Saturday, August 18, 2018

Slow Saturday Special: Best Friends Forever

Unless it comes to bu$ine$$:

"Sam Adams is the latest brand with a Trump problem" by Andy Rosen Globe Staff  August 16, 2018

They put a head on it for you.

When Boston Beer Company founder Jim Koch stood up to toast President Trump at a recent dinner, he opened with a line familiar to anyone who’s seen one of his commercials.

“I started making Sam Adams beer in my kitchen [34] years ago.”

It was what he said next that got him into trouble. Standing with Trump’s Bedminster golf club in the background, Koch thanked the president for a tax overhaul that he said would help him battle foreign competitors. “We’re going to kick their ass,” Koch added.

Maybe he should not have said that.

In the days since, Boston Beer has become the latest example of how tricky the landscape is for consumer brands under Trump, a deeply polarizing president whose every association has the potential to ignite a battle between his supporters and foes. 

Just as long as you don't boycott Israel!

Whatever happened to that bill anyway?

“Marketers really haven’t had to deal with something like this for 50 years — since the Vietnam War,” said Robert Passikoff, president of the New York consulting firm Brand Keys. “There is no win on this thing. There’s only dealing with it,” he added. “Now, everything is political.”

Koch and Boston Beer have faced a backlash on social media driven by figures such as Somerville Mayor Joseph A. Curtatone , who pledged in a Twitter post to “never drink Sam Adam’s beer again!” In the physical world, a Jamaica Plain teenager and his father hung a spray-painted sign within sight of the company’s Boston brewery reading, “SHAME! SAM ADAMS [heart] TRUMP SHAME!”

I get the messagenever drink Sam Adams beer.

Another Twitter user shared an image of a smashed bottle of Sam Adams Light — a counterpoint, perhaps, to the Keurig coffeemaker owners who destroyed their machines last fall to protest the Vermont company’s decision to pull ads from Sean Hannity’s Fox News show.

Isn't that incitement to violence?

Controversies like these have often dogged New England companies since Trump’s election. In 2016, New Balance found itself the unhappy subject of an ideological tug of war between right-wing extremists and anti-Trump protesters, some of whom burned their sneakers, after the company made optimistic statements about Trump’s trade policies. Wayfair and TJX Cos. both faced pressure to stop selling furnishings made by Ivanka Trump’s housewares line. 

It had the intended effect, and did you see how much they cost

Notice , too, the subtle bias inherent in the Globe. There are right-wing extremists against simple anti-Trump supporters -- like innocent and pacifist antifa. 

The enemy of our enemy, 'eh?

In Maine, L.L. Bean faced a boycott over a board member’s donation to Trump. And in Western Massachusetts, the owner of Dave’s Soda and Pet City said his brand had been “destroyed in one day” last fall when he attended an event where Trump rolled back part of the Affordable Care Act.

Amid the backlash, they are still opening a store in Bo$ton even though the dogs are barking.

Of course, they were all licking their chops when the windfall from the tax cut came. 

Looks like the Globe was wrong again.

Elsewhere, Trump supporters have called out businesses for seeming hostile to the president. Some called for a boycott of Walmart this summer after discovering an “Impeach 45” T-shirt for sale on the retailer’s website. (Amid a swell of indignation on Twitter, the company swiftly removed the item.)

“Businesspeople weigh in on political issues at their peril,” said Raymond P. Howell, who was press secretary for governor William F. Weld and now advises business clients on communications. “Consumers, especially millennials, want to know that the brands they patronize share their values.”

Yeah, it is all in the BRAND

You know, the marketing image and illusion. Not substance.

Observers are marveling at how quickly the landscape has changed, with Trump taking power at a moment where social media has given consumers a megaphone, forcing business leaders to confront their complaints in the public square. 

Yeah, before they could just blow you off.

If the debate over Koch’s comments dies down soon, Boston Beer might have Omarosa Manigault Newman to thank. Todd Grossman, chief executive for the Americas at social media analytics firm Talkwalker Inc., said the online discussion over the company has paled in comparison to the chatter over Trump’s feud with his former aide.


The Globe somehow managed to work that $elf-$erving two-faced hustler into the paper AGAIN! That makes it the fourth day in a row now that she has made an appearance in one form or fashion. The Globe should be ashamed of itself.

One advantage to companies that find themselves at the center of the Trump tempest: In an age of diminishing attention spans, controversies tend to come and go at lightning speed. Though the online conversation around Boston Beer has been largely negative — a departure from the normally positive comments it tends to get — Grossman noted that the company’s stock price has remained stable — it’s actually gone up a bit — a signal that investors are not overly worried about sales.

That's the most important thing, right there. If they aren't worried, nor should you be.

As for the diminished attention spans, that's the problem with the soundbite ma$$ media and I think it has a purpose: to whipsaw our heads around so often and so fast we can't keep track of what is going on -- and before you know it, here comes another pail of pre$$ slop.

“I don’t see this as a crisis for them, but I see this as something that they should continue to monitor,” he said. “It’s still more of a local story.”

Must be why it was above the fold on the front page of the Globe.

Boston Beer has long placed its namesake region at the core of its story, with Koch as its main character. Past threats to boycott Sam Adams have often involved hokey regional sports rivalries in which the beer is a stand-in for Boston, with fans of opposing teams refusing to drink or sell it.

Just don't take a knee, huh?

Boston Beer and Koch declined to comment.

