Thursday, August 30, 2018

Late For School Today

What do you mean the bus never showed up?

"School bus delays continued Wednesday in Boston, and parents are fuming" by James Vaznis Globe Staff  August 30, 2018

Amid tense contract negotiations, Boston school officials grappled for a second day with an unexpected number of bus driver absences, causing students and families to scramble to find other ways to get to school.

Buses ran as much as two hours late, prompting families to hastily rearrange schedules to drive their children to or from school. In a city that spends $120 million annually on school transportation, parents voiced frustration that the school system is unable to provide a safe and reliable bus service.

“This would never happen in Beverly, Wakefield, or Lexington,” said Sholanda Ancrum, whose son attends Roxbury Preparatory Charter School in Mission Hill. “I’m sick of it.”

Me, too.

The bus problems are creating headaches for many schools — mostly independent charters — that started the school year early in hopes of squeezing in more learning time. The school system is responsible for busing charter school students.

While the number of affected schools was small, how smoothly the buses run now is a gauge of what problems, if any, the city’s entire school system might experience when all classes begin. The first day of school is Sept. 6.

Ancrum’s son, who requires door-to-door bus service due to a disability, waited about 2½ hours Wednesday morning for a bus, while one never showed up on Tuesday, Ancrum said. This is the third year in a row, she said, that she has dealt with problem buses and found the school system slow to address them.

“They are leaving our kids stranded, and we can’t leave work,” said Ancrum, an admissions counselor at a local hospital and a member of the citywide Collaborative Parent Leadership Action Network.

Interim Superintendent Laura Perille declined an interview request Wednesday, while the School Department, for a second day in a row, would not answer questions about whether the driver absences might be due to labor unrest.

“We can report that fewer issues were experienced Wednesday than the day before,” the School Department said in a statement. “Boston Public Schools (BPS) is working closely with the district’s transportation vendor, Transdev, to ensure adequate coverage for the future.”

The School Department was still calculating driver absences on Wednesday evening, but officials said only 20 out of 505 morning and afternoon routes were uncovered, although the school system eventually found drivers for four afternoon routes. Ten schools were affected. Drivers typically cover up to three routes in the morning and up to three in the afternoon.

By contrast, on Tuesday, 22 bus drivers had unexcused absences in the morning and 28 in the afternoon, leaving 43 bus routes uncovered, affecting a dozen schools.

The problems come as the bus drivers union and Transdev have been trying to negotiate a new contract to replace an agreement that expires on Friday. Talks have been characterized as tense by the union, which began circulating a flier this week listing its concerns and accusing Transdev of demanding one concession after another.

The flier, which was dated Aug. 27, accused the company of failing to hire new drivers “while continuing to keep many of us on unjust, wasteful suspensions, continues their tactic of trying to squeeze more work out of fewer drivers, using ‘MIT’ routing technology + immoral punishment for our aging, sick, pregnant, immigrant siblings and co-workers who need time to take care of emergencies in their families.”

Oh, so it's the same situation as five years ago when we found out it was undocumented illegals hired by the contractor that are driving the school buses, and they were making a pretty good wage, too. The le$$on is there is an agenda-pu$hing rea$on for the focus on illegals in the Globe.

Drivers are seeking a cost-of-living increase, affordable health care, disability coverage, other benefits, and well-trained bus monitors for every bus, while condemning proposals to outsource their work, reduce allotted time for daily bus inspections, and other measures at the bargaining table, according to the flier.

The flier appears on a Facebook page called Team Solidarity — the Voice of United School Bus Union Workers and includes a vow to “Shut. Transdev. Down.” However, the flier makes no mention of any strike or work stoppage for the start of the school year.

I think they did mention it in three words. Pretty obvious as you wait for the bus.

The bus drivers union, as part of a deal that extended their contract from June 30 to Friday, agreed to provide the city with 48 hours’ notice if the group intended to strike. The deal was hashed out this summer after the union voted on June 21 to authorize a strike vote and then held a rally the next day during which members said in published reports that they held a two-hour sit-in at School Department headquarters, while Aretha Franklin’s hit “Respect” repeatedly blasted from a loudspeaker.

SeeFans stream in for second day of Aretha Franklin public viewing

One of the mourners is a sleaze ball, and maybe one day he will hear the music playing for him.

Hey, where you going?

The rally, during which members held such signs as “no contract, no work,” coincidentally was held the same day that former superintendent Tommy Chang publicly announced he had resigned from the job.

RelatedFormer schools leader is getting $300,000 in a secret deal that apparently broke the law

How many bus drivers would that have bought?

Less than a week later, Mayor Martin J. Walsh expressed concern during a meeting at the Globe that drivers might strike, as Perille sat at his side. Perille said during that meeting it was the first she heard of the potential crisis.

As an old labor hand he should respect the action!

The union did not respond to a request for comment.

They said the buses overheated en route, and talk about waving five fingers from the end of your nose: 

"A federal judge in Boston ruled Wednesday that city officials were justified in denying a group’s request to fly a Christian flag from a municipal flagpole in conjunction with events scheduled for September. In an 18-page ruling, US District Court Judge Denise J. Casper denied West Roxbury resident Harold Shurtleff’s request for a preliminary injunction to force the city to allow Camp Constitution, which Shurtleff directs, to fly a Christian flag on a pole at City Hall Plaza during the camp’s Constitution Day and Citizenship Day events. Shurtleff, 59, said in his civil complaint that Camp Constitution, a public charitable trust, was denied a permit last year to raise a Christian flag on one of City Hall’s flagpoles in connection with an event. Shurtleff wants to raise the flag to commemorate “the civic and social contributions of the Christian community to the City, the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, religious tolerance, the Rule of Law, and the US Constitution,” records show. In the complaint, Camp Constitution said its mission is to “enhance understanding of the country’s Judeo-Christian moral heritage, the American heritage of courage and ingenuity, the genius of the United States Constitution, and the application of free enterprise.”"

