Monday, November 19, 2018

Sunday Globe Special: How Democrats Stole the 2018 Midterms

It's become clear over the past two weeks what really happened, but this is the what they are going with to explain it all:

"Republicans are green with envy over Somerville’s ActBlue" by Jess Bidgood Globe Staff  November 17, 2018

Interesting rainbow they have going there. Red, green, purple, blue. Only one color missing.

SOMERVILLE — Confetti strings still hung in the air in the office — left over from the balloon drop to celebrate processing yet another billion dollars — as the Democratic fund-raising platform ActBlue became a subject of Republicans’ post-midterm frustration.

It's not a Cambridge Analytica situation, is it (although I realize that type of behavior is okay if Democrats do it)?

The 98 employees at the Somerville-based nonprofit had even more to celebrate: Democrats won more than 30 House seats and blunted losses in the Senate, and ActBlue had processed $706.7 million in small-dollar donations for the party’s congressional candidates. This little-known organization is so successful it’s become a target for Republicans who want to copy it.

The bounty from online donors that Democrats collected using ActBlue’s tools helped power the party’s cash advantage in the midterm elections. All told, the nonprofit says, 4.8 million donors used its tools to give a staggering $1.6 billion to thousands of Democratic candidates and left-leaning organizations during the 2018 election cycle. The average donation? $40.


Some Republicans have darkly suggested — without evidence — that the organization’s methods were shady or illegal. One derided it as a “group in Massachusetts” — as if that said it all, but when Election Day was over, Senator Mitch McConnell, the Republican majority leader, was among the GOP leaders and party strategists saying they desperately needed to figure out how to compete with Democrats and draw more online small-dollar donations for their candidates.

That's interesting because just before election day I was told most of the money -- on both sides -- came from a handful of oligarchs?

Is that how they skirted campaign laws or something? paid a bunch of people to contribute $40? Or is that just the average between the oligarchs and the $5 crowd?

“If they don’t, they won’t be around in the majority any time soon,” said Representative Tom Cole, an Oklahoma Republican and former chair of the National Republican Congressional Committee.

And Trump will be a one-term president.

Employees at ActBlue, which is housed unobtrusively in a brick building in Davis Square, slyly suggested it would not be so easy for Republicans to replicate what they have built since the company was founded in 2004.

“I’m not interested in helping them kind of figure that out, but it’s not just a tech problem,” said executive director Erin Hill. “It’s really exciting to see the world wake up to that, and to see the results of what all these small-dollar donors did.”

Born out of the online activism among Democrats that popped up around the 2004 presidential campaign, ActBlue is now part of the fabric of the party’s fund-raising: 14,500 campaigns and organizations used it in 2018, the organization says. Republicans know it works, and, despite their own strengths with billionaire donors and political action committees — and President Trump’s ability to draw small-dollar donors — they can barely contain their envy of the Democrats’ centralized system for donors to send cash directly to candidates in races around the country, and so much of it.

“We’ve seen millions of dollars raised in congressional races almost overnight from what have been seemingly unknown candidates,” said Corey Lewandowski, a former campaign manager for Trump. He expressed confidence Republicans would find a way to do it themselves — though he, like other Republicans interviewed for this story, was unsure what that method would look like.

Here’s how ActBlue works: It offers, to put it simply, an online toolbox that quickly processes political donations. The organization allows Democrats up and down the ballot, as well as progressive organizations and committees, to set up fund-raising pages, which they use to spread the word about themselves. It processes credit card payments from donors and either wires the money or sends it by check directly to campaigns, which can spend it as they like.

Often, multiple candidates in the same primary contest will use its tools. The group stays out of internecine party fights, and does not have preferred candidates. Nor does it raise money directly on behalf of anyone. In other words, it offers Democratic candidates a piggy bank to fill, and leaves it to individual donors to decide how to spend the money.

Then the donor has even more influence over the campaign, right? If they decide how the money will be spent?

That's the Democrat model? 

No wonder they have lost the working and middle classes.

In the 2018 election cycle, Democratic enthusiasm was turbo-charged by opposition to Trump, and ActBlue processed more donations than ever. Many donors stored their credit card information with the organization, which allowed them to donate to one Democrat after another — say, Beto O’Rourke in Texas, and then Abigail Spanberger, who won a close House race in Virginia — with only a few clicks, and many of those same donors are expected to come back in 2020.

“They’ve taken advantage of a high-enthusiasm cycle in a way that will benefit their party for decades to come,” said Josh Holmes, a Republican strategist and former aide to McConnell.

O’Rourke is getting the most presidential buzz.

The nonprofit group was founded in 2004 — the same year as Facebook — by a physicist, Ben Rahn, and a computer scientist, Matt DeBergalis, who had turned to the frontiers of election technology after an unsuccessful run for Cambridge City Council the year before.

Sure does smell like a CA operation, and "nonprofits provide new ways for corporations and individuals to influence -- as if they didn't have enough already. 

At the time, politics and the Internet were colliding in new ways. Howard Dean, the Vermont governor, had experimented with online fund-raising during his unsuccessful campaign for president, and outlets such as the Daily Kos were building online communities of progressives, but there was no simple way for them to pool their resources.

All that seems like ancient history now. Turned out antiwar Dean is a rabid zionist and Daily Kos is CIA.

Part of what makes ActBlue unique — and so successful, some would say — is its nonprofit status. There are gobs of money to be made processing political donations and building lists of donor data, but ActBlue is funded mostly through tips and donations. It takes 3.95 percent of donations for transaction costs, like credit card fees. ActBlue leaders are well-paid, with salaries in the low six-figures, and its tax returns show executives have received annual bonuses or incentive compensation ranging from $20,000 to $80,000 in several recent years.

No surprise when it comes to corporate Democrats!

The approach stands in contrast to online fund-raising for Republicans, which is done through a number of competing platforms. That means, Holmes said, that they do not share information or tactics, and the system is not as centralized.

“It’s not good when you’re unable to share donor info in a way that lifts all candidates,” said Holmes, the Republican strategist. So, as Republicans try to find some kind of equivalent, “there’s going to be a request for some altruism, too, for the betterment of the Republican Party.”

Last year, the National Republican Congressional Committee began a project to study ActBlue to see if it could replicate its success. Some Republicans, however, cautioned against overstating the role of any one particular tool or approach.

“The tactics used by ActBlue need to be studied, but the Trump campaign is already doing many of those things as or more effectively,” said Charles Spies, a Republican lawyer for campaigns and super PACs. “The bigger issue than any tactic is messaging. That’s what inspired people to give.”

Someone call Mueller.

