the buying power of 200,000 current bolivars while the highest stands in for 50 million.

The old and new currencies will remain in circulation together during a transitional period.

That will be confu$ing.

The government made a similar move in 2008, when then-President Hugo Chavez issued new currency that eliminated three zeros to combat soaring inflation.

They tried to overthrow him once, the Venezuelans demanded he be reinstalled, he was, and then they somehow infected him with cancer and he died.

Maduro also announced Friday a more-than-3,000 percent leap in the minimum wage, bringing it up to around $30 at the widely used black market rate. It’s unclear when the change will start.

Adding to the confusion, Maduro said he wants to peg wages, prices and pensions to the petro — a cryptocurrency announced in February but which has yet to start circulating. He said one petro would equal $60, with the goal of moving toward a single floating exchange rate in the future tied to the digital currency.

‘‘The next few days will be very confusing for both consumers and the private sector, especially commercial retailers,’’ said Asdrubal Oliveros, director of Caracas-based Ecoanalitica. ‘‘It’s a chaotic scenario.’’

A coalition of opposition leaders and union officials said Sunday they are calling for a strike and protest on Tuesday.

‘‘The measures announced on Friday are not any economic recovery plan for the country,’’ opposition leader Andres Velasquez said. ‘‘On the contrary, they represent more hunger, more ruin, more poverty, more suffering, more pain, more inflation, more deterioration of the economy.’’

Business owners say they fear the sudden wage hike would make them unable to pay employees without sharply increasing prices, despite Maduro’s call to help small and midsize businesses for the first three months.Venezuelans jittery ahead of sweeping economic reforms



At least MIT solved that pesky pasta puzzle, and it only took them 118 years.


Late at night, an angel takes flight in the North End

"Emerson College mourns film professor" by John Hilliard Globe Correspondent  August 19, 2018

Emerson College is mourning the death of a professor who was a member of the school’s community for more than 18 years.

Emerson president Lee Pelton announced the death of Robert Todd, a professor and associate chair of Emerson’s Department of Visual & Media Arts, in a statement sent Saturday to the school community.

A cause of death was not given.

Todd was reported missing to police Aug. 16, according to Boston police spokesman Officer James Kenneally.

Todd was last seen Thursday evening heading into Franklin Park, a family member said in a Facebook post Friday night.

Pelton said the school’s community expressed its “deepest condolences” to Todd’s wife, family, friends, colleagues, students, staff, and other who mourn Todd’s loss.

“Robert brought extraordinary talents, incredible vision and outstanding dedication to his art, and to his teaching. He inspired filmmakers of all ages at Emerson, giving generously of his time and energy to his fellow artists over the years,” Pelton said in a statement to the Emerson community.

Described as a “lyrical filmmaker” as well as a sound and visual artist on his Emerson biography page, Todd produced a series of films that were exhibited at venues and festivals around the world.

Todd also taught film production at other schools, including Boston College and the School of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, according to Emerson. He also had worked as an editor, sound designer, and as a producer on broadcast and theatrically released media programs.

He was also the recipient of numerous grants and awards, according to his Emerson biography.

The college’s counseling staff will be available to meet with members of the campus community during their normal working hours Monday through Friday from 8:45 a.m. to 5 p.m. at 216 Tremont St., second floor, Pelton said.....

I cut it there because I never, ever publish telephone numbers.


Strange article. Reads like it belongs in the obituary section, and looks like an undeclared suicide. Given all the sexual abuse on campuses around the country, one can only wonder. If not, maybe he had other problems. We shall see what comes forth in the coming days, if anything.


"Former N.J. priest joins regular protest at cathedral" by Amelia Nierenberg Globe Correspondent  August 20, 2018

A former priest from New Jersey joined a weekly protest in front of the Cathedral of the Holy Cross in Boston Sunday, issuing a challenge to Cardinal Sean O’Malley about an alleged cover-up of clerical sexual misconduct.

Was it about the St. John's seminary?