Wasn't she Bulger's judge? 

Somehow the Jewish provocateur, the undocumented illegal bus drivers, the mob unions all seem to go together.

Kids are behind 'em, too:

"Several civil rights and student advocacy organizations, alarmed that a school incident report helped lead to a student’s deportation, filed a lawsuit Thursday against Superintendent Tommy Chang after Boston school officials repeatedly refused to disclose how often they give student information to federal immigration authorities. School police wrote up an incident report, which the groups say included unsubstantiated allegations of gang involvement. School police subsequently shared that information with the Boston Regional Intelligence Center, a network of local, state, and federal law enforcement agencies that includes officials from Immigration and Customs Enforcement. East Boston High has been of particular interest to federal immigration officials. It is one of several area high schools where teenagers in recent years have been recruited by the international street gang known as MS-13, federal law authorities have said....." 

It's a “school to deportation pipeline,” but that is about to change and you will be back on the streets in no time.

Walsh declined an interview request and instead issued a statement, saying he was “very frustrated with what happened” on Tuesday.

“Everyone involved needs to work to get this done,” he said, referring to the contract talks.

He's sounding more like the corporatists he's surrounded by every day.

The School Department would not comment on the negotiations.

City Council President Andrea Campbell said she has been pushing the school system to find ways to trim transportation costs, including outsourcing some of the work. She urged officials to issue a request for proposals to find out what other transportation options might exist.

“We are clearly not getting transportation services our families deserve,” she said.

Auston Harris, a school bus monitor, said he waited a half hour in the dark Wednesday morning for his school bus to pick him up, but eventually learned the driver was absent and the route to Brooke Charter School in Mattapan would likely go uncovered.

“I went back home and a bunch of kids had parents, aunts, and uncles get them to school,” he said, stressing the disruption is about more than transportation. “It’s interrupting the school day and messing up learning.”

They are tearing at the fabric of life!


It's a long ride home, too:

"Anyone who’s bought a home in Greater Boston during the last few years might describe the experience as brutal. Unrelenting demand and a tight supply have made buying options scarce and competition ruthless, driving prices into record-high territory, but as the summer housing market starts to give way to fall, there are signs that the pressure might be easing — if ever so slightly......"

The rising rents are why Boston city officials like Walsh need a raise, although in a more telling sign, Fed officials are increasingly worried that trouble is brewing in the home construction market.

[flip to below fold]

"In the deep blue of New England, a Trump appointee gains respect for protecting the environment" by David Abel Globe Staff  August 30, 2018

She’s among the few high-profile representatives of the Trump administration in deep blue New England, appointed by Scott Pruitt, the scandal-ridden former chief of the Environmental Protection Agency who was akin to Public Enemy No. 1 among local environmental groups.

She won’t say whether global warming is primarily caused by human activity — as nearly all climate scientists assert — and supported Pruitt’s efforts to dismantle scientific advisory boards, restrict the type of studies that can be used to craft public policy, and end the Obama administration’s signature plan to reduce carbon emissions.

Despite it all, Alexandra Dunn, a proud Republican who leads the EPA’s New England office, has won widespread accolades from the region’s environmental leaders, who have described her as “empathetic,” “apolitical,” and “smart,” and an advocate for science-based environmental policies.

Many local environmental activists had braced for a regional administrator who would be more beholden to industry and were stunned when Pruitt appointed Dunn in November.

“There was a sigh of collective relief,” said Elizabeth Turnbull Henry, president of the Environmental League of Massachusetts.....


RelatedTrump rescinds Obama-era ocean policy

Somebody call the paramedics!


"McGahn to leave White House counsel job this fall, Trump says" by Julie Hirschfeld Davis and Michael S. Schmidt New York Times  August 29, 2018

WASHINGTON — President Trump surprised Don McGahn, the White House counsel, on Wednesday with an abrupt announcement that McGahn will be departing his post this fall, effectively forcing the long-anticipated exit of a top adviser who has cooperated extensively in the investigation into Russian election interference.

The president made the declaration on Twitter without first informing McGahn, according to people close to both men. It came 11 days after The New York Times reported the degree to which McGahn — who was by Trump’s side at major moments as the president sought to keep control over the Russia inquiry — has emerged as a key witness in the investigation. McGahn has cooperated extensively with prosecutors, who are scrutinizing whether the president tried to obstruct the investigation.

How do you obstruct justice when you haven't committed the crime?

See: New York Sunday Times

They were then brought back down to earth, and you would have thought Lanny would have taught them a lesson.

It's all hogwash!

In addition to stripping the White House of another top official and one of the few senior advisers who has been willing to push back on Trump, McGahn’s departure may fuel concerns about how the president has interacted with witnesses and potential witnesses in the Russia investigation.

In his tweet Wednesday morning, Trump said McGahn would leave this fall after the Senate votes on the confirmation of Judge Brett Kavanaugh to fill the vacant seat on the Supreme Court, the culmination of a quiet but intensive effort he has directed to remake the federal courts by installing scores of conservative judges.

McGahn’s departure has been rumored for months and he had told Trump earlier this year that he planned to step down soon but had not settled on a date. At the time, Trump told McGahn he was reluctant to let him go, but the two men reportedly have not discussed the matter recently. 

Of course, Trump had to be talked into firing Omarosa, and where has she been the last couple weeks, 'eh?

The president’s tweet was precipitated by a report on the Axios website that McGahn planned to leave after Kavanaugh’s confirmation process concluded. Trump had grown tired of seeing reports that McGahn might leave, according to people familiar with his thinking, and decided to take away any wiggle room he might have, but McGahn, who had been a frequent target of Trump’s daughter, Ivanka Trump, and son-in-law, Jared Kushner, believed the story was planted by his critics to force the president’s hand and hasten the timeline of announcing his departure.