What’s more, support from out-of-state donors using ActBlue does not necessarily propel candidates to victory.

Many ActBlue employees view themselves not as partisans for any particular candidate, but as technologists embroiled in the nitty-gritty of the fund-raising machinery. The open-plan office is stuffed with desks and tangled cords. Company lawyers parse campaign finance laws for each state, and the reports ActBlue files with the Federal Election Commission are so large they sometimes crash the agency’s website. ActBlue engineers focus on making donating ever faster, and preparing the system for the next surge.....


I find it rather interesting and amusing that the Globe followed up that front page fare with this the very next day (buried, natch):

"Midterms Aside, Big Donors See a Leftward Path to Beating Trump" by Kenneth P. Vogel  |   Nov. 17, 2018

WASHINGTON — As the debate rages among Democrats about how best to position the party to defeat President Trump in 2020, many big donors are signaling early support for expanding and firing up the party’s liberal base rather than backing centrist appeals targeting the Rust Belt.

They really don't want to win, do they, or is there just enough there to rig vote fraud?

Even though middle-of-the-road Democrats helped propel the party to broad gains in the House in the midterm elections this month, especially in coastal suburbs, influential donors signaled in postelection meetings that their priority would be to back progressive appeals in Sun Belt states.

Efforts in particular to register and mobilize minority and low-income voters in the South and Southwest, they said, present greater potential return on investment for Democrats than trying to win back the white Midwestern voters who helped elect Mr. Trump. 

Okay, they now believe identity politics is the way the electoral theft. Fine. 

The problem is with the way it is framed. Your precious vote is looked at as an investment, corporate Democrats to the hilt, and they wonder why they just don't connect with you.

Then they have the nerve to holler racists at them. Nice trick. I guess you never learn.

While left-leaning Democrats fell short in some high-profile races across the South — most notably Representative Beto O’Rourke’s effort to defeat Senator Ted Cruz in Texas and Stacey Abrams’s narrow loss in her campaign to become governor of Georgia — the gains they made underscored the changing demographics of traditionally Republican states and the long-term opportunity for Democrats, the donors said.

But they came way closer than they should have, meaning the Republicans that slid through must have won by prohibitive margins.

“Once we expand the electorate in these places, there will be no turning back,” said Tory Gavito, the president and co-founder of a new coalition of mostly female donors called Way to Win.

Such a monolithic group, huh?

She made her case in presentations to major donors at a conference sponsored by WDN Action, the political arm of the Women Donors Network, earlier this month in Seattle and this past week at another put on by the Democracy Alliance, an organization that includes some of the party’s wealthiest and most influential donors. She promoted the impact of her group’s “New Southern Strategy,” which included steering $22 million to political efforts in the South and Southwest before the midterms.

Anybody at the White House see this?

“The concentration of young people, poor people and people of color who used to sit on the sidelines because Democrats have not inspired them will upend the map,” she said in an interview.

That assessment aligns with the passions of the party’s increasingly powerful small-donor base, creating a potentially potent early financial foundation for prospective presidential candidates who appeal to the party’s left flank.

Small donors funded by oligarchs?

The nominating process remains in its earliest stages, and there is nothing approaching unanimity among Democrats and their financial supporters about the best path to 2020, much less the best candidate. Many of those likely to run will try to straddle the party’s ideological, geographical and generational divides, even as Mr. Trump continues to face challenges that could reshape the political landscape before Election Day, but at the recent donor conferences, centrist groups and think tanks affiliated with the moderate wing of the Democratic Party mostly took a back seat to organizations promoting more liberal ground organizing efforts focused on expanding the electoral map.


At the annual winter meeting of the Democracy Alliance at a downtown Washington hotel this past week, the agenda featured groups focused on registering and mobilizing voters in Arizona, Georgia, Kansas, Kentucky, Oklahoma, Tennessee and Texas.

What hotel, because Democrats are going to investigate Trump for who stays in his.


"Add the Kansas governor to the list of people who believe that Louis Klemp’s Nazi-tinged ‘‘master race’’ comments to a black city planner were line-crossingly racist, not a bizarre, orthodontically-themed joke that somehow landed wrong. The comment in question was made at a county commissioners meeting on Tuesday in Leavenworth, just outside Kansas City. Klemp apparently had taken issue with a development project presented by a planning consultant, who also happened to be the only black person in the video frame. ‘‘I don’t want you to think I’m picking on you because we’re part of the master race. You know you got a gap in your teeth, you’re the masters. Don’t ever forget that,’’ Leavenworth County Commissioner Louis Klemp, who is white, told Triveece Penelton. Since that meeting, several city and county officials have called for Klemp to resign, and Saturday, Governor Jeff Colyer joined the chorus. ‘‘Racial and discriminative language have no place in our society, and most especially when spoken by someone holding a public office,’’ Colyer said in a statement. Leavenworth Mayor Mark Preisinger called a special meeting during which he denounced Klemp’s comments and urged him to apologize to the county planner. ‘‘It just violated common decency . . . It’s time for him to resign,’’ Preisinger said. ‘‘He’s been an embarrassment to the county, which reflects on the city and reflects on everyone.’’ For his part, Klemp has not publicly defended his comments. Klemp could not be reached for comment Sunday. He declined on Wednesday to speak to a television reporter who knocked on his door, but he implied off-camera that his comment was a joke, NBC affiliate KSHB reported."

Looks like Kansas just turned blue!

The description for a session moderated by Ms. Gavito on “building progressive power in red states” declared that “one clear message of 2018 is that the progressive electoral map is widening,” and could include Sun Belt states, and even deep-red states like Alaska, thanks to long-term investments in ground organizing.

Oh, Trump is going to be a ONE-TERM PRESIDENT!

Conference leaders credited such efforts with helping progressive Democrats such as Mr. O’Rourke, Ms. Abrams and Andrew Gillum, who narrowly lost the governor’s race in Florida, run more competitive races than they otherwise might have.


The leaders of several groups that worked to mobilize minority voters — including Black Voters Matter, BlackPAC, New Florida Majority and Color of Change — were granted coveted spots at the conference, allowing them to develop potentially lucrative relationships with the major donors in attendance.

That's where my print copy ended.

Since its creation in 2005, the Democracy Alliance has played a significant role in shaping the institutional ecosystem of the political left by steering more than $1.6 billion to recommended liberal and Democratic groups, according to an alliance official.