Susan Dobscha, marketing professor at Bentley University, said Koch should be extra careful when he wades into public policy, given that he plays the role of spokesman along with his corporate position as chairman.

In the land of free speech? 


Or is the speech not so free due to the straightjacket of political correctness?

Koch is the company’s face in commercials and promotions, his avuncular voice extolling the Sam Adams story and its devotion to good beer (though he’s less visible in relation to other Boston Beer products such as Truly Spiked & Sparkling beverages, and Angry Orchard ciders).

“The Pillsbury Doughboy doesn’t have this problem, because he doesn’t go to dinner with Trump,” Dobscha said. Koch “made that choice when he chose to star in his own ads. Because of that, he’s got to stay in his lane.”

He does know the Pillsbury Doughboy is a piece of animation and fiction, right?

Koch has been a voice in the debate over taxes on beer for some time. He and Boston Beer have worked with the Brewers Association, a trade group for craft brewers, for the past decade to persuade Congress to reduce the federal excise tax for breweries.

They all liked him then!

Once pitched by a bipartisan group of lawmakers, the measure was included in the much broader GOP-endorsed tax plan that Congress passed late last year.

For companies of Boston Beer’s size, the bill reduces the excise tax to $16 a barrel from $18 a barrel. In a recent conference call with analysts, Koch said the company’s effective tax rate fell to 28 percent this summer from 36 percent a year earlier, largely because of the tax changes that Congress passed in 2017.

For other business owners who say they benefited from the tax bill, the Koch situation raises questions about whether it’s too dangerous these days to say what they think.

Yes, at this point in AmeriKan history you need to watch what you say. 

If it's not correct, according to the arbiters of acceptable society, keep your mouth shut.

Michael Kane, owner of 126 Self Storage in Ashland, said he voted for Trump. He tries to keep his politics out of business, though he occasionally finds himself debating with one of his 500 tenants over immigration or taxes (he would have liked to see reform go further).

He said the outcry over Boston Beer demonstrates a tendency to shut conversation down rather than engage with people who disagree.

“It says to me more about the left than Jim Koch,” Kane said. “It’s a very scary thing that they’re doing.” 

I'll drink to that!


Wanna go to a ballgame?

"The Sox moving top farm team from Pawtucket to Worcester" by Jon Chesto Globe Staff  August 17, 2018

WORCESTER — Ending a protracted search for a new home, the Pawtucket Red Sox said Friday that they had signed a deal to move to Worcester, ending an era for the minor league affiliate in Rhode Island that dates back to 1973.

Isn't there a sports section for this?

Not only are they pushing a political agenda and entirely hypocritical, they are completely $elf-$erving! The owner of the Red Sox owns the Globe, and his wife is managing director (the elite feminism shows, btw).

Then again, they are only serving their dwindling audience that consists of the elite of Bo$ton and New England. That is who the paper is of and for.

PawSox chairman Larry Lucchino said the team signed a letter of intent with the city to build a nearly $90 million, 10,000-seat stadium that would be open for baseball in 2021. He will once again partner on the stadium project with Janet Marie Smith, with whom he worked on the construction of Oriole Park at Camden Yards and renovations to Fenway Park when the two worked for the Boston Red Sox.

“We look forward . . .  to having a hell of a ride with Worcester,” Lucchino told a crowd gathered at City Hall to herald the deal.

The team will be renamed the Worcester Red Sox and the state would provide $32.5 million in assistance for infrastructure improvements, and another $2.5 million in housing tax credits that would assist the broader redevelopment that is part of the stadium project.


The health insurance rates are going up, the social safety net has been shredded in this sanctuary state, corruption is at epidemic levels, the parking garages are falling apart as the rates are rising, and now the state is going to dole out $35 million for a minor league ball team!!!

Yeah, if you build it.....

The decision is a blow for Pawtucket, a struggling city that was recently hit by the closure of Memorial Hospital. Toy company Hasbro has been mulling whether to renovate its headquarters in the city or to relocate, perhaps to Providence.

McCoy Stadium in Pawtucket dates back to 1942, and it hosted countless Red Sox stars of the future since the Triple A affiliate began playing there in 1973. It was the location of professional baseball’s longest game, a 33-inning affair against the Rochester Red Wings in 1981 played over two days.

Though updated over the years, McCoy lacks the amenities sought by a new ownership group that took over in 2015 and included Lucchino, then-chief executive of the Boston Red Sox.

Many in the area fondly recall McCoy Stadium as a place of family nights, Little League outings, and cheap dinners of hot dogs and soda.

What, no beer?

Probably a good thing because I was going to ask you what kind of beer you wanted, and you know..... 

Too bad, too. Nothing like sharing beers at a summit with good friends.

Steven and Dawn Porter, who own a bookstore in Pawtucket, said the city is losing a crucial piece of its identity. “It’s a big fish for Rhode Island to let go of,” Dawn Porter said.

Officials in Rhode Island had made multiple efforts over the years to keep the team in the state. Most recently, Pawtucket Mayor Don Grebien pushed for a new stadium at the site of the old Apex department store building along the Blackstone River, part of his broader effort to revitalize the city’s downtown. That plan hinged on an $83 million financing plan, but the measure passed by Rhode Island’s General Assembly in June failed to include a state backstop for the bonds.

Lucchino said the lack of that in Rhode Island caused significant uncertainty in the project’s overall financing costs, and was a key reason for considering Worcester.