Oh, yeah?

Ivanka Trump complained bitterly to her father about the Times report this month, which detailed how some in the White House were unaware of the extent of McGahn’s cooperation with Mueller, according to a person briefed on the discussion.

On Wednesday afternoon at the White House, Trump praised McGahn and said he had nothing to fear about what his counsel had told Mueller, even as he appeared to confirm he was not completely aware what that was.

“I don’t have to be aware,” Trump said. “We do everything straight. We do everything by the book. And Don is an excellent guy.”

Despite his reputation for being brave enough to tell Trump no, there was one major event McGahn could not stop: the firing of then-FBI Director James Comey. After failing to persuade Trump not to dismiss Comey, McGahn worked with Sessions and Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein to come up with a rationale for the dismissal. Eight days after Comey was fired, Mueller was appointed as the special counsel.

Rosenstein was berated over that.

McGahn, who was the top lawyer for the Trump campaign, also forged a strong bond with Republican congressional leaders, who regarded him as a rare island of political sense in a sea of White House officials whom they viewed as overly dramatic and politically inept.

That is where the printed rip job ended.

He had considered resigning repeatedly, according to people who have spoken with him, but stayed on in part at the urging of Senator Mitch McConnell, Republican of Kentucky and the majority leader, and to execute a strategy he spearheaded to appoint conservative judges.

McGahn had tried to lay the groundwork for his resignation, persuading Trump to hire Emmet Flood — who represented Bill Clinton in impeachment proceedings — as his lead White House lawyer dealing with the special counsel inquiry, to position Flood to then succeed him, according to people close to the discussions.

Still, some Republicans reacted to the news with alarm. Senator Charles Grassley of Iowa, the chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, said he was concerned about McGahn’s impending departure, pleading with Trump on Twitter not to let him leave the White House.

Some members of conservative legal circles in which McGahn has worked suggested that he had grown frustrated with serving as the top lawyer in a White House that has drawn more than the usual share of legal scrutiny.

George T. Conway III, who withdrew last year as Trump’s choice for a top post in the Justice Department and is the husband of presidential adviser Kellyanne Conway, responded to Grassley by tweeting, “remember the eighth amendment, senator.” It was a reference to the prohibition in the Constitution against cruel and unusual punishment.

It must be hell going home to that house.



"Still standing at White House, Trump daughter and son-in-law enlarge their profiles" by Maggie Haberman New York Times  July 28, 2018

WASHINGTON — They disappointed climate change activists who thought they would keep President Trump from leaving the landmark Paris accord.

They enraged Democrats and even some Republicans by not pushing back against his immigration policies, and alienated business allies by their silence over threats to NAFTA. They regularly faced news stories about their unpopularity.

Even their relationship with the president seemed to suffer.

And yet, after 18 months of bruising internal White House conflicts and bitter criticism that they have failed to be a moderating influence on the president, both Kushner and his wife, Ivanka Trump, the president’s elder daughter, are still in Washington and still working as aides to Donald Trump.

They are as comfortable — and as close to the center of his orbit — as they have ever been. 

It's really President Jared with the Zioni$t $ettler movement behind him.

As scrutiny of the couple often referred to as Javanka became increasingly intense during the president’s first year, Kushner and Ivanka Trump seemed to retreat from public view, and it did not help that the president, at various points, told friends and his chief of staff, John Kelly, that he wished both Jared and Ivanka would return to New York, but as one staff member after another has disappointed him and has departed or been dispatched, Trump has retreated into the familiarity of his family — his daughter, above all, and eventually, her husband.

As Trump, cut off from dissenting voices and convinced of his own popularity, has become more emboldened, so have his daughter and son-in-law.

It was only in May that Kushner had his security clearance restored after months of questions about whether he was in peril in the investigation by the special counsel, Robert Mueller, into the Trump campaign’s ties to Russia.

Oh, I have a headache.

Mueller’s investigators have not publicly cleared Kushner, and Kushner’s advisers issued misleading statements that indicated his clearance had been fully restored, when in fact he was still awaiting that status, but he and his wife are still ramping up their profiles, ready again for a more public stage to pursue their projects after waiting out — and in some cases grinding down — their critics.

Ivanka Trump’s announcement this past week that she would shut down her fashion brand, based in New York, seemed to symbolize a recommitment to her life and her husband’s in Washington.

SeeIvanka Trump shuts down her namesake clothing brand

The woman who once said she did not intend to stay in the capital long enough to become one of its “political creatures” — people she feels are “so principled that they get nothing done,” according to someone familiar with her thinking — said Tuesday that she did not know “if I will ever return to the business.”

Maybe she will be the first female president of the United States, huh?

“Any suggestion that they were going to leave the White House was just ridiculous,” said Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, who was one of several allies the couple asked to speak on their behalf for this article.

Notice there is never scandal at Treasury, even though Mnuchin was at the Bohemian Grove this year.

Although they have kept a foothold in Manhattan, home is now in Washington, where their children attend Jewish schools and their house is routinely watched by paparazzi as they depart for work or go for a run.

They live in a rented mansion in the Kalorama neighborhood, where they have courted groups of lawmakers and Washington hands in an effort to ease hyperpartisan tensions over cocktails and comfort food.

Their allies say this is a sign that the two, both children of businessmen, have adjusted to the market, but intentionally or not, Kushner and Trump have redefined the expectations that people in their New York social circle once had that the two would be horrified by the president’s policies and change them.

“I never counted on it, but they themselves promoted the idea that they would save us,” said Hilary Rosen, a Democratic strategist who has been a vocal critic of the administration, before ticking off a list of policies Donald Trump has sought to dismantle.

Like moving the embassy to Jerusalem (can't get any closer than that)?

