Wednesday, August 15, 2018

Globe Strzok Out

Was at the top of the second (page) last night, and it was the NYT on the hill:

"FBI fires agent who sent anti-Trump texts" by Adam Goldman and Michael S. Schmidt New York Times  August 13, 2018

WASHINGTON — Peter Strzok, the FBI senior counterintelligence agent who disparaged President Trump in inflammatory text messages and helped oversee the Hillary Clinton e-mail and Russia investigations, has been fired on grounds of violating bureau policies, Strzok’s lawyer said Monday.

Trump and his allies seized on the texts — exchanged during the 2016 campaign with a former FBI lawyer, Lisa Page — in assailing the Russia investigation as an illegitimate “witch hunt.”

It was a lot more than that. He was supervising the stonewalling the extent of the Clinton corruption and protecting her while at the same time setting up shop with a spying campaign against the Trump campaign and tried to entrap them -- as an insurance policy should he win.

Strzok, who rose over 20 years at the FBI to become one of its most experienced counterintelligence agents, was a key figure in the early months of the inquiry. Along with writing the texts, Strzok was accused of sending a highly sensitive search warrant to his personal e-mail account.

The FBI had been under immense political pressure by Trump to dismiss Strzok. The president has repeatedly denounced Strzok in posts on Twitter and on Monday expressed satisfaction that he had been sacked.

Trump’s victory traces back to June, when Strzok’s conduct was laid out in a wide-ranging inspector general’s report on how the FBI handled the investigation of Hillary Clinton’s e-mails in the run-up to the 2016 election.

Look at the way the Times frames the whole thing as personal, and of course it is, but that in effect minimizes the law-breaking and conspiring within the FBI, DoJ, and other alphabet agencies in the government with access to the information. Doesn't bother the Times, just as the jailing of reporters under Obama for not giving up their sources is forgotten. Makes you wonder what shell game they are really playing.

The report was critical of Strzok’s conduct in sending the texts, and the bureau’s Office of Professional Responsibility said that Strzok should be suspended for 60 days and demoted. Strzok had testified before the House in July about how he had not allowed his political views to interfere with the investigations he was overseeing, but Strzok’s lawyer said the deputy director of the FBI, David Bowdich, had overruled the Office of Professional Responsibility and fired Strzok.

The pre$$ is hyping those because they are the most tantalizing of the voluminous record and what more is there to see, right?

A spokeswoman for the FBI did not respond to a message seeking comment about why Strzok was dismissed rather than demoted. Firing Strzok, however, removes a favorite target of Trump from the ranks of the FBI and gives Bowdich and the FBI director, Christopher Wray, a chance to move beyond the president’s ire.

Yeah, whatever, NYT.

Aitan Goelman, Strzok’s lawyer, denounced his client’s dismissal. “This decision should be deeply troubling to all Americans,” Goelman said. “A lengthy investigation and multiple rounds of congressional testimony failed to produce a shred of evidence that Special Agent Strzok’s personal views ever affected his work.”

The length of time it took is.

Strzok’s text exchanges with Page demonstrated animosity toward Trump. In one, Page asks: Trump is “not ever going to become president, right? Right?!” Strzok responds: “No. No he won’t. We’ll stop it.”

Yeah, that's the famous one and it really defies excuse or explanation. You can sense the panic of the lover and his reassuring reply. 

What it makes you realize is that Page went behind closed doors and served up Strzok and then we never heard about it again. Just like Ali Watkins was never reported. Or Feinstein's chauffeur.

The inspector general, who uncovered the messages, found no evidence that the pair imposed their political views on their investigative decisions but cited that exchange as “not only indicative of a biased state of mind but, even more seriously, implies a willingness to take official action to impact the presidential candidate’s electoral prospects.”

The report by the inspector general, Michael E. Horowitz, that preceded Strzok’s firing not only criticized his conduct in sending the texts but also his use of personal e-mail accounts to handle sensitive information. In addition, the inspector general criticized Strzok’s decision not to move swiftly to examine new e-mails related to the Clinton investigation just weeks before the 2016 election.

Horowitz said in his report that he was “deeply troubled” by the text messages. Hundreds exchanged over months were found in which the pair disparaged Trump and, to a lesser extent, Clinton, exchanged work gossip and bantered.

One from Strzok said Hillary should win 100,000,000 to 0!

Strzok, 48, became emblematic of Trump’s unfounded assertions that a so-called deep state of bureaucrats opposed to him was undermining his presidency.....

That is really not even a question any more.


It's all shallow and superficial shit at bottom, and now you know why.

