Friday, November 9, 2018

Back to Front Friday

I learned my lesson:

"Fed leaves key rate unchanged but sees further hikes ahead" by Martin Crutsinger Associated Press  November 09, 2018

WASHINGTON — The Federal Reserve has left its key policy rate unchanged but signaled that it plans to keep responding to the strong US economy with more interest rate hikes. The next rate increase is expected in December.

A statement the Fed issued Thursday after its latest policy meeting portrayed the economy as robust, with healthy job growth, low unemployment, solid consumer spending, and inflation near the Fed’s 2 percent target.

Despite a US trade war with key nations, weaker corporate investment, and a sluggish housing market, the Fed is showing confidence in the economy’s resilience.....

Mortgage rates are their highest in nearly eight years, but at least TD Garden is growing with a $100 million renovation.


And don't worry. They are keeping their eye on any financial warning signs.

Also see:

Tesla names Robyn Denholm as chairwoman, succeeding Elon Musk

Half the room walked out:

"After walkouts, Google agrees to step up its transparency, harassment policies" by Taylor Telford Washington Post  November 09, 2018

A week after 20,000 employees walked out in protest over sexual misconduct and inequality at Google, the company said Thursday that it will commit to building a safer workplace, which includes ending forced arbitration and increasing its transparency on reported incidents of sexual misconduct.

In an e-mail to employees, Google chief executive Sundar Pichai said it was clear that the company needed to make changes to protect its workers. The e-mail outlines a swath of changes, many of which meet the demands from organizers of last week’s walkouts.

The reckoning wrought by #MeToo has left Silicon Valley exposed, revealing patterns of abuse and inequality beneath a veneer of progress. Now, Google, one of the world’s most powerful and visible companies, could become a model for how to fix what’s broken in tech culture.

When workers at 50 Google offices worldwide walked off the job last Thursday, they said they were protesting a ‘‘culture of complicity, dismissiveness, and support for perpetrators.’’ The New York Times reported last month that Google had suppressed allegations of sexual misconduct against several of its executives, and had reportedly paid one executive $90 million when he left the company after a sexual misconduct investigation deemed allegations against him were credible.....

Why did he remain anonymous for this story?


This was the caption on the photo next to the above article:

"Bank of America CEO Brian Moynihan held forth at the Boston College Chief Executives Club on Thursday, in a Q&A session with former Eversource CEO Thomas May, who sits on Bank of America's board. Moynihan talked about how he was able to get the bank's workforce down to 205,000 from 280,000-plus over the past decade. ("Let attrition be your friend.") Moynihan discussed the leadership role that the bank is taking to address climate change, such as through sponsorship of the Stanford Strategic Energy Alliance, calling it a "major issue in our society," and he responded to questions about competition: He told reporters that he welcomes the market-share fight with JPMorgan Chase that's about to ensue in the Boston area, as Chase branches begin to open in the region next month."

I can't think of a better reason to be against all the hot air regarding that agenda. The supporters of it stink, even if the wind is blowing the other way.

"Stocks fell and the dollar extended gains Thursday after the Federal Reserve left interest rates unchanged while confirming it was still on course to hike in December. Tech underperformed after Jack Dorsey’s Square gave a disappointing forecast and Roku reported slower growth, while a rout in energy companies helped pull down the S&P 500 Index from a one-month high. Oil fell a ninth straight day and reached a bear market. Treasury yields held steady. Investors had largely anticipated that the Fed wouldn’t change interest rates at today’s announcement, so instead were focused on looking for any signals on the pace of policy tightening into 2019. The central bank said ‘‘economic activity has been rising at a strong rate’’ and job gains ‘‘have been strong,’’ acknowledging a drop in the unemployment rate, while repeating its outlook for ‘‘further gradual’’ rate increases in its statement. ‘‘The Fed didn’t make any significant changes,’’ said Michael Ning, the chief investment officer at PhaseCapital. ‘‘They are sending a message: They are doing whatever they’ve been doing.’’ US filings for unemployment benefits held near an almost five-decade low, indicating a robust job market."

Jobless benefits claims near low

An almost five-decade low indicates, you got it, a robust job market.

Local Domino’s looking to hire laid-off Papa Gino’s workers

You are going to have to employ yourself then.

Boom expected for Thanksgiving

Higher wages and more disposable income trump more expensive gas prices to motivate the most Americans to travel for Thanksgiving since 2005.

Except gas prices have been going down, and no cigarettes after dinner.

Black Friday starts early this year

There are scooters along with other toys and gifts you can buy.

Now for their agenda 

Nestor Ramos Thousand Oaks massacre

Turns out it was all a staged and scripted crisis event with loads of anomalies.