Kushner appears to see himself as the custodian of Trump’s political brand, offering his father-in-law “options,” and has spoken about clearing out the Republican Party of lingering resistance. He has privately said he has been taking action against “incompetence” and that any tensions are a result of fighting for his father-in-law’s best interests.

That's one of the problems. Repuglicans are even more rabid Zionists than Democraps.

Kushner said through a spokesman a few hours before this article was published, “those who have tried to undermine the president have found me to be an obstacle.”

His detractors say the friction stems from Kushner’s meddling in things for which he is out of his depth, such as when the president chose to huddle with Kushner and Ivanka Trump instead of his top policy advisers before his meeting with the North Korean leader, Kim Jong Un.

The advisers were unwelcoming so North Korea reached out to Kushner through the financier Gabriel Schulze.

The couple’s allies insist that the expectations of their friends were way too high from the beginning, and that the admonitions to publicly denounce Donald Trump were never realistic or fair.

They also say that the two have become more careful about how they engage with people, after early missteps.

Inside the White House, the couple’s influence is most felt in internal battles, particularly with aides they do not regard as loyal to their mission — or Donald Trump’s.

And what would that be?

That is particularly true of Kushner, who, critics say, shares his father-in-law’s desire for control. Over the course of Trump’s campaign and presidency, Kushner has been seen as trying to undercut or as being at odds with a long list of aides — some who remain, many who have left.

So he is behind the chaos!

The list includes: Trump’s first campaign manager, Corey Lewandowski; his first chief of staff, Reince Priebus, and his associates; his former chief strategist, Steve Bannon; Don McGahn, the White House counsel; White House counselor Kellyanne Conway; the first head of the presidential transition, Chris Christie; former Secretary of State Rex Tillerson; Trump’s former personal lawyer, Michael Cohen; and his longtime lawyer Marc Kasowitz.

All trophies in his case, so to speak.

So it is really President Jared, isn't it? 

WhereTF is his "peace plan" for Palestine, anyway -- as if you could bribe the Palestinians like you could Abbas.  Now they want “our guy.”

Of course, Christie was single out for special consideration because he put the father behind bars and was ‘‘gleeful’’ at the outcome. He was the first to climb aboard the Trump train, and they unceremoniously dumped him right after the election after promising so much (in other words, they used him). What was once a wellspring of trouble turned into revenge.

Both husband and wife, like the president, are said to hang on to grudges, but Kushner is far more transactional than his wife. Like his father-in-law, he appears to convince himself that fights did not happen if someone has become useful to him.....

OMFG, talk about the stereotypical, backstabbing, two-faced, dink Zionist Jew!! 

What awful people! 

#Chris Christie. Nothing personal! You were just no longer useful!



Mandatory Credit: Photo by MICHAEL REYNOLDS/EPA-EFE/REX/Shutterstock (9698804f) Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner First daughter Ivanka Trump and White House Senior Advisor Jared Kushner, Washington, USA - 01 Jun 2018 First daughter Ivanka Trump (R) and White House Senior Advisor Jared Kushner (L) walk across the South Lawn of the White House to join US President Donald J. Trump (not pictured) aboard Marine One en route to Camp David, in Washington, DC, USA, 01 June 2018.
Jared Kushner and Ivanka Trump (MICHAEL REYNOLDS/EPA-EFE/REX/Shutterstock).

They made how much last year, even as the Devil's Tower was plagued by debt that exceeded $1 billion (he fobbed it off on his mother?)

It was the deal With Qatar that first raised eyebrows about his ties to Israeli firms.

Also see:

"During his years on the Harvard campus, Jared Kushner fit in on the leafy campus. He had an active role in the Harvard Chabad, a campus Jewish group, and Rabbi Hirschy Zarchi, founder of Chabad House at Harvard, who met Jared his freshman year and became close to the Kushner family, said that as a student Jared was devoted to his family and his Orthodox Jewish faith....."

He had such a tough year, but it looks like he made the Z list after all! 

Then there is the black sheep of the family, and it's not fair!

And "an issue is not getting much attention in Washington is one initially proposed by Barack Obama’s administration but never adopted as mass killings with military-style assault weapons became more visible in America. Indeed, the Obama administration had planned to push forward the rule in December 2012, but backed off in the immediate aftermath of that month’s Sandy Hook school shooting. Now with a pro-gun administration in the White House, gun manufacturers believe the rule change will make their bids to foreign countries more competitive and help boost foreign firearms exports by 15 to 20 percent, according the National Shooting Sports Foundation. Arms manufacturers believe they’re losing out on international arms deals because of the lengthy US regulations, including congressional notification. Lawrence Keane, general counsel at National Shooting Sports Foundation, a Connecticut-based association for gun makers, with the National Shooting Sports Foundation, cited two examples: Sig Sauer lost out on an arms sale to the Brazilian national police, he said, after Israeli arms makers convinced the Brazilians to include specifications that prevented US companies from competing. Another US gun maker, Keane said, was excluded from a deal to sell to the Polish national police for similar reasons....."

So much for gun control, 'eh? 

Yeah, let's export the oppression and carnage on our streets to other countries!

What a cluster f***!

"Trump administration cancels a plan to curtail the use of cluster bombs" by Josh Rogin Washington Post  December 01, 2017

WASHINGTON — Defense Secretary Jim Mattis has decided to cancel a plan to end the US military’s use of most cluster munitions after 2018. The change paves the way for the Pentagon to resume purchasing cluster bombs and ensures the weapons will remain part of US arsenals and planning for years to come. 

So more people can be killed and maimed by those things, including children.

The policy change, which reverses a 2008 decision by the George W. Bush administration, is likely to provoke opposition from lawmakers and arms-control organizations, who say the weapons indiscriminately kill civilians caught in war zones and who argue that the United States is out of step with the rest of the world on the issue.

Well, that is nothing new.