After a Pennsylvania grand jury released a report Tuesday into seven decades of clerical sex abuse, the six protesters focused on Cardinal Theodore E. McCarrick, the former archbishop of Washington. McCarrick, who once practiced in New Jersey, was removed from the ministry in June and resigned in July amid reports that he had sexually assaulted minors and abused seminarians.

O'Malley said he warned them, but they never responded until now.

“We’re asking him to come clean, tell us what he knows, about the allegations of sexual abuse against Cardinal McCarrick,” said Robert M. Hoatson, the former priest who is now the director of Road to Recovery, an organization that advocates for victims of clerical abuse. “We’re here because Cardinal O’Malley has yet to admit that he should have done something about Cardinal McCarrick.”

Hoatson and other protesters said O’Malley should have taken action against McCarrick for his alleged offenses after 2015, when O’Malley’s office received a letter containing allegations that included his taking seminarians to his Jersey Shore beach house and giving his favorites special privileges.

The archdiocese declined to comment Sunday.

In a June statement, O’Malley said he “did not personally receive” the letter and that it was reviewed “at the staff level.”

The protesters said the cardinal’s statement about abuse, which was read in churches throughout Greater Boston this weekend, was hypocritical because they believe he failed to act three years ago.

“Once again we hear each excruciating word they share,” O’Malley’s statement on abuse read. “We remain shamed by these egregious failures to protect children and those who are vulnerable.”

Attorney Mitchell Garabedian, a lawyer who represented many victims during the Catholic priest sexual abuse scandal, said O’Malley’s statement was “disappointing,” “hollow,” and “too little too late.”

Yeah, centuries too late.

“Although it discusses the idea of change, there is no specific description of what changes will be made,” Garabedian said in a statement.

Several protesters also expressed frustrations.

“The words are nice, but I’ve heard them before,” said Steve Sheehan, 85, who listened to the statement from his pew in St. Ignatius Church in Chestnut Hill before attending the protest. “We get words on, and on, and on. And no action.”

It's epidemic across all democratic institutions.



Alewife garage to reopen Monday after a weekend structural assessment

Globe is making you late placing that on page B4.

Methuen man dies after several swimmers rescued off N.H. beach

There is your hero, not the priest.


"US says conserving oil is no longer an economic imperative" by Ellen Knickmeyer Associated Press  August 19, 2018

WASHINGTON — Conserving oil is no longer an economic imperative for the United States, the Trump administration declares in a major new policy statement that threatens to undermine decades of government campaigns for gas-thrifty cars and other conservation programs.

The position was outlined in a memo released last month in support of the administration’s proposal to relax fuel mileage standards. The government released the memo online this month without fanfare.

Growth of natural gas and other alternatives to petroleum has reduced the need for imported oil, which ‘‘in turn affects the need of the nation to conserve energy,’’ the Energy Department said. It also cites the now decade-old fracking revolution, which has unlocked US shale oil reserves, giving ‘‘the United States more flexibility than in the past to use our oil resources with less concern.’’

Never mind the drinking water that will now catch fire, or the methane emissions that are far more harmful than that carbon you exhaled.

With the memo, the administration is formally challenging old justifications for conservation — even congressionally prescribed ones, as with the mileage standards.

The memo made no mention of climate change. Transportation is the single largest source of climate-changing emissions.

Is that including the exempted war machine that runs on oil?

President Trump has questioned the existence of climate change.

He's not the only one, and that's a misnomer. The climate is always changing. It is never static, but hey, what's more distortion and deception from an agenda-pu$hing pre$$, 'eh?

Just 10 years ago, in summer 2008, oil prices were peaking at $147 a barrel and pummeling the global economy. The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries was enjoying a massive transfer of wealth, from countries dependent on imported oil. Prices now are about $65.

Yeah, we were getting cars for clunkers ten years ago!

Today, the United States is vying with Russia for the title of top world oil producer. US oil production hit an all-time high this summer, aided by the technological leaps of horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing.

Turns out Russia is the kingpin when it comes to oil, which is why Saudi Arabia threatened Canada.

How much the US economy is hooked up to the gas pump, and vice versa, plays into any number of policy considerations, not just economic or environmental ones, but military and geopolitical ones, said John Graham, a former official in the George W. Bush administration, now dean of the School of Public and Environmental Affairs at Indiana University.