Trump claims new power to bar asylum for immigrants who arrive illegally

Speaking of aliens:

Federal appeals court blocks Trump administration’s rollback of DACA

Yeah, probably need to build a fence.

 If they get lucky, they get lucky. 

If not, it's off to jail and solitary confinement for 70 years

That's the deal.

[flip to below fold]

"Charlottesville voters saw a chance to make a statement" by Jess Bidgood Globe Staff  November 09, 2018

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. —White nationalists unleashed open racism, grief, and fear in her city two summers ago. Since then, Charlottesville has become shorthand in American parlance for violence, for the nation’s racial divide, and for the president’s tendency to divide — rather than soothe — with his words.

So, after a campaign season that concluded with more dark rhetoric from the president, the midterms held a particular resonance for some residents of a city who had watched an all-too-real incarnation of hatred and fear spill into its streets.

Voting here surged over the last midterms, and residents watched as Trump’s fear-mongering closing message helped repulse enough voters around the country to deliver the House back to Democratic hands, even if their own anger was not enough to wrest the sprawling Fifth District from Republican control.....


The rally has changed people’s lives, and so will this:

Amazon’s new second home?

It's in Virginia, and there are sour grapes in Bo$ton.

At the bottom of the front page is the burial of Whitey Bulger.


Acting attorney general said to have no plans to recuse himself from Russia probe

That was my National Lead, and it was followed with more Stone throwing:

Roger Stone associate challenges Mueller’s special counsel appointment

Also see:

"Hundreds gathered on Boston Common Thursday night to call for the protection of Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into whether President Trump’s campaign coordinated with Russia to interfere in the 2016 election. The half-hour protest was part of a nationwide campaign called “Protect Mueller” organized by public interest and activists groups across the country on Thursday. The Boston demonstrators demanded that Whitaker recuse himself from the Russia probe and urged federal lawmakers to act immediately to protect the special counsel’s office. They also called on House and Senate committees to pursue their own investigations, and for political leaders to denounce any threat to the probe......"

“Our country is on the line,” a rally organizer, Myra Slotnick, told the crowd, while Eileen Ryan, a 58-year-old activist from Watertown, said she was “worried we’re repeating what was happening in Germany in the 1930s,” and Nora Mann, an activist from Arlington, said, “We are facing a continuing assault on our democracy.”

Yeah, the rule of law hangs in the balance, and they were then cleared out by the authorities.

My co-lead was what else?

Marine combat veteran kills 12 in rampage at California bar

The Globe says we need to stop the next angry gunman as they use the mass casualty event to call for more gun control.

Missouri tour boat captain indicted after sinking kills 17

Look what floated to the surface after being submerged for so long:

"After a six-month investigation, prosecutors said Thursday they would not pursue criminal charges against Eric T. Schneiderman, the former New York state attorney general who resigned in May after four women accused him of assaulting them. The decision not to file charges was announced by Madeline Singas, the Nassau County district attorney. Singas said the women who accused Schneiderman were credible, but there were legal hurdles to bringing charges. She did not elaborate, except to say some of the accusations were too old to pursue. “I believe the women who shared their experiences with our investigation team,” Singas wrote, “however legal impediments, including statutes of limitations, preclude criminal prosecution.”

They referred the case to the Manhattan DA’s Office.

Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg hospitalized with fractured ribs

Looks like Trump will be appointing another justice soon.

Florida voters choose to phase out greyhound racing by 2021

It's under recount, like everything else in Florida, and yet the Globe is silent about that today.

What it is doing to me is making me nervous and getting me all stoked up!

"Seth Moulton says new House lawmakers want Pelosi out" by Liz Goodwin Globe Staff  November 09, 2018

WASHINGTON — House Democrats had a big night on Tuesday, wresting control of the lower chamber from the GOP by picking up a net of 30 new seats. There are still a handful of races that haven’t been decided, and the Democratic margin in the House is likely to grow.

The bounty comes at a cost: It sets up a leadership battle in the House Democratic caucus between Nancy Pelosi loyalists and those who want a new direction in the chamber.

Pelosi’s allies are projecting confidence about her chances, pointing out that no one has formally emerged to challenge her for the speaker’s gavel. They’re pitching her as the only person with the experience necessary to guide the House in what is already shaping up to be a tumultuous time. She’s a formidable fund-raiser and delivered the electoral victory Democrats needed, they point out.

Even President Trump appears to believe Pelosi will land the job, calling her “Speaker Pelosi” in his press conference Wednesday, and praising her for her accomplishments, but Representative Seth Moulton of Salem said that’s because Pelosi makes a better foil for the president to run against than a new leader would.