‘‘The Department of Defense has determined that cluster munitions remain a vital military capability in the tougher warfighting environment ahead of us, while still a relatively safe one,’’ Pentagon spokesman Tom Crosson told me. ‘‘This was a hard choice, not one the department made lightly.’’

Who i$ getting the purchase orders?

The Pentagon’s senior leadership determined that ending the use of cluster munitions currently in US stocks would create a capability gap for forces, adding risk in a conflict and weakening deterrence, Crosson said, but he added that the new policy includes a commitment to acquiring safer and more reliable cluster munitions, which was one goal of the Bush administration policy.

The United States is not a party to the 2008 Convention on Cluster Munitions, which bans all use, purchase, or transfer of the weapons. The pact includes 102 nations as full parties and 17 as signatories. The US military has not used cluster bombs in large amounts since 2003, at the start of the Iraq War. There is some evidence limited use occurred in 2009 in Yemen.

That on the war crimes list?

The Defense Department is expected to announce the new policy Friday, but it has been briefing lawmakers ahead of the announcement. The Defense Department will also slow its ongoing program to decommission the current US stockpile of cluster munitions until the current stockpiles can be replenished with newer, safer weapons.

Under pressure from Congress and human rights groups, in 2016 the Obama administration stopped transferring cluster munitions to Saudi Arabia, which has reportedly used them in the war in Yemen.

Daryl Kimball, executive director of the Arms Control Association, said that US policy on cluster munitions is already out of step with the vast majority of the world’s nations and that both the George W. Bush and Barack Obama administrations were working toward reducing stockpiles and eliminating their use.

‘‘Reversing current US policy in a way that resumes the use of even more dangerous types of cluster munitions, which the past two administrations decided were unnecessary, would be self-defeating and harmful to US interests and to civilians caught in the middle of war zones,’’ he said.....


And if a kid happens to pick one up and have his arm blown off, just add waterapologize, and you $hould be all $et.


"President Trump said he thinks the federal government did a ‘‘fantastic job in Puerto Rico’’ despite the deaths of nearly 3,000 people after Hurricane Maria. Trump told reporters at the White House Wednesday that, ‘‘We’ve put a lot of money and a lot of effort into Puerto Rico.’’ He said he thinks ‘‘most of the people of Puerto Rico really appreciate what we’ve done.’’ The US territory’s governor this week raised the official death toll from Hurricane Maria from 64 to 2,975."

Who is advising him, huh?

Related: Powering Through Puerto Rico

Let's power through these:

"The FBI on Wednesday pushed back on an unfounded claim by President Trump that Hillary Clinton’s e-mails were hacked by China, saying it had found no evidence that the private servers she used while secretary of state had been compromised. Trump asserted early Wednesday, without citing evidence, that China had hacked Clinton’s e-mails, and he said the Justice Department and the FBI risked losing their credibility if they did not look into the matter further. Writing on Twitter, Trump alleged that many of the e-mails that were purportedly hacked contained classified information and called it ‘‘a very big story.’’ ‘‘Hillary Clinton’s Emails, many of which are Classified Information, got hacked by China. Next move better be by the FBI & DOJ or, after all of their other missteps . . . their credibility will be forever gone!’’ Trump wrote in a tweet posted shortly after midnight. China denied the accusation. ‘‘We are firmly opposed to all forms of cyberattacks and espionage,’’ foreign ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying said at a regular briefing Wednesday. She said China is a staunch defender of cybersecurity. Trump provided no details about the alleged hacking, but his tweets came shortly after the online publication of a story by the Daily Caller asserting that a Chinese-owned company operating in the Washington area hacked Clinton’s private server while she was secretary of state and obtained nearly all her e-mails. The publication cited ‘‘two sources briefed on the matter.’’ Fox News, which is frequently watched by the president, aired a segment on the report Wednesday night, with a guest calling it a bombshell if true. Asked about the president’s assertions, the FBI provided a statement Wednesday afternoon that said: ‘‘The FBI has not found any evidence the servers were compromised.’’ During the 2016 campaign, in which Trump faced off against Clinton, then-FBI Director James Comey announced that the agency had found no basis to bring criminal charges against Clinton, the Democratic nominee. Trump’s calls to investigate Clinton and other real and perceived political adversaries have grown louder as the special counsel’s investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election continues."

I have no doubt that the Chinese probably did hack her accounts. That's what Lisa Page testified to, and it appears she either lied to Congre$$ for diversionary purposes or the FBI is once again covering for the Clintons, and either way the result is the same with Page and the FBI covering for the candidate.

Btw, where is that Democratic server the DCC wouldn't hand over to the FBI anyway? 

Why the tap on the wrist before Awan was sent on his way?

"The profanities flew in the classroom, and so did the hat. Something about President Trump’s slogan incensed a California high school student on Monday. She yelled at a classmate in English class who was wearing a hat emblazoned with ‘‘Make America Great Again’’ and threw it to the ground, authorities said. The teacher banished her from the class at Union Mine High School in El Dorado, but she returned and snatched the hat a second time, and she slapped the teacher’s arm away when he tried to keep her from the other student, authorities said. She appears to curse in cellphone video filmed by a student and published by local media. The student was arrested by a school resource officer and taken to a juvenile detention center, the El Dorado Sheriff’s Office said in a statement. CBS Sacramento identified the student as Jo-Anne Butler, a 17-year-old senior. She defended her actions in an interview with the station. ‘‘That’s a racist and hateful symbol,’’ Butler, who has been suspended from her school for a week and faces potential battery charges, told CBS Sacramento about the hat. ‘‘Maybe just wake people up in some type of way, because it’s not cool the environment our classroom is in.’’

Let's start with the bad grammar.