‘‘Our ability to play that role as a leader in the world is stronger when we are the strongest producer of oil and gas,’’ Graham said. ‘‘But there are still reasons to want to reduce the amount we consume.’’


Frank Macchiarola, a group director of the American Petroleum Institute trade association, told reporters this week, in a telephone call dedicated to urging scrapping or overhauling of one US program for biofuels.

Fears of oil scarcity used to be a driver of US energy policy, Macchiarola said.

Thanks partly to increased production, ‘‘that pillar has really been rendered essentially moot,’’ he said.....

I agree with him, too. I always thought it was a bad idea to burn food with so many hungry people.


8 movies that really got science wrong

I no longer go to the movies, sorry.


Only four things left to talk about:

"While lamenting abusive conduct on Twitter, chief executive Jack Dorsey said any move to block content based on political or social views would stoke already rising concern about the power of social-media companies. “We can’t just keep changing randomly, based on our viewpoints,” Dorsey said on CNN’s “Reliable Sources.” “That just adds to the fear of companies like ours making these judgments.” His comments aired a day after President Trump said, “Social Media is totally discriminating against Republican/Conservative voices.” Earlier in the week, Twitter put temporary limits on the account of right-wing conspiracy theorist Alex Jones for violating company policies. Trump, in his tweet, said social-media companies “are closing down the opinions of many people on the RIGHT, while at the same time doing nothing to others” and said his administration “won’t let that happen.” Dorsey said he’s open to changing the platform to help avoid abuses. Possible initiatives include adding context to misinformation, he said."

I'm trying.

"For a lucky few people, weight will never be a worry. People who have a rare genetic mutation called essential fructosuria lack the primary enzyme needed to metabolize fructose. No ill consequences are linked to the defect, save for an aversion to sweets. Those who have it seem to be at little risk of obesity, type 2 diabetes, or serious liver ailments. Researchers looking to understand weight-related ailments — and drug companies seeking new medicines to treat them — are eager to study essential fructosuria. The problem is, it is almost impossible to find people who have it. The chance that someone has essential fructosuria is 1 in 130,000 — longer than the odds of dying in a severe storm. And people with essential fructosuria tend to be healthy, so they are often stumbled on by chance. Pfizer, the largest US drug maker, has been unable to track down a single carrier, but that hasn’t stopped it from trying to develop a drug modeled on the mutation."

Not if there is a buck in it!

"Tesla’s chief executive, Elon Musk, responding to Arianna Huffington, who urged him to change the way he works in an open letter that portrayed him as “demonstrating a wildly outdated, anti-scientific and horribly inefficient way of using human energy,” said that’s not an option. In The New York Times last week, Musk said he sacrificed family milestones in the race to meet Tesla production targets. He responded to the letter with a tweet in which he said Ford Motor Co. and Tesla are the only two US car companies to have avoided bankruptcy. “I just got home from the factory,” Musk wrote at 2:32 a.m. Pacific time Sunday. “You think this [changing] is an option. It is not.” Tesla shares plunged 8.9 percent Friday after the Times interview, in which Musk called the past 12 months “the most difficult and painful year of my career.” References to Ambien use and driving while tweeting were fueling calls for Tesla’s board to step up its oversight of the CEO and top shareholder. Huffington has been campaigning to draw attention to the benefits of sleep, calling herself a sleep evangelist."

He needs a shower, and he ju$t might get one.

"Greece will reach a milestone Monday in its recovery from one of the worst financial crises to hit Europe, when the country officially ends its reliance on nearly a decade of bailouts that totaled more than 320 billion euros, or about $360 billion. European leaders are declaring an end to a debt crisis that nearly destroyed the euro, and Greece is anticipating a new era of financial independence and growth, but years of harsh austerity and a downturn reminiscent of the Great Depression have left a legacy of poverty that affects a third of the Greek population. While growth is slowly reviving, it will most likely be years before Greece’s economy returns to normal."

That's what is left in the IMF's wake, and the Globe sure put those fires out quick.