The game went so long it was already Wednesday before heading home, so:


"Massport CEO who oversaw Seaport building boom says he will step down" by Jon Chesto Globe Staff  August 16, 2018

The Massachusetts Port Authority’s chief executive, Thomas P. Glynn, plans to step down in November, ending a six-year tenure in which he oversaw a dramatic surge in international flights at Logan Airport and a building boom on vast land holdings in the Seaport District.

While at Massport, Glynn has been one of Boston’s most influential power brokers, with three airports and three ship terminals under his purview, as well as big chunks of real estate on the East Boston and South Boston waterfronts.

Glynn’s Massport job caps a career in government that spans decades, as well as a nearly 15-year tenure as Partners HealthCare’s chief operating officer.

Glynn’s contract ends in November 2019, but he said Tuesday that he’s ready to leave a year early. He said he is giving 90 days’ notice to Massport’s board of directors on Wednesday and noted that the average tenure for a Massport CEO since 1990 has been three years.

“I feel like we’ve accomplished a lot of the things the board asked me to do,” Glynn said in a phone interview on Tuesday. “Six years is a long time in the job, and I’m 72.”

Ready to leave, is he?

Glynn earns nearly $300,000 a year, and was hired under Governor Charlie Baker’s predecessor, Deval Patrick.

Ought to bering an nice yearly pension.

Glynn avoided major controversy during his time as CEO, however. He used his influence to help Massport right until the end of his tenure: Late last month, the Legislature included an authorization for $100 million in an economic development bill to upgrade Massport’s cruise ship terminal in South Boston. Glynn had personally pushed for the funding on Beacon Hill.....

Did he while at Massport

You will have to go through all 117 entries I gue$$, and I suggest starting at the end of the scroll. I know I've probably missed a whole pile of stories over the years, too. How many political patronage jobs have been passed out over there, $ta$hed away with the luggage.


Aren't they a qua$i-agency?

Better catch a bu$ then:

"The 111 is a rolling case study of all the problems that confront the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority as it seeks to improve bus service: overcrowding, delays caused by traffic and passengers who pay in cash, and frequent cancellations. It is also an endurance test for passengers, who for $1.70 and anywhere from 20 minutes to an hour of discomfort and indignities get a lifeline from working-class neighborhoods in Chelsea to the economic engine in downtown Boston....."

OMG, “we just left the station and we’re already stuck in traffic!”

I got off after MBTA officials say they are trying to “rebuild” and finally pledged to fix the problem after a sharp rise in cancellations across the system last year, blamed on an uptick in driver absences. The T is planning to hire 55 additional bus drivers, and is working on a top-to-bottom review of the network that could lead to further service changes. You can always catch the new Silver Line as it runs in its own protected lane or catch the Red Line (not moving though).

Inspector general to review TSA’s ‘Quiet Skies’ surveillance program

Yeah, the stink has passed.

Meanwhile, over in the seat next to you:

"They were heads of multinational corporations and forensic psychologists. University professors and accomplished architects. Now they’re retired, and rehearsing for their toughest act yet. The school play. Introducing the Frances Addelson Shakespeare Players, an amateur group of actors with an average age north of room temperature, who operate under the auspices of the Harvard Institute for Learning in Retirement......"

Have you seen the program for their first production?

Globe is being applauded for proving conspiracies can indeed be kept secret for centuries.


Paul Manafort’s defense rests after calling no witnesses

It's the National Lead, and it is akin to one of those legal shows were they speculate on the case as it goes to the jury, and it is worth unpacking this most unusual legal tale.


The West Virginia judges are still big news, and they should count their lucky stars it is only an impeachment charge.

"Revelations that federal authorities have been collaborating to arrest and deport unauthorized immigrants who show up at interviews to seek legal residency drew a swift rebuke Tuesday from Democratic leaders and praise from advocates for tougher enforcement of immigration laws. “Horrendous,” said US Representative Michael Capuano, who wrote to Kirstjen Nielsen, secretary of the Department of Homeland Security, on Tuesday to express his concerns about the practice, which was detailed in a Globe article. “These are exactly the kinds of policies we need to stop. Separating families, breaking the hearts of parents, and terrorizing children cannot be the goal of any American administration.”  US Representative Seth Moulton said Congress should conduct hearings that would hold the officials involved in the practice responsible. “It is the opposite of a government you can trust,” Moulton said. “And Americans deserve elected officials and government agents who they can trust.”

His biggest backer is Bill Kristol -- or was -- and I guess he didn't mind being lied into a war that did just that.

And yet they still have jobs:

"Cushy job offers for discarded Trump staffers" by wire services August 14, 2018

WASHINGTON — Keep your friends close and your enemies closer. And, perhaps, your potential leakers closer still.