Another snowflake:

"President Trump tangled on Twitter early Wednesday with retiring Senator Jeff Flake, Republican of Arizona, asserting that the Republican nominee to replace him had turned down Flake’s endorsement — a claim that Flake quickly disputed. Trump’s post-midnight tweet came after Representative Martha McSally was declared the winner in a hard-fought GOP primary to replace Flake, a frequent Trump critic who decided not to seek reelection amid lackluster polling numbers. ‘‘Martha McSally, running in the Arizona Primary for US Senate, was endorsed by rejected Senator Jeff Flake . . . and turned it down — a first!’’ Trump wrote on Twitter. ‘‘Now Martha, a great U.S. Military fighter jet pilot and highly respected member of Congress, WINS BIG. Congratulations, and on to November!’’ Flake replied to Trump on Twitter, saying his claim about an attempted endorsement was false. ‘‘Sorry, @realDonaldTrump. I made no endorsement in this race,’’ Flake wrote. ‘‘I think the last endorsement I made was in the Alabama race.’’

Meanwhile, next door:

"GOP candidate for Fla. governor says voters will ‘monkey this up’ if they elect his black rival" by John Wagner Washington Post  August 29, 2018

WASHINGTON —Representative Ron DeSantis, the newly christened Republican gubernatorial candidate in Florida, said Wednesday that voters would ‘‘monkey this up’’ if they elect his Democratic opponent, Andrew Gillum, who would be the state’s first African-American governor.

During an interview on Fox News, DeSantis praised Gillum, the mayor of Tallahassee, as ‘‘an articulate spokesman’’ for those holding ‘‘far-left views,’’ but warned he would be damaging to the state.

‘‘The last thing we need to do is to monkey this up by trying to embrace a socialist agenda with huge tax increases and bankrupting the state,’’ DeSantis said. ‘‘That is not going to work. That’s not going to be good for Florida.’’

A Fox News Channel host later said the network did not condone DeSantis’ language.

DeSantis’ comments brought a swift rebuke from Terrie Rizzo, chairwoman of the Florida Democratic Party, who said they were racially tinged. The Democratic Governors Association and other political groups also levied criticism.

‘‘It’s disgusting that Ron DeSantis is launching his general election campaign with racist dog whistles,’’ Rizzo wrote on Twitter.

Stephen Lawson, a DeSantis spokesman, later said that such characterizations were ‘‘absurd.’’

‘‘Ron DeSantis was obviously talking about Florida not making the wrong decision to embrace the socialist policies that Andrew Gillum espouses,’’ Lawson said. ‘‘To characterize it as anything else is absurd.’’

In an interview on the network Wednesday afternoon, Gillum suggested that DeSantis was following President Trump’s example.

‘‘Yeah, that part wasn’t lost on me,’’ Gillum said when asked about DeSantis’ remarks. ‘‘It’s very clear that Mr. DeSantis is taking a page directly from the campaign manual of Donald Trump.’’

‘‘If he thinks that in today’s day and age Florida voters are going to respond to that level of division and derision, they’re sick of it,’’ he added.

Asked about DeSantis’ comments by reporters following an event on drug-free communities at the White House, Trump said he ‘‘didn’t hear’’ the Florida Republican’s remarks but continued to praise him, calling him ‘‘extraordinary.’’

‘‘He’s an extreme talent,’’ Trump said.

Earlier in the day in a tweet the president attacked Gillum as a ‘‘failed Socialist Mayor’’ and called him the ‘‘biggest dream’’ for DeSantis.

Trump alleged that Gillum, the mayor of Tallahassee, ‘‘has allowed crime & many other problems to flourish in his city,’’ adding: ‘‘This is not what Florida wants or needs!’’

Gillum has embraced liberal policies, such as a ‘‘Medicare-for-all’’ health-care system, but he has not identified as a socialist. Overall crime was down in Tallahassee last year but the city saw a spike in homicides.

Trump’s tweet followed closely on the heels of a national television appearance by Gillum, in which he said he does not fear Trump’s expected heavy involvement in the general election — and called for Trump’s impeachment. 

I thought he was running for governor.

‘‘Donald Trump and Ron DeSantis are both scraping from the bottom of the barrel,’’ Gillum said on CNN. ‘‘I actually believe that Florida and its rich diversity are going to be looking for a governor that’s going to bring us together, not divide us, not misogynist, not racists, not bigots.’’

Paging Omarosa, and where did she go?

‘‘They’re going to be looking for a governor who is going to appeal to our higher aspirations as a state, who’s going to talk about what it means to build a Florida that makes room for all of us and not just some of us,’’ Gillum continued. ‘‘DeSantis can do the bidding of big business and big lobbyists and Donald Trump and his divisive rhetoric. I’m going to be here to do the business of the people of the state of Florida.’’

During the interview, Gillum also said he ‘‘absolutely’’ believes Trump should be impeached. ‘‘He’s already incriminated himself by interfering with the Department of Justice,’’ Gillum said.

Gillum also downplayed an ongoing FBI investigation into possible corruption at Tallahassee City Hall that has not implicated him.


Looks like he has at least one thing in common with Trump.

‘‘Should there be individuals who did anything inappropriately, what we’ve said is they ought to be held fully accountable,’’ Gillum said.

Gillum, who was backed by Senator Bernie Sanders, a Vernmont independent, and billionaire environmentalist Tom Steyer, became the second African American gubernatorial nominee in the South this year. Democrat Stacey Abrams won the party’s nomination in Georgia in May.

Why was the $oro$ money left out?

After Trump’s tweet on Wednesday, Gillum responded on Twitter, writing: ‘‘What our state and country needs is decency, hope, and leadership.’’

During a morning television interview, White House counselor Kellyanne Conway said DeSantis had fully embraced Trump’s endorsement.

‘‘He took that endorsement from the president, and he wore it very proudly,’’ she said on Fox News.


Try running for school board next time.