Grebien issued a statement bemoaning the team’s departure, saying that secret negotiations and “substantial subsidies” from Worcester and the state of Massachusetts led to the decision to rip the team “out of its rightful home.”

“The PawSox do not make Pawtucket,” Grebien said. “Pawtucket made the PawSox.”

Bitter lo$$, huh?

For Worcester, New England’s second-largest city, luring the PawSox is another step forward in its revival, but the stadium doesn’t come without risk: the city has agreed to guarantee the construction debt, meaning it will assure bondholders it can cover any shortfalls if necessary, but Worcester officials say they’re not worried.

Yeah, it's the taxpayers who are going to be in a pickle!!!

About $30 million of the bonds would be directly covered by the team’s rent, amounting to roughly $1 million a year, and city officials say conservative projections show that parking revenue, hotel taxes, advertising sales, and other revenue in the new district would easily cover the rest of the debt payments.

“The project is premised on the concept that the development will be self-supporting,” Worcester City Manager Edward Augustus said. “In essence, the project pays for itself.”


They always say that when they are selling you something while taking money out of your wallet.

No one mentioned 38 Studios, the failed computer game company that former Red Sox pitcher Curt Schilling once ran, during the Friday event in Worcester, but its legacy had an impact, because of the millions in state loan guarantees that had been promised to the company by Rhode Island officials. 38 Studios fell apart in 2012, and its failure regularly came up in discussions in Rhode Island as PawSox advocates tried to build public support for a deal.

They ruined it, and it's the reason you got cut.

What is he up to now anyway? 

No longer a Red Sox hero, is he?

Lucchino was brought into the PawSox by Jim Skeffington, a Providence power broker and longtime legal adviser for the Boston Red Sox. Skeffington wanted a new waterfront stadium in Providence, but he died soon after the team’s 2015 purchase, prompting Lucchino to take a more active role in promoting the Providence option.

Lucchino later pulled the plug on that idea, after critics raised concerns about subsidies.

Lucchino and other PawSox executives said their initial preference would have been to stay in Rhode Island, and they only began negotiating with Worcester a year ago. By that time, Lucchino already had received thousands of postcards signed by Worcester-area residents who urged the team to relocate.

Rhode Island House Speaker Nicholas Mattiello, who resisted including the state guarantee in the PawSox legislation, expressed disappointment at the PawSox move. In a statement, he pointedly noted the state plan required the team, not Rhode Island taxpayers, to shoulder any risks associated with the stadium.

“It is disheartening the PawSox did not show the same loyalty to the City of Pawtucket and the State of Rhode Island as the taxpayers and fans have shown to them for many decades,” Mattiello said.

Loyalty, ha. 

Ask the players about loyalty in baseball, or any sport. As soon as you are not worth it to them, your cut. It's a bu$ine$$, after all, and don't you dare show loyalty to Trump. Disloyalty is okay and to be applauded with pre$$ and media interviews.

Worcester’s history as a baseball town came up several times during the event at City Hall. The first perfect game in major league history was thrown there, in 1880. It is believed to be the scene of the famed “Casey at the Bat” poem by Ernest Thayer. Ted Williams hit his first home run in a Red Sox uniform at a Worcester college ballfield. And a local Little League sent a team to the US finals of the Little League World Series in 2002.....

I'm sorry, what happened?

Baseball always makes me fall asleep.


At least they are all standing for the anthem.

[flip to below fold]

I'd rather not go to a campaign rally or a movie, thanks, and the beaches are closed.


"In Pawtucket, news of beloved team’s planned move hits hard' by Emily Williams Globe Correspondent  August 17, 2018

PAWTUCKET, R.I. — On Friday, the Red Sox farm team announced it was leaving its longtime home in Pawtucket for Worcester in several years, a heavy blow for baseball fans and residents of this old mill town — and the entire state. The team is a crucial piece of Pawtucket’s identity.

Get over it, and think of all the tax loot that will stay in your pocket.

If the PawSox go, that means finding another use for McCoy Stadium instead of allowing it to sit vacant like many other spots in town, said Stacey Riendeau, who founded the Pawtucket Downtown Alliance and owns a local bakery. She suggested giving the site to the local public schools for their sports teams.

Whadda ya' mean IF?

As for the PawSox’s remaining time in town, Riendeau doesn’t think they’ll see much local support.

“Would I buy a ticket now? Probably not.”

People here and across the border in Massachusetts fondly recalled family nights, Little League outings, and cheap dinners of hot dogs and soda at McCoy Stadium, completed in 1942. (General admission children’s seats currently go for $6.)

That was the case for Paula Dionisopoulos of Rehoboth, Mass., who was visiting Slater Mill on Friday afternoon. Though her two sons are grown, she remembers summertime outings to the ballpark and is sorry to see the team go.

Well, at least a Globe reporter got to go see the game on assignment.

“Most families can’t afford to go into Boston and go to a game together,” she said. “Here, we’ve been able to do it all. We’ve sat in the bleachers, with our sons’ baseball teams, in a box. It’s all great.”

Just hours after the announcement, fans sporting their Sox jerseys and Pawtucket baseball caps lined up outside McCoy Stadium, waiting for the doors to open for Friday night’s game.

Although the name of the relocated team is projected to be the “WooSox,” the fans’ mood was far from an affirmative whoop.

John Metaxas of Swansea and Ken Allard of Bristol, R.I., discussed the move as they waited in line. Both former ushers at McCoy, they wondered what would become of it when the team leaves.