President Trump’s political operation has made a regular practice of providing soft landing-pads for discarded staffers, offering nebulous jobs at big salaries to aides who have been pushed out of his West Wing.

The revelation this week that former White House assistant Omarosa Manigault Newman was offered a high-paying job on Trump’s reelection campaign in return for signing a nondisclosure agreement was the clearest demonstration yet of how a slot in the Trump orbit is being used to take care of loyalists — and protect against potential liabilities.

Manigault Newman, who contends in her new book that she was offered a hush-money contract with the Trump campaign paying $15,000 a month, is hardly the first erstwhile staffer to find a lucrative off-ramp in the expanse of pro-Trump political organizations. The former staff members have found a wide range of rehabilitation within Trump’s orbit: his reelection campaign, the Republican National Committee, and outside groups that support both him and Vice President Mike Pence. 

I'm sorry, the Globe should be ashamed of itself for continuing to run with her, but at least she has one supporter left.

Keith Schiller, the president’s former bodyguard who served for eight months as director of Oval Office operations, has been paid the same $15,000 by the Republican National Committee as a security consultant for its national convention — in 2020 in Charlotte. John McEntee, Trump’s former personal aide, is paid $14,000 a month by the Trump reelection campaign.

Schiller protected him for years until he was removed, and yes, I do worry about the president's safety these days. Of course, it won't be half his head blown off like that other guy. It will be more like this because of his penchant for McDonalds and Doritos:

A Tuesday evening at some point in the near future. Just after 6:30 p.m., breaking news flashes across the networks and cable news programs: President Trump has been rushed to Bethesda Medical Center. Over the next couple of hours, as the talking heads chatter and the news networks scramble, we are gradually told that President Trump has suffered a heart attack and will be subjected to medical diagnoses by experts in their field. The signs were there and the seriousness will grow by the second.

Then, at 9:11 p.m., after looking down at his monitor, Lester Holt will inform the nation that the word is now official: President Trump has died. The official time of death was 8:33 p.m. Eastern time. (Clears throat) Vice President Mike Pence has already taken the oath of office and is now the 46th president of the United States.

What will be strange is, like in the immediate aftermath of the JFK assassination, many in this nation will ecstatic that he is dead.

Manigault Newman told MSNBC’s ‘‘Hardball’’ on Monday, ‘‘They told me I could work from home, I didn’t have to come in if I didn’t want to. . . . I could choose between the RNC, America First, or the Trump campaign.’’ She says she said no.

Now she has released a book filled with unsavory White House inside stories — Trump says the ones about him are false — and has been playing recordings of the president and others on TV. That’s exactly what he wanted to avoid, and his presidential campaign filed an arbitration action against her on Wednesday, alleging she had breached a confidentiality agreement she had signed.

The outside groups have also become magnets for Trump backers who were not brought into the administration, like Katrina Pierson and Trump daughter-in-law Lara Trump.

The all-in the-family approach to taking care of stalwarts is nothing new, but the systematic approach with which Trump White House veterans have been offered plush gigs is. According to aides, it reflects a reality that, for some, the lucrative private sector jobs typically available to exiting White House officials never materialized, while for others, it serves as a way keep them nearby and quiet, and Trump, despite his reality-television catch-phrase, is loath to fire anyone from his inner circle, preferring to keep receiving their public and private adoration.

So he has to be pushed into it, huh? 

Which is why we get unsubstantiated reports that Kelly is on the shot seat, etc? Puts the losses of Tillerson, Pruitt, and McMaster and their replacements in a whole new light.

But the president’s venom has grown as Manigault Newman releases recordings she had surreptitiously made of staff and him, undermining West Wing morale and infuriating Trump, who used incendiary language on Twitter Tuesday, writing ‘‘When you give a crazed, crying lowlife a break, and give her a job at the White House, I guess it just didn’t work out. Good work by General Kelly for quickly firing that dog.’’

Except dogs are loyal to a fault

Now felines, on the other hand.....

Related: Putting ‘White House’ on the resume is less of a boost

It's hard to find a job if you have worked there, and the only one who has escaped unscathed serving Trump is Gary Cohn!

"A Georgia congressional candidate convicted of drunken driving was ordered by a judge Tuesday to spend the next six months in jail — a sentence that would keep the candidate locked up long past Election Day. It was unclear what would become of Democrat Steven Foster’s campaign after he was sentenced by a Superior Court judge in Whitfield County. He was the only Democrat to run in the May 22 primary for the party’s nomination to challenge Representative Tom Graves in northwest Georgia’s 14th Congressional District. Dan Lovingood, the 14th District chairman for the state Democratic Party, said Foster could remain on the ballot if he refuses to quit the race. Georgia law says state Democratic Party leaders could select a replacement candidate if Foster withdraws from the race or is disqualified under party rules. Party officials did not immediately respond to a call seeking comment Tuesday."