It has helped to fund an array of new nonprofit groups dedicated to taking on Mr. Trump. Its ranks include some of the left’s most prolific donors, such as the billionaire investors George Soros and Tom Steyer. This past week’s meeting drew appearances from several Democratic politicians, including Representatives Adam B. Schiff of California and Pramila Jayapal of Washington, as well as Senator Jeff Merkley of Oregon and Governor-elect Jared Polis of Colorado, a former Democracy Alliance donor.

The House Democratic leader, Representative Nancy Pelosi of California, a favorite of the donor class whose bid to be elected House speaker has been complicated by opposition from her party’s left flank, appeared with a handful of newly elected female Democratic members of Congress at a reception on Friday night celebrating female leaders. She was introduced as “the original badass woman in Washington and the next speaker of the House” by Lee Saunders, president of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees, according to an attendee.

At the conference, which was closed to journalists, hundreds of donors and operatives kibitzed and debated the lessons of the midterms and the party’s options for 2020 in formal sessions and sideline gaggles. A New York Times reporter was escorted by an alliance staff member away from a second-floor banquet hall that hosted catered meals and a Thursday evening reception with an open bar and passed hors d’oeuvres, including tuna poke in waffle cones, and prosciutto and mozzarella skewers with a balsamic glaze.


In interviews on the sidelines of the conference, most donors seemed bullish on the emerging strategy, which amounts to a shift of sorts. In the weeks after Mr. Trump’s election, some in the group had warned of dire consequences if the party did not win back the white suburban and Rust Belt voters who had voted Democratic in recent presidential elections before swinging to Mr. Trump.

In other words, the Democrats are ABANDONING YOU!

“The data bears out that there is in fact a new American majority of people of color and progressive white voters,” said Steve Phillips, a Democracy Alliance donor who participated in a Thursday panel about winning elections in the age of Trump. Mr. Phillips, who was solicited afterward by a succession of activists seeking support for groups targeting minority voters, said in an interview that “a lot of the donors are stepping up” to support such groups.

Yeah, you are not a GOOD INVESTMENT!

Mr. Phillips has long called for Democrats to forsake centrist appeals and candidates, including in the 2020 presidential primary, and he suggested that other donors would be wise to do the same. “We should certainly reduce the amount of resources we put in that direction if we want to win,” he said.

And they will be the ones calling the candidates and their campaign's shots in 2020.

RelatedBloomberg makes record $1.8b donation to Johns Hopkins

It's the largest ever to any education institution in the United States, and the 76-year-old founder of the global finances services and media company Bloomberg LP is among the world’s richest people, graduated from Hopkins in 1964, served as New York mayor from 2002 to 2013, and has for years weighed running for president — including in 2020.

That's the Democratic model!

It is going to be either Michelle Obama or Oprah Winfrey who becomes the next JFK.

Sorry, Senator Warren

Gara LaMarche, the president of the Democracy Alliance, did not dispute the club’s heightened focus on progressive organizing, but he said that it was not mutually exclusive with policy work and efforts to appeal to Rust Belt voters.

“It’s not about abandoning white working-class voters,” he said in an interview. “It’s about expanding the electorate and giving people reason to vote.”

So you can get a return on your investment?

In a speech to the assembled donors on Thursday, he praised “unapologetically progressive candidates who excite and inspire core progressive voters,” according to his prepared remarks, and he singled out the efforts of other groups and donor coalitions that steered funds to help such candidates, including Way to Win.

So money won this last election, 'eh? 

That never happened before.

Way to Win is funded in large part by more than 120 female donors, including Susan Pritzker, a member of the family whose fortune stems from Hyatt Hotels. 

The Marriott workers say it is like working on a Plantation.

She traced her involvement in the coalition to the 2016 election, which she called “a brutal wake-up call, throwing into sharp relief how broken our democratic processes had become.” Way to Win consists of a political action committee called Way to Lead that donated money this year directly to candidates and a pair of nonprofit groups that donated millions more to groups organizing in those candidates’ states, with a particular focus on Arizona, Florida, Georgia, Virginia and Texas.

The goal is “to shift the way political giving happens” away from advertising and other outreach done by national groups, and toward ground organizing controlled by local groups, according to one of the group’s founders, Leah Hunt-Hendrix.

A granddaughter of the Texas oil billionaire H. L. Hunt, Ms. Hunt-Hendrix, who is also a Democracy Alliance member, is among the most influential young donors on the left.

He was part of the plot to kill JFK.

“One of the problems with political giving on the right and the left is when it’s used to move a donor’s agenda, whether it’s Wall Street, tech or oil,” Ms. Hunt-Hendrix said in an interview. Way to Win was created to counter factions of the Democratic donor class that she said were “socially liberal but unwilling to challenge corporate power and the accumulation and concentration of wealth.”

Rich people fighting with rich people over the rest of us. How nice.

Now about those Obama years..... (and they wonder why they voted for Trump).

In an op-ed article last year, she suggested that donors boycott nonprofit groups aligned with the Democratic establishment, such as the centrist think tank Third Way and the nonprofits spearheaded by the conservative-turned-liberal operative David Brock. She deemed those groups part of the “neoliberal wing of the Democratic Party,” which she blamed for thwarting progressive movements like the 2016 primary campaign of Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont, but Mr. Brock and his groups still garner significant support from the party’s major donor class, including from Democracy Alliance members. One of his groups hosted a dinner presentation on Wednesday night highlighting its 2018 efforts, which drew more than 40 top donors, and Matt Bennett, an executive at Third Way, said it would be “insane” to minimize efforts to win back traditional “blue wall” states like Michigan, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin that Mr. Trump won in 2016.

I thought they were all on the same side, and the Globe really makes you think, huh?

“By all means, let’s try to engage more voters in these emerging places like the South,” he said. “But to try to extend ourselves into tough states while neglecting to rebuild in the states where we traditionally won presidential races would be political malpractice.”

You can see them if they lose.



Democrat Andrew Gillum officially ends bid for Florida governor

The vote fraud by Democrats is obvious to anyone who understands the on-the-ground situation and where the problems are coming from, but the print article was a more sanitized WaComPo piece:

"Democrat Andrew Gillum concedes to DeSantis in Florida’s governor’s race" by Amy B Wang and Felicia Sonmez  The Washington Post  |  November 18, 2018

Democrat Andrew Gillum conceded, again, to Republican Rep. Ron DeSantis in the Florida governor’s race, wrapping up one of the state’s two fiercely contested statewide races and making an ally of President Trump the top official in the key swing state, but the Tallahassee mayor, who would have been the state’s first black governor, vowed that “this fight continues” in a Facebook post in which he stood in front of a lake along with his wife, R. Jai.

Gillum, who upset a more established candidate to win the Democratic gubernatorial primary and is seen as a rising star in the Democratic Party, signaled that he was not done with politics.