The announcement didn’t come as a surprise to Allard, who grew up in Pawtucket: He said interest in the park had waned since he worked there about 15 years ago.

“I think some people took it for granted,” he said.

Metaxas said he was a little surprised that the rumored move would actually become a reality.

Someone once said rumors are simply unconfirmed facts.

“I thought something would happen in the eleventh hour to keep it here,” he said.

Did anyone bother to give the president a call?

For Pawtucket resident Tina Trahan, Friday’s announcement was deeply disappointing.

“That’s why I’m drinking a beer,” she said, pointing to her cup.

Oh, yeah, WHAT KIND!?

Better not be Sam Adams!!!!

McCoy definitely needed updates, Trahan said, but losing the team entirely was too much.

“I really hope they bring in another team,” said Trahan, who had worked at the stadium for nine years. “I don’t want to see this place go away.”

Trahan will keep coming to see the PawSox play in the next two years they’re in Pawtucket, she said. But after that?

”Absolutely not,” she said.....


The fear is that an already discouraged town “is dead.”


Second State Police trooper to plead guilty in OT fraud case

Yeah, I didn't see one stationed at the game, but I did see Nathan Carman in the Mission Hill section of seats, sitting next to Farmer John (at least they are holding someone accountable, and did you see who he is sharing a cell with?).

Now lean over and give us a Hotchkiss:

"Report finds seven former Hotchkiss faculty members sexually abused students" by Danny McDonald Globe Staff  August 18, 2018

An elite Connecticut boarding school apologized Friday after an independent investigator found that seven former faculty members sexually abused students between 1969 and 1992.

It really is a problem at the top, isn't it? 

Just getting you kids ready for life among the ruling class, I guess.

The sexual misconduct at The Hotchkiss School included unwanted contact, unnecessary gynecological exams, and intercourse, and involved 16 students, according to the investigation conducted by the law firm Locke Lord.

Additionally, investigators found multiple instances in which former administrators were made aware of possible misconduct but failed to intervene, according to the report.

“To the survivors of abuse, we apologize from the bottom of our hearts,” said Jean Weinberg Rose, president of the school’s board of trustees, and Craig W. Bradley, Hotchkiss’ head of school, in Friday’s letter.

Specifically noted was the school’s inadequate response to reports about the behavior of Leif Thorne-Thomsen, who served as a classics teacher from 1964 to 1992. Over nearly two decades, Thorne-Thomsen — who went on to marry two of his former students — abused “vulnerable” girls who thought of themselves as outsiders, the report says.

Oh, no.

“He used the trust these students placed in him as a teacher and mentor to engage in repeated acts of sexual misconduct,” investigators wrote.

The other former faculty members who sexually abused students were Christopher Carlisle, an English teacher from 1963 to 1982, George “Rick” DelPrete, who worked as an athletic director and history teacher from 1970 to 2004, Dr. Peter Gott, the school’s medical director from 1972 to 2005, Albert Sly, a choral director, organist, and music teacher at the school from 1950 to 1970 and again in 2008, Ronald Carlson, an English teacher from 1971 to 1981, and Damon White, an English teacher from 1983 to 2012, according to the letter.

Carlisle, Gott, and Sly are deceased.

The allegations include phony “gynecological” exams by Gott, a rape allegation against Sly, and Carlisle’s open obsession with a particular student. DelPrete is accused of showing a student pornographic playing cards and having her perform oral sex on him, and Carlson allegedly kissed and fondled a student. Damon is accused of frequently plying a student with alcohol and pressuring her to give him oral sex.

The report included other allegations that did not meet the investigators’ criteria for naming the offender.

Eric MacLeish, a Cambridge attorney who represents victims who were allegedly abused by three faculty members, called Thorne-Thomsen “a serial predator, one of the worst I have ever come across,” saying he “preyed on completely vulnerable girls.”

The school “got a lot wrong” over the decades, said MacLeish.

“There were warning signs all over the place for Leif Thorne-Thomsen and they allowed him to remain,” he said.

Thorne-Thomsen can’t be prosecuted because of Connecticut’s statute of limitations, said MacLeish.

“It is a total tragedy,” he said.

Isn't that the point? 

Authority ignores and then waits so long these perverts and pedophiles basically get away with it? 

I wish I could believe otherwise, and I once did. 

Never again.

He also referred to Carlson as a “skilled predator.”

“There is a special place in hell for those who stood by, had the power to take action and did nothing,” MacLeish said.

Right next to the females who didn't vote for Clinton!

Hotchkiss, according to Friday’s letter, has “made the appropriate reports to law enforcement and to any known subsequent employers.”

The school has also stripped the seven individuals of any public recognition at the Lakeville, Conn., school, and banned them from its campus.

Additionally, the school’s Board of Trustees has accepted the resignation of Arthur White, who served as the school’s headmaster from 1983 to 1989, from his post as a trustee emeritus. The school is also removing the names of any former heads of school “who failed to act on reports of abuse from any prizes, scholarships, endowments, and spaces on campus.”

They can do that, but it still doesn't wipe away the stain of perversion.

The school is also reimbursing current and past therapy costs for the victims, according to the letter.

Locke Lord, which presented its findings to the school’s board on Friday, interviewed more than 150 people and reviewed about 200,000 pages of documents, according to the letter.

The school, founded in 1891, has 600 students in grades 9 through 12 and a “small number of postgraduates,” according to its website. For boarding students, tuition and fees for the upcoming school year cost more than $59,000; for day students, those costs topped $50,000, according to the school’s web site.