I don't blame him for drinking. 

After November, the bender will go on for another two years.

"The state of Illinois accused the Trump International Hotel & Tower of jeopardizing the Chicago River’s aquatic life. The company’s 98-story building next to the main branch of the Chicago River uses almost 20 million gallons of river water daily to cool its heating, ventilation, and air conditioning systems, and then releases millions of gallons of heated water back into the river, according to a lawsuit by Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan. She said the company failed to study the impact of its operations on fish populations and didn’t get required permits, as required by the law."

This after he helped them clean up the river.

While in the Midwest:

"Midwest primaries test Trump appeal’s against a possible ‘blue wave’" by Steve Peoples and Scott Bauer Associated Press  August 15, 2018

MADISON, Wis. — Democrats tested the strength of their ‘‘blue wave’’ against President Trump’s grip on America’s white working class Tuesday as the 2018 primary season lurched closer to an end in two Midwestern battlegrounds.

The Republican president scored one delayed victory in deep-red Kansas, where current Governor Jeff Colyer conceded defeat in a razor-thin primary against Trump’s endorsed candidate, Secretary of State Kris Kobach, a week after polls closed. Colyer is the first incumbent governor to be defeated this season.

Washington state Governor Jay Inslee, who leads the Democratic Governors Association, predicted that Tuesday would offer fresh evidence of a blue wave that would sweep Democrats into power this November.


‘‘Trump has managed to alienate every form of human life on the planet,’’ Inslee told the Associated Press when asked about his party’s appeal among white working-class voters. ‘‘They’re tired of this chaos.’’

That is true and it isn't, in the sense that he has the support of Netanyahu and the Zioni$t lobby.

Four states, Vermont, Connecticut, Minnesota, and Wisconsin, hosted primary elections Tuesday as the primary season neared its final chapter.

In Vermont, a former utility executive has become the first transgender candidate to win a major political party’s nomination for governor.

Christine Hallquist defeated three other Democrats in her victory in Tuesday’s primary.

They should scream unfairness like the high school athletes.

The former CEO of the Vermont Electric Cooperative said she’s running because she feels she has the best plan to help Vermont residents get higher-paying jobs, provide health care for their families, and better educate their children.

Vermont’s Republican governor, Phil Scott, has won his party’s nomination to run for a second term as the state’s top executive. Scott angered many people in the GOP base for supporting a series of gun restrictions but on Tuesday defeated Springfield businessman Keith Stern, a perennial candidate who described himself as a conservative Republican and campaigned on financial issues.

Peter Welch, Vermont’s lone representative in the US House, has won the Democratic nomination to seek reelection in November, and Independent Senator Bernie Sanders has won Vermont’s Democratic Senate primary but is expected to turn down the nomination and support the state’s Democratic candidates, as is his practice.

Wealthy businessman Ned Lamont easily won the Democratic nomination for Connecticut governor, defeating Bridgeport Mayor Joe Ganim, who was convicted on various felony corruption charges and released from prison in 2010. It’s unclear who Lamont will face in November. Votes were still being counted in the five-way Republican primary battle.

Wow, that is a name from the past. Looking back now, I have nothing but admiration for Lamont for taking on that power.

In Wisconsin, Republican Governor Scott Walker dispensed with a nominal GOP challenger and was awaiting the winner of a crowded Democratic primary. Walker is seeking a third term in office after a failed 2016 presidential run. Eight Democrats were seeking to challenge him in November.

Who are they running this time?

Democratic Wisconsin Senator Tammy Baldwin is advancing to the November general election after facing no opposition from her own party. She faces a tough reelection bid against one of two loyalists to President Trump who are seeking to run against her. Baldwin is the only Democrat in a statewide office of importance in Wisconsin, and outside groups have already spent millions on television ads attacking her. The Republicans battling to run against her are political outsider Kevin Nicholson and state Senator Leah Vukmir. Polls show their race to be very close.

They aren't taking back the Senate.

Minnesota Senator Amy Klobuchar easily won a Democratic primary as she seeks her third term. Klobuchar, one of Minnesota’s most popular politicians, had no serious opposition on Tuesday. In Minnesota’s other Senate race, the downfall of Democrat Al Franken amid the rise of the #MeToo movement set the course for what could be a two-woman race to finish his term. Franken’s successor, Democrat Tina Smith, won her primary, and the endorsed Republican candidate, state Senator Karin Housley, was a heavy favorite in the GOP race.