Gillum had originally conceded on election night, but rescinded the concession in order for a machine recount to occur for both the governor’s contest and the hotly contested Senate race pitting incumbent Sen. Bill Nelson, D, against Gov. Rick Scott, R. That race was still not resolved on Saturday as key counties continued counting ballots by hand after a machine recount failed to sufficiently widen the margin.

The machine recount ended on Thursday and did confirm that DeSantis had won the race; Florida election officials had planned to certify DeSantis’ victory on Tuesday, but Gillum had not confirmed that he would accept the defeat until Saturday afternoon.

After they all laid into Trump into 2016! 

The hypocrisy is stunning, even for them.

The manual recount continued Saturday in the Senate contest in which Scott led narrowly. The machine and then manual recount was automatically triggered because the original margin between Scott and Nelson was within the 0.25 percent legal threshold. That recount is required to finish up by noon on Sunday and has spotlighted the the chaotic election system in Florida and hearkened back to visions of the 2000 presidential recount in the Sunshine State.

Going into the recount, Nelson trailed Scott by more than 12,000 votes, and his campaign had hoped a re-examination of ballots – particularly in heavily Democratic Broward Countywould help him close the gap. Initial results from a manual recount did not appear to be anywhere near enough for Nelson to overcome the deficit, however.

Scott won in a landslide.

DeSantis’ ascent to the governorship represents a major victory for President Trump, who handpicked the congressman when he was an underdog in the Republican primary and headlined two rallies in Florida in the campaign’s closing days.

DeSantis aligned himself closely with the president, airing a TV ad in which he was seen reading “The Art of the Deal” to one of his children, and as governor would be in a strong position to help Trump’s re-election campaign in the country’s biggest swing state.

Gillum ran on progressive policies such as “Medicare for all” and a $15 hourly minimum wage and beat back what some saw as racist attacks on his candidacy. After winning the primary, DeSantis said Florida voters shouldn’t “monkey this up” by voting for Gillum; and Trump derided the Democrat as a “thief.”


I'm surprised they never mentioned the FBI's investigation of corruption in Tallahassee.

"Nelson concedes Florida Senate race to Scott" by Patricia Mazzeiand Frances Robles and Maggie Astor   November 19, 2018

MIAMI — Senator Bill Nelson of Florida, a Democrat, conceded Sunday that he had lost his reelection bid to Governor Rick Scott, a Republican, bringing Florida’s turbulent midterm election to its long-delayed end after an unprecedented statewide recount.

Nelson telephoned Scott on Sunday afternoon to congratulate him, shortly after the conclusion of the manual recount showed that Scott had won the Senate race by 10,033 votes, out of more than 8.1 million cast.

Scott called for unity on Sunday, after the midterm elections revealed an electorate so closely divided that three marquee statewide races were decided by just a few tenths of a percentage point.

“Now the campaign truly is behind us, and that’s where we need to leave it,” Scott said. “We must do what Americans have always done: come together for the good of our state and our country.”

Nelson said in a video statement that “things worked out a little differently” than he had hoped.

“I by no measure feel defeated, and that’s because I’ve had the privilege of serving the people of Florida and our country for most of my life,” he said. “To all Floridians, whether you voted for me, or for my opponent, or you didn’t vote at all, I ask you to never give up this fight.” He did not mention Scott by name in the video.

Another a$$hole who didn't really concede.

No politician in recent Florida history has proved to be as formidable as Scott, who can now boast of an unbeaten election record in the nation’s largest presidential battleground. He has triumphed in three out of three statewide contests — two for governor and one for senator, all by about 1 percentage point or less — thanks to his personal wealth and relentless campaigning.

His Senate victory was a relief not only to Scott but also to national Republican leaders who had feared that their supporters’ morale would plummet if, on the heels of a fairly dismal Election Day for the party, an apparent victory turned into one more loss. Florida could give Republicans a 52-47 margin in the Senate, a two-seat pickup for the 2018 cycle, if the party also wins a Nov. 27 runoff scheduled in Mississippi for a seat already held by the GOP.

I think that one may go Democrat, especially with a week to prepare.

President Trump has declared the midterms a great success for his party, but Republican strategists view the cycle as something of a disappointment, after hopes of gaining as many as four Senate seats dissipated with victories by Democrats in Montana and Arizona.

It sure as hell was, and both those races are suspicious. Sinema came from behind in Arizona, and the Republican was leading in Montana on election night before Tester roared to a 5-point win(??!!).

So much for the Kavanaugh effect!

The GOP did pick up a significant victory in another arena late Saturday, when Georgia Secretary of State Robyn Crittenden said that state’s election results have been certified, finally ending the contentious race for governor in favor of Republican Brian Kemp. Democrat Stacey Abrams came within about 60,000 votes of becoming America’s first black woman governor.

Another non-concession.

Though the Senate contest constituted the top of the Florida ticket, in the general election it drew less excitement and outside attention than the governor’s race between two young and unyieldingly partisan rivals, Ron DeSantis, a Republican, and Andrew Gillum, a Democrat. Gillum, who trailed DeSantis by a wider margin than Nelson did Scott, conceded his own loss Saturday, two days after a machine recount in that race confirmed that DeSantis had won.

The Senate race was bitterly fought from the start. Though Nelson, 76, was a three-term incumbent, he had less name recognition than Scott, 65, a multimillionaire former hospital executive who was completing his second term as governor. A centrist, Nelson, who was first elected to the state House in 1972, was not particularly exciting to the increasingly young, progressive Democratic base, and he never quite seemed comfortable seizing the spotlight.

Scott, for his part, carefully distanced himself from Trump in an election that turned heavily on voters’ dislike for the current administration. Over the course of his eight years as governor, he also tempered his Tea Party conservatism somewhat, shifting to support more moderate measures on guns and immigration, but he embraced Trump’s bombastic style after Election Day, when it came to claiming rampant fraud nobody could prove.


No Russkies this time, huh?

Several Florida Republicans allied with Scott fretted about the assertive former health care executive’s ability to adjust to being a junior member of a legislative body where he will have no executive authority. Scott is still deeply involved in the details of governing Florida — and has been particularly immersed in the process of creating a list of conservative judges for three vacancies on the state’s highest court, which his successor, DeSantis, will select.

Nelson and his lawyers had hoped that his weakness in the Democratic stronghold of Broward County, in South Florida, was simply a matter of machines failing to read ballots properly, a problem that a manual recount could have resolved, but a recount can’t produce votes if voters did not cast them, even if they failed to cast them by mistake. A visual review of those ballots this weekend showed that Nelson only picked up a few hundred votes.