Then most if not all of the kids were underaged! 

Hotchkiss is among a group of elite New England boarding schools that have confronted allegations of sexual misconduct in recent years. In January, Northfield Mount Hermon in Western Massachusetts fired a teacher after an 18 year-old student at another school said she had a sexual relationship with him. Earlier this year, a lawsuit denounced St. Paul’s School in Concord, N.H., as a “haven for sexual predators.”

Was that the photography teacher or someone else, and how is St. Paul's these days?

Several elite private schools have investigated claims of misconduct following a 2016 Boston Globe Spotlight story that reported on allegations by about 200 victims at 67 New England private schools.

They do deserve credit for that.



"Trump plans to revoke security clearance for Justice Department official" by John Wagner Washington Post  August 17, 2018

WASHINGTON — President Trump said Friday that he plans ‘‘very quickly’’ to strip the security clearance of Bruce Ohr, a Justice Department official who he said is ‘‘a disgrace’’ and is tied to special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into Russia interference in the 2016 election.

Trump has repeatedly targeted Ohr as a source for Mueller and his investigation. Ohr’s connection to the matter was as an early contact in 2016 for Christopher Steele, the former British intelligence agent who investigated Trump’s ties to Russia.

Deputy Attorney General Rod J. Rosenstein, while not specifying Ohr’s current duties, has said that Ohr has no involvement in Mueller’s investigation, begun last year. Rosenstein appointed the special counsel and oversees his work.

Trump’s comments, made to reporters as he boarded Marine One en route to a Republican campaign event in New York, came amid rising criticism of the president for using security clearances as a political tool.

In a striking rebuke, 13 former top US intelligence officials released a letter late Thursday describing Trump’s decision earlier this week to revoke the clearance of former CIA director John Brennan as a blatant attempt to ‘‘stifle free speech’’ and send an ‘‘inappropriate and deeply regrettable’’ signal to other public servants.

You gotta love it! 

By this action, Trump has forced the Deep State to expose itself!

The signers, who served in Democratic and Republican administrations, called Trump’s action ‘‘ill-considered.’’

‘‘We all agree that the president’s action regarding John Brennan and the threats of similar action against other former officials has nothing to do with who should and should not hold security clearances — and everything to do with an attempt to stifle free speech,’’ said the letter, whose signers include former CIA directors who served under Presidents Ronald Reagan, George W. Bush, and Bill Clinton.


Brennan is still free to speak his spew on TV. A security clearance is NOT a Constitutional right! These intel flacks are trying to conflate the two, and I suppose it should be no surprise. Deception is their business!

As for Brennan, that pretty much proves the pre$$ is our enemy.

Robert M. Gates — who served as secretary of defense under presidents George W. Bush and Barack Obama, and was director of central intelligence under President George H.W. Bush — also signed the letter after it was first released late Thursday.

Brennan, who led the CIA during most of Obama’s second term, has emerged as one of Trump’s fiercest critics, denouncing his performance at a summit with Russian President Vladimir Putin last month as ‘‘treasonous.’’

When he was, you know, caught spying on the Senate Intelligence Committee as they were assembling their report of CIA torture (what's Haspel up to now, btw? She was confirmed and then banished to a black site), and then lied to them and told them that his agency wasn't -- before quietly making the rounds on Capitol Hill and apologizing to members for doing it.

He was also the guy who assembled the drone kill lists for Obama to sign off on.

Trump has told advisers that he is eager to strip more security clearances as part of an escalating attack on people who have criticized him or played a role in the investigation of Russian interference in the 2016 presidential campaign.

Besides Gates, those signing the letter included former CIA directors William H. Webster, George J. Tenet, Porter Goss, Michael V. Hayden, Leon E. Panetta, and David H. Petraeus; former director of national intelligence James R. Clapper Jr.; and former deputy CIA directors John McLaughlin, Stephen Kappes, Avril Haines, David Cohen, and Michael Morell.

Yeah, Clapper lied to Congress regarding phone call collections. Source of impeccable virtue and honesty, though, just like Brennan. 

As for the rest, they all look like criminal Deep State scum to me. Who knows what covert evil they foisted on the planet, or how many elections they f***ed with.

‘‘This action is quite clearly a signal to other former and current officials,’’ the letter says. ‘‘That signal is inappropriate and deeply regrettable. Decisions on security clearances should be based on national security and not political views.’’

Trump has indicated that he also is considering revoking security clearances for other critics, including Clapper and Hayden, former national security adviser Susan E. Rice, former FBI director James Comey, former FBI officials Andrew McCabe, Lisa Page, and Peter Strzok, former deputy attorney general Sally Yates and Ohr.

When is the Globe going to investigate, or at least publish an article, about all the corruption and shenanigans that went on over there anyway? All the unmasking and everything.

I guess never, huh?

Several of them have said they no longer have clearances.

Appearing on Fox News, White House counselor Kellyanne Conway defended Trump’s action on Brennan.

“I see many people saying that this is nakedly political because he’s a Trump critic. No, remember you keep those security clearances as a professional courtesy or to keep an unbroken line for the next successor administration if you can be helpful with respect to national security. He’s proven neither.’’

Ungrateful bastards should have their clearance stripped.

Of course, you do that to some people and you are gone.


"Trump needles Cuomo again for saying ‘America was never that great’" Washington Post  August 17, 2018

WASHINGTON — President Trump took fresh aim Friday at New York’s Democratic governor, Andrew Cuomo, mocking him for saying earlier this week that ‘‘America was never that great.’’