Arizona gathers to say goodbye to John McCain


He can say hello to Krauthammer when he gets down there.

You can now throw out the fir$t pitch.


You wanna go clubbing after the ballgame?

"Co-owner of Middle East nightclub stepping down amid misconduct claims" by Stephanie Ebbert Globe Staff  August 29, 2018

Facing persistent sexual misconduct allegations that he insists are false, a co-owner of the storied Middle East nightclub has resigned as manager of the club.

Joseph Sater, 66, who owns the music venue with his brother, has faced secondhand claims of sexual misconduct since the #MeToo movement began in October. The assertions, which ricocheted online, led to boycotts by bands, DJs, and even patrons of the Middle East, who avoided the music venue to stand in solidarity with purported victims.

There is only one boycott that is not acceptable.

“Admittedly, it’s been challenging to find an appropriate way to respond to unsubstantiated third-party claims on social media,” the Middle East’s owners said in a statement. “We can say, unequivocally, that the allegations being spread online are absolutely not true and that just being publicly accused is absolutely devastating.”

Sympathy for Trump?

The Middle East, founded in 1974 by Sater and his brother, Nabil, has been a mainstay of the indie rock scene in Greater Boston for decades. In their statement, the owners expressed frustration with the way their venue is now being characterized.

“Understand that we care deeply about our employees; they are like family to us. Over the past 4-plus decades, we have worked hard to create a warm, respectful, safe — and, as a music venue — fun work environment,” the statement said. “We always strive to do better and we sincerely apologize if any current or former employees have not had a positive experience or have felt unsafe.”

The crisis struck last fall, when a DJ posted claims online alleging that one of the owners of the club had assaulted several women. The details were scant and the women, unnamed, but the blowback was immediate.

Performers immediately canceled their shows and issued statements of protest.

Still, no victims came forward publicly, and Cambridge Police did not receive any complaints about the Middle East, Jeremy Warnick, a spokesman, said Wednesday.

The issue was recently revived when a Middle East employee who had stood by the club throughout the crisis posted a lengthy Facebook statement about why he’d given up hope and quit. Alex Pickert wrote that he had advocated internally for changes, including sexual harassment prevention training that was conducted by the Boston Area Rape Crisis Center last year. He also said he and others had pushed “for the accused owner to be removed from the premises,” but after taking a leave of absence from the club in the wake of the online publicity, Sater returned after four months, Pickert wrote, dashing his hopes that his “toxic work environment” could be healed.

Through a spokesman, Sater declined to elaborate on the leave he took. “I stepped away from day-to-day operations for a couple of months because I believed it was in the best interest of the business at that time,” he said.

Sater also said he was not forced out of the job due to the boycott.

“I’m 66 years old and have spent the past 40+ years managing the Middle East,” Sater said. “While I had been planning on moving on at some point — I decided to retire earlier than expected so I wouldn’t be a distraction to the business and to the staff I care so deeply about.”

Some expressed skepticism about the owners’ statement and said they will continue to boycott the venue as long as Sater remains a co-owner.

“We will not be playing the Middle East as long as Joseph owns a share and makes money from it,” the Boston band Courters said on Wednesday. “Most bands we know are on the same page. There will still be an organized boycott. The Boston Rock scene will not stand for this.”

Time to take your seat for the show.


I hate to say she told you so, but she told you so.

Here are the big policy differences between the two Democrats running for governor

So what do I do, pick a Democratic ballot to make mischief or spin the Diehl with a Republican?

That will have them jumping out of their skin!

As for state rep, I suppose Asian-American turnout will decide.


NASA is releasing behind-the-scenes recordings of first moon landing

Talk about jumping the shark and putting the cart before the horse.


"Gunman charged in shootout with Attleboro police had been ejected from girlfriend’s house" by Jerome Campbell and John R. Ellement Globe Staff  August 29, 2018

A man who allegedly engaged in a gunfight with Attleboro police Monday was armed with two handguns and dozens of rounds of ammunition, and he had been ejected from his girlfriend’s house about four hours before his near-fatal encounter with police, court records show.

Must be a white man. That's why the isn't dead.

Eric S. Lindsey, 41, remains at Rhode Island Hospital recovering from gunshot wounds sustained in an incident that began early Monday inside the South Attleboro Assembly of God, where the pastor, Randal Ackland, found him sitting inside the church with a gun in his hand, according to a police report filed in Attleboro District Court.

Ackland tried to talk with the man, later identified as Lindsey, but without success. Lindsey grabbed two black backpacks he had with him and left the church around 6:30 a.m. Ackland, meanwhile, called police and alerted them that he had just had an encounter with an armed man.

Attleboro Officers Leo McKenzie and Luke Harrington spotted Lindsey near the McDonald’s restaurant on Newport Avenue, where he allegedly opened fire as soon as he saw them, according to Attleboro police and two civilians who were driving past the scene in a pickup truck.

The civilians said Lindsey “immediately threw his backpack to the ground and turn[ed] towards the police officers, pulled out a handgun from his pocket or waist area, and opened fire on the police officers,” MacNeil wrote. “The police officers returned the fire.”


Related: Jacksonville Just the Beginning


"State Police capture ‘dangerous’ suspect after manhunt in Haverhill" by Travis Andersen Globe Staff  August 29, 2018

A routine traffic stop in Haverhill Wednesday morning turned into a wild pursuit of a sexual assault suspect wanted in Suffolk County, who bolted from a truck and eluded authorities for hours before State Police flushed him out of a wooded area and nabbed him, troopers said. 

Finally, some positive news about the State Police.

State Police initially confirmed about 9:30 a.m. that they were pursuing the suspect, identified as Elias J. Sudler, 27, and announced at approximately 2:30 p.m. that he had been captured.

Sudler’s arrest on Carleton Street in Haverhill capped a tumultuous day in which the State Police Tactical Operations Team, Air Wing, and K-9 units swarmed the area while local officers stood guard outside two public schools.