You can if you can delay the outcome while people fill out blank ballots!

History showed from the start of the recount that a victory for Nelson was the longest of long shots. No recount had ever overturned a lead as large as Scott’s. From 2000 to 2016, recounts reversed the results of only three statewide elections — one in Minnesota, one in Vermont, and one in Washington — and the margins in those races were in the hundreds, not the thousands.

That did not stop Democrats from going to court over and over again since Election Day in attempts to get more votes counted. Although they did win one important victory — an extension for people who voted by mail whose signatures were rejected — the Nelson campaign faced a series of defeats that kept closing the circle on possible votes for him.

The math was simply never in Nelson’s favor.

And we had to go through all this, huh?

Much like the recount in the infamous presidential election of 2000, this year’s recount in Florida, a process intended to reaffirm the will of the voters, has also exposed myriad flaws in the state’s election system, a concern for politicians and campaigns already looking ahead to the next election in 2020.

This is about changing the laws so Florida is blue in 2020.

The litigious period since Nov. 6 has called into question how Florida handles ballots cast by mail, whether local elections supervisors are competently running their offices, whether statutory deadlines to complete recounts are too short, and whether the machines now in use are even capable of conducting multiple statewide recounts.....


The photo says I'm sorry, we almost stole it but couldn't!

Also see:

Florida high school massacre panel considers recommendations

Wasn't enough to help Nelson.

Also see: 

Election Day 2018
Trump’s Undertow
Le$$ons Learned

Going to move on from them now.


"Trump sees wildfire areas, consoles those harmed by shooting" by Jonathan Lemire Associated Press  November 17, 2018

PARADISE, Calif. — President Trump on Saturday acknowledged Californians suffering from twin tragedies, walking through the ashes of a mobile home and RV park in a small northern town all but destroyed by deadly wildfires and privately consoling people grieving after a mass shooting at a popular college bar outside Los Angeles.

‘‘This has been a tough day when you look at all of the death from one place to the next,’’ Trump said before flying back to Washington.

Trump’s visits to areas of Northern and Southern California in the aftermath of unprecedented wildfires that have killed dozens of people gave him what he sought in flying coast to coast and back in a single day — a grasp of the desolation in the heart of California’s killer wildfires.

‘‘We’ve never seen anything like this in California, we’ve never seen anything like this yet. It’s like total devastation,’’ Trump said as he stood amid the ruins of Paradise, burned to the ground by a wildfire the president called ‘‘this monster.’’

Hours after Trump surveyed the devastation in Paradise, authorities raised the death toll to 76 and warned people being let back into previously evacuated areas to watch out for any remains.

Before returning to Washington, Trump met briefly at an airport hangar with families and first responders touched by the shooting at the Borderline Bar & Grill in Thousand Oaks more than a week ago, which left 12 dead in what Trump called ‘‘a horrible, horrible event.’’ Reporters and photographers were not allowed to accompany the president to the session, which Trump later described as emotional.

I told you.

‘‘What can you say other than it’s so sad to see. These are great people. Great families, torn apart,’’ he told reporters. ‘‘We just hugged them and we kissed them — and everybody. And it was very warm.’’

He added: ‘‘It was tragic and yet, in one way, it was a very beautiful moment.’’

Trump had made only one previous trip as president to California, a deeply Democratic and liberal state that he has blamed for a pair of overheated crises, illegal immigration and voter fraud. He also has been at odds with the state’s Democrat-led government, but differences were generally put aside as Governor Jerry Brown and Governor-elect Gavin Newsom joined Trump in surveying the wildfire damage.

‘‘We’re going to have to work quickly,’’ Trump said near the crumpled foundations of Paradise homes and twisted steel of melted cars. ‘‘Hopefully this is going to be the last of these because this was a really, really bad one.’’

In a nod to his belief — not shared by all forest scientists — that improved forest management practices will diminish future risks, Trump added: ‘‘I think everybody’s seen the light and I don’t think we’ll have this again to this extent.’’

With that bold and perhaps unlikely prediction, Trump evoked his initial tweeted reaction to the fire, the worst in the state’s history, in which he seemed to blame local officials and threatened to take away federal funding.

Hours later and hundreds of miles to the south, Trump found similar signs of devastation in the seaside conclave of Malibu, one of the areas of Southern California ravaged by wildfires that have killed at least three. Palm trees stood scorched and some homes were burned to the ground on a bluff overlooking the Pacific Ocean.

At least 71 people have died across Northern California, and authorities are trying to locate more than 1,000 people, though not all are believed missing. More than 5,500 fire personnel were battling the blaze that covered 228 square miles and was about 50 percent contained, officials said.

When asked in Paradise whether seeing the historic devastation, which stretched for miles and left neighborhoods destroyed and fields scorched, altered his opinion on climate change, Trump answered, ‘‘No.’’

The president has long voiced skepticism about man’s effect on the climate and has been reluctant to assign blame to a warming earth for the increase in the frequency and intensity of natural disasters.

Wearing a camouflage ‘‘USA’’ hat, Trump gazed solemnly at the devastation in Paradise. Several burned-out buses and cars were nearby. Trees were burned, their branches bare and twisted. Homes were totally gone; some foundations remained, as did a chimney and, in front of one house, a Mickey Mouse lawn ornament. The fire was reported to have moved through the area at 80 mph.

‘‘It’s going to work out well, but right now we want to take care of the people that are so badly hurt,’’ Trump said while visiting what remained of the Skyway Villa Mobile Home and RV Park. He noted ‘‘there are areas you can’t even get to them yet’’ and the sheer number of people unaccounted for.

‘‘I think people have to see this really to understand it,’’ Trump said.

The president later toured an operation center, met with response commanders, and praised the work of firefighters, law enforcement, and representatives of the Federal Emergency Management Agency.


At least they didn't torch him too bad.


Trump cites Finland on forest fire prevention

Searchers in California wildfire step up efforts before rain

Conspiracies Popping-Up To Make Sense of Unexplained California Wildfire Anomalies

California wildfires: Fears radioactive waste could be caught in destructive blaze

Also see:

"An explosion at a hazardous waste site in southwestern Idaho killed one worker, injured three others, and heavily damaged a building, officials said. US Ecology, which runs the site, said Monte ‘‘Alex’’ Green of Grand View, Idaho, died of his injuries from the explosion at 9:23 a.m. Saturday inside one of the buildings at the facility. Green was working as an equipment operator moving materials at the time of the accident, the company said. Three others received treatment for non-life-threatening injuries, the company said. Fifteen US Ecology employees were working during the time of the explosion. The facility is about 50 miles south of Boise. The facility is about 10 miles east of the small town of Grand View, and about a mile from a highway."