‘‘How does a politician, Cuomo, known for pushing people and businesses out of his state, not to mention having the highest taxes in the United States, survive making the statement, ‘we’re not going to make America great again. It was never that great?’ Which section of the sentence is worse?’’ Trump wrote on Twitter.

A couple of hours later, Trump returned to the same subject on Twitter, calling Cuomo’s comments ‘‘really dumb’’ and saying it ‘‘could be a career threatening statement’’ and ‘‘there doesn’t seem to be much reason to ever vote for him.’’ Cuomo is seeking reelection in the fall.

It kind of is in the hyper-militarized society.

Trump was referring to comments by Cuomo at a bill-signing ceremony in New York on Wednesday that were aimed at Trump’s campaign slogan, ‘‘Make America Great Again.’’

‘‘We’re not going to make America great again. It was never that great,’’ Cuomo said, drawing audible gasps and some applause. ‘‘We have not reached greatness. We will reach greatness when every American is fully engaged.’’

WTF does that mean, and what if he and his don't like our engagement?

I think you know the answer to that!

Cuomo’s office later sought to clarify his intent, with a spokesman saying the governor ‘‘believes America is great and that her full greatness will be fully realized when every man, woman, and child has full equality.’’ 

Trump wins again.

Later that night, Trump took to Twitter and accused Cuomo of having a ‘‘total meltdown.’’

Cuomo responded to the Republican president, writing: ‘‘What you say would be ‘great again’ would not be great at all. . . . We will not go back to discrimination, segregation, sexism, isolationism, racism, or the KKK.’’

Hours after Trump’s Friday tweets, Cuomo told reporters in a phone call that he was ‘‘inartful’’ in his earlier remarks but he thinks Trump is taking the country to ‘‘the antithesis of American greatness.’’

‘‘He wants to go back to before Roe v. Wade,’’ Cuomo said. ‘‘He wants to go back to before there was environmental protection. Back to before there were workers’ rights. Back before there was marriage equality. Back before all these new immigrants started to come to this country. His philosophy is not just repugnant to New York, his philosophy is anti-American. His vision of America isn’t great at all.’’ 

In keeping with the theme of this post, HOME RUN!!

‘‘I want to be very clear: Of course America is great and of course America has always been great,’’ Cuomo said. ‘‘My family is evidence of American greatness.’’ 

What he just said is such pap and nonsense. 

That the best the Democrats got?

Conservative commentators have continued to seize on Cuomo’s remarks. The episode was discussed Friday morning on ‘‘Fox & Friends’’ on Fox News, a show frequently watched by the president.

Then it must be bad, even if the pre$$ is jealous of their ratings

Those another channels are literally cartoons.


Also see:

US judge calls for plan to address immigrant asylum rights

There should be a military parade for the roll back of Obama.

Trump’s idea to get rid of quarterly earnings reports makes some sense

Did I read that right?

Yes, I did, and all of a sudden "the incentive to goose stock prices via corporate buybacks, a controversial practice that has become especially common since the 2018 Republican tax cuts, " is an issue -- so controversial in fact that the print copy had to be edited out of the web version!

"In the end, though, Trump’s suggestion may go nowhere. All he’s asked for is a study on the subject, not a new rule. And the agency that controls these rules hasn’t expressed any particular enthusiasm. Not to mention that there’s a clear constituency poised for vigorous opposition: investors, who want to know everything they can about the companies they own, updated quarterly (at least)."

Yeah, less transparency is a good thing so that companies can hide any malfeasance and corruption for a longer period of time.

Thank God for China

Maybe we can start sending them shrimp again.

Pentagon warns China training for strikes on US targets 

Maybe not. 

Damn Fox News reporting what the Globe will not.

Alaska man gets life in prison for Florida airport shooting

He will spend the rest of his life in prison after a plea deal will the Iraq war veteran who was diagnosed schizophrenic but was found competent after he improved with antipsychotic medication. He initially told the FBI that he was under government mind control, then switched to unfounded claims he acted in support of the Islamic State extremist group.

At least that is the official story regarding this false flag patsy or crisis actor. That's the way I see it, although all of the sudden the Fort Lauderdale airport shooting makes sense. He lost his mind because of the lines.


"More than 300 killed as Kerala, India, hit by worst floods in decades" by Maria Abi-Habib New York Times   August 17, 2018

NEW DELHI — The idyllic tourist destination of Kerala, India, is experiencing some of its worst floods in nearly a century, with torrential rains in recent days killing at least 324 people, state officials said, and closing the state’s major infrastructure.

The weather weaponry is on full throttle these days.

Scores of the state’s residents were injured in landslides, and authorities said nearly 220,000 more have been displaced since heavy rains began battering the southern Indian state last week.

Officials said the rains were the heaviest in Kerala since 1924.

Flood waters had risen high enough Friday to lap at the engines of jets parked on the runway of Kerala’s main international airport in Kochi, and authorities ordered it closed until Aug. 26, further complicating relief efforts.

The severe rains have engulfed entire villages, triggered landslides, and thrown open dam gates.

The military has deployed hundreds of troops to help the state with rescue victims: Helicopters airlifted stranded families from the rooftops of their homes, and the navy plucked survivors desperately clutching tires and other floating debris from the fetid waters.

India's Katrina.