The leadership elections are scheduled to take place the week after Thanksgiving in a closed-door meeting. Whoever emerges victorious would then face a floor vote in January.....



There was only one page of World news, and this was my lead

"Bribery charges urged against four close to Netanyahu in submarine case" by David M. Halbfinger New York Times  November 09, 2018

JERUSALEM — Israeli police on Thursday recommended the indictment of one of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s closest confidants and three others from his inner circle in a sprawling bribery case involving the multibillion-dollar purchase of submarines and missile boats from Germany.

Netanyahu was not a suspect in the naval-acquisition scandal, which has been called Case 3000, and in fact he was cleared months ago.

With elections expected early next year, it is unclear how the police recommendations in the submarine case will affect Netanyahu’s standing. The growing list of people close to the Israeli leader who face possible criminal charges could be used against him by his challengers, but Netanyahu could point to the end of the police inquiry as proof that he personally had nothing to do with improprieties in the submarine acquisition, as he has maintained all along.

Netanyahu's Mueller probe?

Ehud Barak, the former prime minister who has been a vocal critic of Netanyahu’s, wrote on Twitter in Hebrew that the indictments amounted to the “collapse and betrayal of state security.”

“If he knew, he belongs in prison. If he didn’t, he is not qualified to run a state,” Barak wrote, adding: “Treasonous, disgraceful and contemptible.”

No wonder he and Trump have such a close friendship. They are both called the same things by the opposition.


The co-lead was another Bibi:

Pakistani Christian freed after being cleared in blasphemy case

Now briefly next door:

Toxic smog cloaks New Delhi morning after Diwali festivities

Syria says military freed 19 hostages held by IS since July

Did you know Venezuela is starting to look like Syria and Afghanistan?

"Alarmed at what they see as disintegrating curbs on nuclear weapons, a bipartisan array of American nonproliferation specialists has urged President Trump to salvage a Cold War-era treaty with Russia that he has vowed to scrap. In letters sent to the White House this week that were seen by The New York Times, the group said the pact, the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty, had reduced the risk of nuclear war. It was signed by more than a dozen prominent figures in arms control, including former secretary of state George P. Shultz and former senators Richard Lugar and Sam Nunn, and another letter was dated Tuesday and sent by the American College of National Security Leaders, a group of former high-level military officers......"

Yeah, they are looking at you, kid!

"Treaty exits and extensions top Trump adviser’s Moscow talks" by Nataliya Vasilyevaand Vladimir Isachenkov Associated Press  October 23, 2018

MOSCOW — President Trump’s national security adviser met in Moscow with top Russian officials Monday, less than 48 hours after Trump declared he intended to pull the United States out of a 1987 nuclear weapons treaty.

National Security Adviser John Bolton and his Russian counterpart, Security Council chairman Nikolai Patrushev, discussed arms control agreements, Syria, Iran, North Korea, and the fight against terrorism, according to the Security Council.

Trump said that Russia violated the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces, or INF, Treaty, that prohibits the United States and Russia from possessing, producing or test-flying ground-launched nuclear cruise and ballistic missiles with a range of 300 to 3,400 miles.

He warned Saturday that the United States will begin developing such weapons unless Russia and China agree not to possess or develop them. China wasn’t a party to the pact that was signed in 1987 by President Ronald Reagan and Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev.

‘‘Russia has not adhered to the agreement,’’ Trump said Monday. ‘‘We have more money than anybody else by far; we’ll build it up until they come to their senses.’’

Yeah, let's waste billions and billions of dollars to call someone's bluff.

‘‘I’m terminating the agreement because they violated the agreement,’’ Trump said, adding that his action was ‘‘a threat to whoever you want, and it includes China, and it includes Russia, and it includes anybody else that wants to play that game.’’

It's not a game, asshole!

Bolton noted in an interview with the Russian business daily Kommersant that the United States was concerned both with Russia’s violation of the pact and China’s intermediate-range missile capabilities. He also added that it would be unrealistic to expect Beijing to accept any limits.

In Monday’s talks with Bolton, Patrushev reaffirmed Russia’s ‘‘readiness for joint work to consider mutual complaints regarding the treaty’s implementation,’’ the Security Council said.

‘‘It was underlined that its abrogation would deal a serious blow to the entire international system of nuclear non-proliferation and arms control,’’ the council’s statement said.

And there are the Russians, acting completely reasonable!

Patrushev and Bolton also discussed a possible five-year extension of another pivotal arms control agreement between Russia and the United States — the New START Treaty that went into force in 2011 and is set to expire in 2021, the statement said.