That can't be good, nor can this gushing from the mouth:

"As storms intensify, sewage spills in rivers become a concern" by David Abel Globe Staff  November 17, 2018

ANDOVER — A few weeks ago after a heavy storm, Dan Graovac was kayaking near the mouth of the Merrimack River when he began to smell something foul.

The emerald waters had turned the color of mud, with clumps of fecal matter floating on the surface. Graovac, a recreational fisherman, decided it wasn’t a good day to be angling for striped bass.


"Czechs will have to pay more for their traditional Christmas delicacy this year after a serious drought devastated the carp population this year. The drought overheated and dried out ponds, sucking oxygen from them and drastically reducing numbers of the fish in most parts of the Czech Republic....."

Also see:

"Scattered confrontations broke out Saturday between supporters and opponents of the divisive helper of the Dutch version of Santa Claus, police and media reported, amid a fierce and increasingly polarized debate about the helper known as Black Pete. White people often daub their faces with black paint when they dress up to play the character. Opponents say such depictions of Black Pete promote racist stereotypes. Supporters defend the sidekick of Sinterklaas, the white-bearded, red-robed Dutch version of St. Nicholas, as a traditional children’s character. A nationally televised parade to welcome Sinterklaas in the historic village of Zaandijk north of Amsterdam went off peacefully, but at parades across the country there were a small number of confrontations....."

It's an epidemic, and it isn't even Thanksgiving yet.

Of course, if you were really serious about the environment you would forgo the turkey and find a way to give the needy a hot meal -- after sitting down with the children after the parade.

The sewage had come from waste-water treatment plants along the Merrimack, which provides drinking water to more than 600,000 people as it meanders some 125 miles from central New Hampshire into Newburyport Harbor.

“It’s appalling and crazy — really crazy,” said Graovac, 48, who joined scores of concerned residents at a recent meeting here about the river pollution.

Nearly 50 years after the Clean Water Act, the Merrimack has become one of the most polluted waterways in New England, one of dozens of rivers in the region that are repeatedly inundated with raw sewage from treatment plants overwhelmed by heavy rains, with rainfall in the area as much as 50 percent above average this year. 

I'm more concerned with climate change, forget the cool temperatures this past rainy spring, and I know we had a humid summer, but the fall has been full of floods and now snow!

While federal and state laws have curbed such pollution in recent decades, sewage discharges remain a persistent problem that could worsen in the coming years, with climate change expected to bring more heavy precipitation to the Northeast.

“Massachusetts prides itself on being a modern, state-of-the-art, progressive state, yet we’re still dealing with a 15th-century problem — sewage in our water,” said Julia Blatt, executive director of the Massachusetts Rivers Alliance. “People think that our sewage spill issues ended when Boston Harbor was cleaned up. They didn’t.”

The court-ordered cleanup of Boston Harbor, polluted for years by sewage, cost billions and took decades, but now the area’s beaches rarely close and the waters are considered relatively pristine for an urban area.....


Better build a bridge season over that river.

I know there is something else happening in the Merrimack Valley, but it's a lingering odor I just can't place.

Meet the first legal recreational marijuana customers in Massachusetts

If it helps vets, I'm all for it, and it might help us avoid more Thousand Oaks or Fort Hoods.


8 killings, 11 days

Fatal shooting in Mattapan amid several instances of violence overnight in Boston

"Documents say that a suspect in the massacre of a family in which a parenting dispute is said to have played a role filed for custody of his daughter six days after the slayings. Defendant Edward “Jake” Wagner is one of four members of a different family charged with killing eight members of the Rhoden family in April 2016. The 26-year-old Wagner shared custody of a daughter with Hanna Rhoden, one of the victims. Multiple media outlets report that Wagner filed for custody of the child on April 28, six days after the Rhoden bodies were found. Documents say Wagner and Rhoden broke off their relationship in September 2015 but agreed to share custody. An attorney for the Wagners has said the family will be vindicated....."

If only there were better birth control.


"Trump says he wouldn’t stop acting attorney general from curtailing Mueller probe" by Felicia Sonmez Washington Post  November 19, 2018

WASHINGTON — Some Republicans on Sunday were looking past acting attorney general Matthew Whitaker and focusing on his potential successor. Senator Roy Blunt of Missouri said that Whitaker ‘‘seems to be a person who has the ability to do that acting job’’ but that the Justice Department needs a permanent leader as soon as possible.

‘‘We need to move as quickly as we can beyond whoever’s the acting attorney general to an attorney general who’s going to be there for, hopefully, a much longer period of time,’’ he told ABC.

Blunt, a member of the Senate GOP leadership who also sits on the Intelligence Committee, said that he has confidence in the Mueller investigation and that it would be a ‘‘huge mistake’’ for President Trump to seek to end it. ‘‘We need to get beyond this. We don’t need to have this starting again,’’ the senator said.

During Sunday’s wide-ranging interview, Trump said he does not feel it is necessary for him to listen to an audio recording of journalist Jamal Khashoggi’s killing inside the Saudi consulate in Istanbul last month.

‘‘We have the tape. I don’t want to hear the tape. No reason for me to hear the tape,’’ Trump said. He described it as ‘‘a suffering tape’’ and told Wallace, ‘‘I know everything that went on in the tape without having to hear it. . . . It was very violent, very vicious and terrible.’’

The CIA has concluded that Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman ordered the killing of Khashoggi, a prominent critic of Saudi leaders and a contributing columnist to The Washington Post, but Trump maintained on ‘‘Fox News Sunday’’ that the crown prince had told him ‘‘maybe five different times’’ and ‘‘as recently as a few days ago’’ that he had nothing to do with the killing. Aides have said that Trump has been looking for ways to avoid pinning the blame on Mohammed.

‘‘Well, will anybody really know?’’ Trump said in Sunday’s interview when asked whether the crown prince might have been lying to him. He added: ‘‘You saw we put on very heavy sanctions, massive sanctions on a large group of people from Saudi Arabia. But, at the same time, we do have an ally, and I want to stick with an ally that in many ways has been very good.’’

Related: It's All Falling Apart

Trump also weighed in on the performance of several top members of his administration and maintained that his party had succeeded in the midterm elections despite losing the House.

Trump said there are people in ‘‘three or four or five positions’’ in his administration whom he is thinking about replacing and that of those, ‘‘maybe it’s going to end up being two.’’

Looks like the Deep State pre$$ is pushing for the removal of chief of staff Kelly and his placement with a Pence guy, while Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen may just leave.