The state’s chief minister, Pinarayi Vijayan, said Friday that all but one of Kerala’s 14 districts would be affected by the rains, and warned that the population faced an “extremely grave” crisis.

Vijayan’s government ordered helicopters to airdrop lifeboats, life jackets, and other flotation devices to stranded groups of 50 or more people.

Kerala’s government said 80 of the state’s dams had reached precarious levels and it appealed to residents to heed evacuation warnings. At least eight people were killed when an irrigation dam burst, triggering a landslide that hit three houses.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi said Friday he would tour Kerala to take stock of the devastation.

Since last week, the central government has deployed the army, air force, coast guard, and navy to the state and sent an additional 540 troops Thursday. Another 200 boats and 23 helicopters were expected to arrive Friday, state officials said.

Rescuers said those marooned by floods were being taken to 1,500 state-run camps.

The New Delhi Television news channel reported that the state was facing a new crisis with some hospitals facing shortages of oxygen and gas stations running short of fuel, the Associated Press reported.

The annual monsoon brings strong winds and heavy rains every summer to India, but the season this year has been particularly severe in Kerala, which has witnessed excess rainfall of some 37 percent compared with last year, officials said.

More than 1,000 people have lost their lives in seven states since the start of the monsoon season in June.

A total of 407 people have died in Kerala, 190 in Uttar Pradesh, 183 people in West Bengal, 139 in Maharashtra, 52 in Gujarat, 45 in Assam, and 11 in Nagaland state, officials and the Press Trust of India news agency reported.

The monsoon flooding has severely hit 12 of Kerala’s 14 districts, with thousands of homes damaged since June. Crops on about 80,300 acres have also been damaged, the Home Ministry said.

In a separate development Friday, an airliner from China veered off a runway at Manila’s airport and lost an engine and a wheel after landing hard in a rainstorm, the AP reported.

Passengers on the Boeing 737-800 recalled their brush with the accident, with some of the 165 people on board expecting the worst.

The jet, carrying 157 passengers and eight crew from China’s coastal city of Xiamen, managed to touch down close to midnight amid a downpour after aborting an initial attempt to land due to poor visibility, according to Philippine officials.

The airliner lost contact with the tower as it rolled off the runway into a rain-soaked field, where one of the plane’s engines and wheels got ripped off before everyone onboard scrambled out through an emergency slide, the officials said.

A Filipino-American from California, Ruben Lopez Espinas, thought the plane would crash. ‘‘I surrendered myself. I said, ‘Lord, I am yours if it’s really my time,’ ’’ he told the AP.

Chinese passenger Wang Xun Qun embraced her teen daughter during the tense moments before the aircraft landed. When asked to describe their experience, the two repeatedly said, ‘‘Scary, scary.’’

The passengers and crew of Xiamen Air Flight 8667 were taken to an airport terminal, where they were given blankets and food before going to a hotel, airport general manager Ed Monreal and other officials said.

The plane failed to land at first apparently due to poor visibility that may have hindered the pilots’ view of the runway, according to Jim Sydiongco, director-general of the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines. The plane circled before finally landing near midnight but lost contact with the tower, Sydiongco said.

Investigators retrieved the plane’s flight recorder and will get the cockpit voice recorder once the aircraft has been lifted to determine the cause of the accident, Sydiongco said.

Ninoy Aquino International Airport, Manila’s main international gateway, will be closed until Saturday morning while emergency crews use a crane to try to lift the aircraft away from the main runway, officials said. A smaller runway for domestic flights remained open.

Nearly 80 international and domestic flights have been canceled or diverted due to the closure of the airport, which lies in a densely populated residential and commercial section of metropolitan Manila.

Torrential monsoon rains enhanced by a tropical storm flooded many low-lying areas of Manila and northern provinces last weekend, displacing thousands of residents and forcing officials to shut schools and government offices. 


I wonder if the coverage will wash away like it did with Laos.


Killer dust storm blasts India, leaving at least 125 dead

Powerful dust storm, rain leave 14 dead in northern India

Powerful storms kill at least 43 across northern India

Also see:

"Roaming packs of feral dogs have killed six children in the last week in north India, terrifying villagers who have begun keeping their children home from school and killing any dogs they encounter. Many of the attacks occurred when children were out gathering fruit or when they left their homes to use outhouse toilets, he said. Many homes in the area lack indoor plumbing. The feral dogs often survive on leftover food set in alleys for them, but they also face cruelty by people and regularly fight other dogs over territory. While injuries from dog attacks are common, a string of fatalities in one area is rare. Some in the area believe the attacks began after an illegal slaughterhouse was closed, making the dogs more aggressive after they were left without a major source of food....."

The scientists still can't figure out why the Indians don't have indoor plumbing.

Meanwhile, it is all quiet next door:

"Elected Pakistan prime minister, Khan offers little conciliation to foes" by Salman Masood New York Times  August 17, 2018

ISLAMABAD — Imran Khan, the charismatic politician and former cricket star, was elected prime minister on Friday in an acrimonious vote in the lower house of Parliament that was punctuated by partisan shouting.

“Those people who have looted the country, I promise that they will be brought to justice," Khan said in a speech after the vote, repeating an anticorruption campaign theme and offering little conciliation to his adversaries.

Surrounded by loyalists as the opposition’s sloganeering grew louder, he added: “No one has ever been able to blackmail me before. I tell you please go ahead and protest and hit the streets.”

Khan sat smiling after his victory, holding a prayer bead in one hand and occasionally shaking his head in disapproval of the opposition ruckus.