Bolton also held talks later in the day with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and is set to meet with President Vladimir Putin on Tuesday.

Putin’s spokesman, Dmitry Peskov, warned Monday that the US withdrawal from the treaty would ‘‘make the world a more dangerous place.’’

And a bipartisan array of American nonproliferation specialists, including more than a dozen prominent figures in arms control and a group of former high-level military officers agree with him!

He added that Russia would have to take countermeasures to ‘‘restore balance’’ if the United States opts out of the agreement.

Peskov reaffirmed Moscow’s strong denial of any treaty violations. ‘‘We categorically disagree with the claim that Russia has violated the INF Treaty,’’ he said. ‘‘Russia has fully adhered to the treaty’s provisions.’’ He noted that Russia long has voiced concern about what it sees as US violations of the treaty. Russia has charged that US missile defense facilities in Romania could be modified to house ground-to-ground intermediate-range cruise missiles.

I have no doubt the United States is in fact guilty of the charge. 

They no longer adhere to treaties, but insist on the right to enforce them on you.

NATO spokeswoman Oana Lungescu said Monday that the military alliance has repeatedly expressed concern about Russia’s nuclear-capable 9M729 missile.

‘‘In the absence of any credible answer from Russia on this new missile, allies believe that the most plausible assessment would be that Russia is in violation of the INF Treaty,’’ she said.

And Iraq had WMD and mobile bioweapons labs!

Look at that statement and what is the mind-set behind it.

They are saying that because the Russians didn't admit to something they didn't do, it isn't a credible answer and their plausible assessment is they are in violation.

The European Union warned Trump to assess the potential impact of abandoning a 40-year-old arms control agreement.....

Right, like he listens to them!


You know what the solution is, right?

"Did Trump’s ambassador to NATO threaten Russia with preemptive strikes?" by Michael Birnbaum and Paul Sonne Washington Post  October 02, 2018

BRUSSELS — The US ambassador to NATO set off alarm bells Tuesday when she suggested that the United States might ‘‘take out’’ Russian missiles that US officials say violate a landmark arms control treaty.

Although Ambassador Kay Bailey Hutchison’s comments were somewhat ambiguous, arms control experts said they could be interpreted to mean a preemptive strike against Russian missiles. Such a move could lead to nuclear war.

An official familiar with Hutchison’s thinking later said she did not mean a preemptive strike. Still, the comments drew a furious response from the Russian Foreign Ministry.

‘‘Who authorized this dame to make such allegations? The American people? Do ordinary Americans know that they are paying out of their pockets for so-called diplomats who behave so aggressively and destructively?,’’ Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova told reporters, the Interfax news agency reported.

No, they don't, thanks to the ma$$ media and pre$$.

Asked during a news conference at NATO headquarters in Brussels what the United States might do about a new class of Russian missiles that appear to violate the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty, Hutchinson said, ‘‘The countermeasures would be to take out the missiles that are in development by Russia in violation of the treaty.’’

It was unclear whether she meant that the United States would target Russia’s banned missile installations in the event that Moscow doesn’t come back into compliance with the treaty, or whether she was warning that the United States would enhance its missile defenses to take out any banned missiles Russia decides to launch at US or allied targets.

And into orbit we go!

‘‘The question was what would you do if this continues to a point where we know that they are capable of delivering’’ the banned missiles, Hutchison said. ‘‘And at that point we would then be looking at a capability to take out a missile that could hit any of our countries in Europe and hit America in Alaska.’’

The United States and the Soviet Union signed the treaty in 1987.

Neither the Pentagon nor the State Department responded to a request for comment. NATO defense ministers plan to address the alleged Russian violations at a Brussels meeting on Wednesday and Thursday.

Hutchison, a former Republican senator from Texas, has been President Trump’s ambassador to NATO for just over a year.

‘‘She does threaten preemption. She just didn’t mean it,’’ said Jeffrey Lewis, an arms control scholar at the Middlebury Institute of International Studies at Monterey.....


In any event, a Russian rocket has been shot down and a Russian warship is now at the bottom of Black Sea while Russia builds bridges to China -- who will be blamed for the global impact of a recession.


SJC holds hearing on reinstating Aaron Hernandez murder conviction

At least he has an alibi for California.

Steve Wynn sues Wynn Resorts, Mass. Gaming Commission

That will put the fate of his casino up in the air.

New England news in brief

Arlington police warn residents amid string of 11 home break-ins

I don't care about Nathan Carman, sorry.

Baker signs ‘nonpartisan’ civics education bill

moment of silence for his political capital, please.