David Procopio, a State Police spokesman, said the incident unfolded when a trooper tried to stop a pickup truck for an expired inspection sticker. Sudler, who was wanted in connection with a slew of charges, was a passenger in the truck.

“The driver failed to stop and the Trooper pursued the suspect vehicle,” Procopio said in an e-mail. “The truck stopped at a CVS on Route 97 in Haverhill. The driver was taken into custody. Sudler attempted to retrieve a backpack that was in the car before fleeing on foot without it. Troopers subsequently located a firearm in the backpack.”

The driver of the pickup, 35-year-old Quincy resident Ishaq Abdul-Shafi, was taken into custody while Sudler remained at large.

Abdul-Shafi now faces charges of failure to stop for police, negligent operation, conspiracy to commit a crime, and having no inspection sticker.

Troopers got a break in their search about 2 p.m.

The State Police “Special Tactical Operations Team along with MSP K-9, Troop A patrols and Air Wing directly overhead flushed Sudler out of a wooded area,” troopers tweeted after his arrest. “Suspect engaged by K-9 and apprehended. Suspect transported to a local hospital for treatment, then will be booked.”

Sudler is expected to be taken to the Middleton House of Correction after he is booked, and he is slated to be arraigned at Haverhill District Court, according to State Police.

Sudler was wanted on four separate felony warrants out of Boston and New Bedford courts for an array of charges, including rape, threatening to commit a crime, stalking, kidnapping, intimidation of a witness, assault and battery with a dangerous weapon, and carjacking, State Police said in a statement.

Sudler’s new charges connected to Wednesday’s chase include assault and battery on a police officer, resisting arrest, and several gun-related counts.

Jake Wark, a spokesman for Suffolk District Attorney Daniel F. Conley, elaborated on a case Sudler is connected to in a separate e-mail message.

“Sudler is the subject of a July 10 indictment charging him with stalking and sexually assaulting a former romantic partner in Boston earlier this year and has been the target of an arrest warrant since then,” Wark wrote. “When fit to be transported to Boston, he will be arraigned in Suffolk Superior Court.”

State Police added that Sudler has “an extensive criminal history.”

The dramatic pursuit also affected operations Wednesday at Haverhill High School, according to a statement from Margaret Marotta, superintendent of the city’s schools.

“Police have alerted us to a situation in the area of HHS,” she wrote in a message posted to Facebook around 11:30 a.m.

“There is heavy police presence, while police report the situation is contained, I would like to use an abundance of caution and as a result we are holding dismissal until the situation is 100% contained. Parents may still pick up students.”

Haverhill police said Consentino Middle School had also exercised caution in light of the situation.

“[T]he Haverhill High School and Consentino Middle School have made the decision to hold those students who walk home inside the schools,” Haverhill police said in a statement. “Those students who travel by bus will be released. We currently have officers posted outside both schools.”

Police also confirmed Sudler’s arrest in an afternoon Twitter message.

“We are happy to report that the suspect has been located and apprehended,” Haverhill police tweeted. “Bus routes that were affected due to road closures, will resume routes shortly.”

So that is why the bus was late or didn't show up.



And here I thought you missed it because you were taking to much time picking out your school clothes:

"Nonprofits feeling pinched by recycled clothing competitors" by Alex Gailey Globe Correspondent  August 29, 2018

The New England chapter of the Epilepsy Foundation brings in about $500,000 every year by collecting and reselling unwanted clothes and household goods, using the proceeds to support children and adults with the disease, but the foundation has seen the normally staid business of clothing recycling disrupted by upstart businesses that have taken a page out of the Uber and Airbnb manuals and introduced a more convenient service for people who no longer want their old clothes.

These startup recycling companies have formed partnerships with Massachusetts communities to provide curbside or in-school pickup of clothing donations, but nonprofits that have relied on clothing donations say that convenience has come at their expense — the local Epilepsy Foundation said its revenues are down around 11 percent.

“There’s so many choices now for people to donate clothing and choice is a great thing, but the for-profit companies are hurting my nonprofit, which is trying to raise money and funds for people with epilepsy,” said Brad Rich, president of the Epilepsy Foundation New England Donation Center. “Most people don’t realize when they donate to a for-profit company that they’re hurting a nonprofit.”

Related"nonprofits provide new ways for corporations and individuals to influence"

As if they didn't have enough already!

I'm sure there is an art to it, and if only charities were run like corporations

Epilepsy Foundation New England sells its clothing to the retail thrift-store chain Savers, and the proceeds of the donation program account for about half of the chapter’s funds. Rich said he is concerned about the foundation’s finances if clothing collections continue to fall.

Another nonprofit feeling the squeeze of competition is Catie’s Closet, which accepts new or gently worn clothing and shoes and donates them to low-income students at in-school “closets” in Massachusetts and New Hampshire. Executive director Mickey Cockrell said donations are down 10 to 15 percent over the last year.

“It’s terrific that everyone is trying to keep clothing out of landfills, but recycling clothing has become such a big business that many people don’t understand who it’s serving,” Cockrell said. “We build free stores in public schools for disadvantaged youth and we really appreciate it when people donate to us, so that we can refuel our own communities. It’s been a struggle.”

The tax cuts should have helped.


Maybe you just need something to eat:

"A painful annual ritual has just begun in Boston’s corporate community, a test of stamina, the limits of compassion, and the palate. It’s called gala season. If you work for a company that buys tickets to these charity fund-raisers, you likely know the drill. The windowless ballroom filled with tables for 10. The program on each chair listing generous sponsors. The tired chicken breast followed by dessert with a swirl on top. The tender moment, perhaps an inspirational speech or heart-rending video or both. The talking heads at the podium who talk far too late into the night....."

Tell me about it.

Looks like no school tomorrow!