The uproar in Parliament may be a prelude to the difficult path ahead for the new prime minister. The large number of opposition members in the National Assembly and the Senate will make legislating a tough bargain.

PTI’s rise has marked a stunning turnaround in Khan’s political fortunes. He emerged as a serious contender only in 2011, when he began attracting large crowds at rallies.

For a long time, he was considered a nobody in the political landscape. In 2002, his party had just one seat in Parliament. He boycotted the 2008 elections, and in 2013 managed to increase his party’s share to 35.

Khan has no real governing experience and will face an enormous task in steering the country out of its economic and political challenges.

Looks like a path was cleared for the IMF to get into Pakistan, as earlier this year, Khan married faith healer Bushra Maneka. He has previously been married to socialite Jemima Goldsmith and journalist Reham Khan.

He needs to go on Maury and get his family's DNA collected for the database.

During the election campaign, Khan vowed to end corruption and official malfeasance. A broad section of the country’s population, especially the young and educated middle class, has been enamored of his promise of change, but the elections on July 25 were also marred by allegations of the military’s meddling and irregularities in voting.

Hoodwinked again!

The military has denied tilting the election in Khan’s favor, but the party formerly in power, Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz, has leveled accusations that intelligence agencies forced its members to defect to Khan’s party or run as independents.

The corruption conviction and jailing of Nawaz Sharif, the former prime minister, just before the elections also helped Khan’s ascent.

In many ways, Khan was responsible for the downfall of Sharif, a towering figure in the country’s politics who has served as prime minister for three times but never managed to complete a full term.

Khan led large-scale street protests against Sharif and helped to advance Supreme Court cases that led to his ouster in July 2017.

Aside from tackling corruption and revamping governance, one of the key challenges that Khan will face is how to improve relations with the United States.

On Thursday, the Foreign Ministry suspended a US military training program for Pakistani soldiers, underscoring the tensions between the two allies in the war on terror.....


Well, at least we aren't Pakistan, even if we are divided

And cui bono

"Imran Khan, a charismatic cricket star who has fiercely criticized US counterterrorism policy in a region plagued by extremism, found a powerful ally in Pakistan’s military. Khan has accused the United States of reckless murder in its use of drone strikes on suspected extremists in his country, signaling he wants them to stop. Friends and foes describe Khan, 65, as relentless, charming, and highly unpredictable. He turned to Islam and the Sufi sect in 1992, which he said helped lend purpose to his life. Then he entered politics. Pakistan in the late 1990s was a mess: Its Machiavellian spy services were working with the United States, and at the same time, supporting the Taliban and Osama bin Laden. The country was poor, troubled and divided — which could still be said today. Few would disagree that corruption is out of control in Pakistan, but many observers here saw something in Sharif’s downfall that was more selective, possibly more sinister. The widespread suspicion was that Pakistan’s powerful military and intelligence services had pressured the judiciary to take out Sharif, clearing a path for Khan to take over. Sharif had clashed with the army chiefs, even some of those he had chosen, many times. He was a thorn in their side. Khan, on the other hand, was someone the military bosses seemed to think they could work with. Analysts said he shared their worldview, in which Pakistan would kowtow less to the United States and talk more with the Taliban and other extremist groups....."

Looks like a bunch of dancing fools to me, and the U.S. is said to be trying to get talks going, too. What a coincidence in Pakistan’s rough-and-tumble politics (with not one mention of the hundreds dead during the campaign, including several candidates. Hmmmmmm)! 

Said he would end the drone strikes, huh? 

Good thing he was in Afghanistan during the campaign.

So how did former military dictator Pervez Musharraf do, and why wasn't he thrown in jail like Sharif?

North Korea presses demand for formal end of war

How unreasonable after 65 years, huh?

That's the latest hitch, says the NYT, and it is because it would require the United States to pull its forces out of South Korea -- even if they don't tell you that.

Turkish court bars release of American pastor

Because pastor is his NOC, and it turns out he was one of the coup conduits.

Afghan president visits key city, week after Taliban raid

They have been repelled, or have they?

Palestinians say 2 killed by Israel fire at Gaza border

How sad that I had to see that on Fox and not in my Globe. 

About says it all.


Good thing there are no advertisers on this platform, otherwise the $tre$$ would get to me.


Time to exchange love letter before signing off

"Somehow all the complaining on the part of the media about Trump’s attacks on the press ring hollow. Yes, a free press is critical to our form of government. But nowhere does it say that those engaged in it are above criticism. Which, in the end, is all that Trump has done. No real restrictions have been imposed. Anti-Trump stories still run daily in the papers, and on a near-continuous loop on much of radio and television. In fact, rather than restricting this speech, Trump’s “fake news” rants feed it and help it prosper. If a number of people on the right are starting to agree with the enemy-of-the-people theme (and I expect and hope that much of those poll responses are simply making a statement rather than expressing a belief, particularly with the high percentage agreeing a free press is essential to democracy), maybe it’s because they have perceived a not-so-subtle bias against their side for years, well before the rise of Trump. The press is free to pick sides, but don’t complain when your targets stop seeing you as a neutral source and push back."

They didn't expect that.

"Learning that the Globe has launched its anti-Trump editorial tirade reaffirms my decision to cancel my subscription shortly after the election. I wish I had done it sooner."

He's given me $omething to think about, and the rest of the letters were supportive.

So how are those presses running these days?


I hope you find a date for the night.