Oh, yeah, remember him? 

What he did now seems tame by comparison.

All but 10 states will have picked candidates for November’s general election by the time the day’s votes are counted. The stakes are clear: Democrats are working to end GOP control of Congress and governors’ offices across the nation.


We know one seat already lost.

You wouldn't happen to know where a bathroom is, would ya'?


Had to use the one at Faneuil Hall so I grabbed some breakfast.

"L’Italien says $70,000 campaign loan came from account shared with her since-deceased mother" by Matt Stout Globe Correspondent  August 14, 2018

Under pressure to reveal the source of $70,000 she loaned her congressional campaign, state Senator Barbara L’Italien said Tuesday she pulled the cash from a joint account she held for decades with her mother prior her death last year.

L’Italien — one of 10 Democrats running in the Sept. 4 primary for the Third District — originally did not disclose the account’s existence on a federally required financial disclosure and only first acknowledged it last week. At the time, she said the loan came from a “joint family checking account” but did not say with whom she held the fund.

Obfuscating before she has even taken office.

Saying she takes “full responsibility” for the error, L’Italien said Tuesday she shared the account with her mother, Claire, for nearly 20 years until she died from Alzheimer’s in April 2017. Her mother lived in her Andover home, and L’Italien said she used the funds to “pay for and manage her care as she struggled with dementia in the last decade of her life.”

I'm sorry for her loss, but if that's a bid for sympathy for possible campaign violations.....

The account contained approximately $110,000 before L’Italian loaned her campaign $50,000 in December 2017 and $20,000 more three months later, according to Joe Katz, a campaign spokesman. It currently has $40,000 left, but Katz said the loans did not violate any campaign finance laws, because L’Italien made the withdrawals after her mother died and when the senator was the sole owner of the account.  

If she loses the primary is the inheritance considered wasted?

Katz did not provide a breakdown of how much of the account included L’Italien’s own funds, versus her mother’s, saying they “shared the account as a family does.”

“I am sorry for any confusion I caused and for the distraction from issues like health care and education that impact people’s daily lives,” L’Italien said of the questions about the source of the money. Her campaign provided an updated financial disclosure that includes the account.

It's making the campaign $ick. Good thing MGH is the nation’s fourth-best hospital.

The most troubling thing here is they either give the money back or amend a report, and they act like everything is okay now. Forget the accountability because I guess their name ain't Trump.

Brett G. Kappel, a partner and political campaign finance expert at the Washington, D.C.-based Akerman LLP, said while the case is “unusual,” L’Italien’s use of the money would likely only run afoul of the law if her mother’s will dictated the money should go elsewhere. Katz, L’Italien’s spokesman, said there was no such conflict.....


I guess the Globe no longer loves L’Italien.

Had to drive the last stretch: 

"Man killed in crowbar crash called ‘great attorney, a great persuader of judges’" by Thomas Oide Globe Correspondent  August 14, 2018

The lawyer who was fatally injured when a crowbar went airborne and smashed through his windshield while he drove on Route 9 was described on Tuesday as a man with an upbeat personality matched by a fierce commitment to protecting his clients’ rights.

How horrifying!

John F. Madaio was driving east on Route 9 in Spencer on Monday around 10 a.m. when the unusual crash took place, according to the Spencer Police Department. First responders broke the passenger window to get Madaio, 63, out of his vehicle. He was taken to Harrington Hospital in Southbridge, where he was pronounced dead, police said.

The Paxton resident was driving a 2016 Toyota RAV4 at the time, police said.

His death has shocked and saddened his legal colleagues, including many in Worcester District Attorney Joseph D. Early Jr.’s office, where Madaio was a prosecutor for 15 years. Madaio had worked as a defense attorney for the past several years.

“John touched many people in his life with his sharp wit, his compassion, and his legal abilities,” Early’s office said in the statement. “This is a big loss for our community.”

The fatal crash remains under investigation. Accident reconstruction of the crash is being conducted by officers from the Central Massachusetts Law Enforcement Council, according to police.....



Okay, bear walks into a liquor store..... what do you mean you heard this one and it is not funny? Please spare me, and you rarely see them in daylight.


Prosecutors investigating Revere’s finances after parking meter money goes missing

You really have to revere the fact that the mayor says “what’s important is that there is a culture of accountability and that [they] hold [their] employees, each and every employee, accountable for their work, [and] if they are not performing at a high level then I’m going to hold them accountable” and that the city council is also standing behind him.


You can vote him out September 4th and end white power in Revere. 

It will give them a chance to get back in touch with their colleagues and catch up with each other

Maybe a trip to Aspen?