Trump claimed that despite Republicans’ defeat in the House, where they have lost at least three dozen seats, their holding on to the Senate was ‘‘historic’’ and ‘‘a tremendous victory.’’

‘‘I didn’t run. I wasn’t running. My name wasn’t on the ballot,’’ Trump said. During the months leading up to Election Day, he repeatedly told supporters at his ‘‘Make America Great Again’’ rallies to ‘‘pretend I’m on the ballot.’’

Trump also said Sunday that he could not envision a situation in which he would try to amend the Constitution to run for a third term as president in 2024.

‘‘Just won’t happen,’’ Trump told Wallace. ‘‘I think the eight-year limit is a good thing, not a bad thing.’’

He better focus on winning a second term first.


I did have to laugh when Trump tweeted about ‘‘little Adam Schitt’s appearance on ABC News’s ‘‘This Week.’’ 

Related: Trump suggests Navy SEAL commander should have found bin Laden faster

The comments, which the president made in an interview with Chris Wallace on ‘‘Fox News Sunday,’’ represent the latest point of tension between Trump and a group of retired general officers who have criticized the commander-in-chief publicly for his handling of national security and military matters.

They only problem is, bin Laden died from a kidney ailment in the mountains of Afghanistan in December 2001! The alleged assassination was Obama fakery for election purposes! I didn't work, so they had to do the September 11 operation in Libya that also backfired. Until then, Romney was ahead in the polls as Obama had neither the peace or prosperity leg to win reelection -- which is what we have now, in a way!

Also see:

"Trump suggested there could be a government shutdown over funding for the border wall he wants to build, saying it could be a “very good time” politically for that to occur. And he said he would keep troops stationed at the border “as long as necessary.” In the weeks before the midterm elections, the president deployed more than 5,000 active-duty troops to the southern border against a caravan of Central American migrants that he described as an “invasion.” The president mocked the immigrants, saying, “If they have such fear and such problems, and they hate their countries, why do we see all the flags being waved?” He added, “This has nothing to do with asylum, it has to do with getting into the country illegally.”

Meanwhile, just over the border:

"Hundreds of Tijuana residents congregated around a monument in an affluent section of the city south of California on Sunday to protest the thousands of Central American migrants who have arrived via caravan in hopes of a new life in the United States. Tensions have built as nearly 3,000 migrants from the caravan poured into Tijuana in recent days after more than a month on the road, and with many more months ahead of them while they seek asylum. The federal government estimates the number of migrants could soon swell to 10,000. US border inspectors are processing only about 100 asylum claims a day at Tijuana’s main crossing to San Diego. Asylum seekers register their names in a tattered notebook managed by migrants themselves that had more than 3,000 names even before the caravan arrived. On Sunday, displeased Tijuana residents waved Mexican flags, sang the Mexican national anthem, and chanted ‘‘Out! Out!’’ in front of a statue of the Aztec ruler Cuauhtemoc, 1 mile from the US border. They accused the migrants of being messy, ungrateful, and a danger to Tijuana. They also voiced worries that their taxes might be spent to care for the group. While many in Tijuana are sympathetic to the migrants’ plight, some locals have shouted insultshurled rocks and even thrown punches at them."

They even killed a teacher, but the killer is being extradited:

"A man who disappeared on the last day of his 2008 murder trial has been captured in Mexico and returned to Texas, authorities said. Hidalgo County prosecutors said in a news release that 35-year-old Oscar Davila Rodriguez was returned to the United States Wednesday. The statement didn’t include details about how or where he was captured....."

He died in captivity:

"The death of an inmate following an ‘‘altercation with correctional staff’’ at Western Illinois Correctional Center in May has been ruled a homicide, according to an autopsy report provided to the Associated Press under a Freedom of Information request. Larry Earvin died from blunt trauma to the chest and abdomen, the death certificate from Clinton County in southern Illinois said. The 65-year-old Earvin sustained 15 rib fractures and two dozen or more abrasions, hemorrhages, and lacerations. Surgery to remove a portion of his bowel appears to have followed the injury, the report says. The FBI is investigating the May 17 incident at the prison in Mount Sterling, about 250 miles southwest of Chicago."

Rahm's city.


"1 dead, dozens injured in French fuel taxes protests" Associated Press  November 17, 2018

PARIS — One protester was killed and 47 others were injured during roadblocks set up around France to demonstrate against rising fuel taxes, a new challenge to embattled President Emmanuel Macron.

The Interior Ministry said security forces used tear gas in several places to unblock major routes, notably at the access road to the Mont Blanc tunnel where about 30 canisters were fired.

Police at first held back protesters from advancing on Paris’s Champs-Elysees, with police vans blocking them from moving down the famed avenue, but up to 200 people were later seen walking down the street, apparently heading toward the Elysee presidential palace.

Protesters, wearing yellow safety vests and dubbing themselves the ‘‘yellow jackets,’’ had pledged to target tollbooths, roundabouts, and the bypass that rings Paris. The fluorescent yellow vests donned by the protesters must be kept in the vehicles of all French drivers in case of car troubles.

The government sent in police to monitor tens of thousands of gathering points, some not declared in advance and therefore illegal.

The taxes are part of Macron’s strategy of weaning France off fossil fuels. Many drivers see them as emblematic of a presidency they view as disconnected from day-to-day economic difficulties and serving the rich.

However, protesters and their supporters have voiced anger about other issues, too, including diminishing buying power.

Robert Tichit, 67, a retiree, referred to the president as ‘‘King Macron.’’

‘‘We’ve had enough of it. There are too many taxes in this country,’’ he told The Associated Press.

And that is in France.



"France’s prime minister, Edouard Philippe, standing firm against a wave of grass-roots protests, said Sunday that fuel tax hikes would remain in place despite nationwide agitation. ‘‘The course we set is good and we will keep it,’’ Philippe said during an interview on TV station France-2, ‘‘It’s not when the wind blows that you change course.’’ Nearly 300,000 protesters paralyzed traffic at more than 2,000 strategic sites around France on Saturday in a bid to force the government to lower taxes on diesel fuel and gasoline. Other issues, like buying power, melted into the main demand as the demonstrations unfolded. A protester was struck and killed Saturday by a panicked driver facing a roadblock in the eastern Savoie region. French press reports Sunday said the driver was charged with manslaughter and released. At last count, at least 409 people had been injured — 14 seriously, Interior Minister Christophe Castaner said Sunday on RTL radioHoldouts refusing to end the protests continued to slow traffic Sunday. Blockades were counted at 150 scattered locations Sunday, Castaner told RTL radio. Protesters were notably in Rennes, in western France, Avignon, in the south, and Nancy, in the east, where police moved in to clear themThe situation throughout the night was ‘‘agitated,’’ Castaner said, with ‘‘aggressions, fights, knife-slashing’’ taking place, including among the protesters. Overall, 157 people were detained for questioning, double the number reported Saturday night. The movement behind the weekend protests represents middle-class citizens and those with fewer means who rely on their cars to get to work. The protesters called themselves ‘‘yellow jackets’’ after the safety vests French drivers are obliged to keep in their cars for emergencies. Although it was unclear if the weekend’s momentum would continue, the movement is posing a challenge to France’s president, Emmanuel Macron. ‘‘I hear what the French are saying. It’s very clear,’’ the prime minister said Sunday. ‘‘But a government that. . . zigzags according to the difficulties, what too many past governments have done, that won’t lead France to where it must be.’’ Macron wants to close the gap between the price of diesel fuel and gasoline as part of his strategy to wean France off fossil fuels. A ‘‘carbon trajectory’’ calls for continued increases, particularly on diesel. Philippe said more explaining is needed ‘‘and we will do that,’’ while adhering to the plan. He vowed that results would be in at the end of Macron’s mandate in 2022. Macron, whose popularity ratings are sliding regularly, has not commented. ‘‘I don’t think silence is the right answer,’’ said Francois Baroin, mayor of Troyes and a former mainstream right minister and senator before the prime minister spoke. The Troyes prefecture was invaded and damaged by protesters on Saturday. ‘‘It’s a very powerful message sent from the depths of France,’’ he said on BFMTV."

He ain't getting it!

"Macron, Merkel seek common approaches to Trump, euro" by David McHugh Associated Press  November 19, 2018

FRANKFURT — French President Emmanuel Macron and German Chancellor Angela Merkel, both limping in the polls, are looking for common approaches to President Trump and fixing the flaws in the euro currency.

The two need a little mutual support right now given their political shakiness at home as Macron visited Sunday to take part in Germany’s annual remembrance day for victims of war and dictatorship and then for talks with Merkel. Macron has seen his poll ratings sag and Merkel has been a lame duck since saying she wouldn’t seek another term. Her conservative party has lost support in recent regional elections.

Merkel has offered support for Macron’s proposal for a European army, in the face of criticism from Trump. Both leaders have said Europe needs to depend less on others — such as the United States — for its defense. Trump has unsettled the NATO alliance by demanding member countries either pay more for defense or ‘‘protect themselves’’ as he put it in a recent tweet, but ceremonial appearances and good words can’t paper over persistent differences between their approaches to the European Union’s economic issues.

Macron was to speak in the German parliament Sunday on an annual day of remembrance for victims of war and dictatorship, a week after the 100th anniversary of the end of World War I, and then consult with Merkel on European and international issues.

It's amazing how these guys speak of war one hundred years ago given all they have created since.

Merkel last week echoed Macron’s call in an interview for a European army, a long-term prospect that drew tweeted criticism of Macron from Trump. Macron in fact was advocating that Europe do more for its own defense, putting him on the same page in many ways with Trump. At another point in the interview, Macron discussed hacking and other cyber threats and asserted that on that front, France must protect itself from China, Russia, and even the United States. His concern about US hackers had nothing to do with military threats or forces but drew an angry tweet from Trump regardless.....

Trump got angry because of a misreported translation, and what happened the last time Europe had an army, huh?


Meanwhile, just across the Channel:

UK leader fights back against critics, defends Brexit deal

She has seven Rhodes scholars on her side as well as both armies.

Boston Archdiocese to address social justice with new ministry

It's a troubling time for Catholics.


Tom Glynn deserves thanks for pushing for development diversity

He played it like a grandmaster.

"The trial for a Massachusetts teenager charged with killing and beheading a high school classmate has been postponed for the third time. The Eagle-Tribune reports Mathew Borges’s trial has been pushed back until April 22. Borges is charged with first-degree murder in the death of 16-year-old Lee Manuel Viloria-Paulino of Lawrence. Viloria-Paulino was reported missing in November 2016. His body was found days later near the Merrimack River by a woman walking her dog. Police found his head nearby. A police report says Borges, 15 at the time, told a witness he stabbed someone and cut his head off. The motive remains unclear. Borges and Viloria-Paulino were sophomores at Lawrence High School. Borges, being tried as an adult, is being held in a juvenile detention facility without bail."

He is currently undergoing a mental illness evaluation.

"Police are investigating an alleged sexual assault involving two students at King Philip Regional High School off school grounds, the school district announced Friday. Officials received information that one student allegedly assaulted another, Superintendent Paul Zinni said in a statement. King Philip is a regional school district serving the communities of Norfolk, Plainville and Wrentham. Information about when the alleged assault occurred was not disclosed. Wrentham Police Chief William McGrath said the incident took place in Norfolk. Norfolk police are aware of a note sent home to parents about an incident, but would not comment further, Lieutenant Robert Shannon said. Zinnis said the school immediately alerted law enforcement and that the district is cooperating with the investigation. He also said the school would be addressing the allegations in accordance with school policy, according to the statement. “We take situations like this very seriously.” Counselors and support staff will be available to students at the high school next week, Zinni said in the statement."

They did a full investigation.

"A Yale University graduate is suing the Ivy League school over allegations she was wrongly removed from campus after she sought counseling for depression as school officials worried about more negative publicity following two student suicides. The Yale Daily News reports the lawsuit was filed Nov. 5 in federal court in New Jersey by a woman known only in court documents as "Z.P." A Yale spokeswoman says university officials do not comment on pending litigation. The woman says Yale violated her constitutional rights by placing her on mandatory medical leave after she sought counseling in November 2016, the same month as the two suicides. She alleges she was unlawfully held for involuntary treatment at Yale-New Haven Hospital....."

Not as bad as what happened at Dartmouth, and she had no friends in which to turn

"A man wanted by police in Manchester, N.H., in connection with graffiti vandalism, including two swastikas, turned himself into police on Friday, authorities said. Jamal Gray, 19, of Manchester, is allegedly linked to five incidents of vandalism between Oct. 26 and 28, police said in a statement. The swastikas were found on a car and a on the floor of a gazebo in a public park, police said. Other incidents included lines painted on cars and obscenities painted on a front door, according to the statement. Gray turned himself into police headquarters the day after authorities published Gray’s photo and requested the public’s help in finding him. The date of Gray’s arraignment was not available, police said."

So who payed him to do it?

Only 35 shopping days left until Chri$tma$.