Monday, July 22, 2019

Sunday Globe Special: Time To Secede?

It's sad to say, but as I sit here I try to ponder the best possible way out of the social morass and division, the one most peaceful and least violent, if they are to be violent at all, which is something I do not presuppose (New York will invade New England? California invaded with all the rot, tent cities, and pooh in the streets?).

What would be the inevitable outcome would be regional blocks that think alike on social and economic issues at least. It would have the side benefit of literally draining the swamp that is D.C., headquarters of the empire. That's the rub. It's the war machine that backs up the reserve currency to which others must pay obedience or be sanctioned. Whether it would allow further influence by a handful of the most powerful lobbies, that's a concern of course. For all its faults, the unwieldy federal government could at one time stand against powerful interests. Now those same interests basically own them.

You sort of map it out and New England could kind of go its own way. You have an Atlantic belt, and Southeast corner, Southwest and Upper Midwest region, Rockies and the Left Coast. You can leave the basic apparatus of trade rules in place, with each region developing its own set of rules regarding their own social, economic, and security policies (law enforcement like we have now, but on a less militaristic, bureaucratic, and centralized system of surveillance). 

I know, they got the big guns and its national defense and all, but the whole thing is careening to disaster under the smoke of social division and unrest. America's solution has become Jerry's Final Thought, where all parties may have to amicably go their own ways. Until next time, take care of yourself and each other.

The first front section contained eight pages, and it was a four for four!

"Registry fails to alert local police of trouble drivers, flouts law enacted after 2014 traffic tragedy" by Laura Crimaldi and Matt Stout Globe Staff, July 20, 2019

After a 20-year-old Sharon woman was struck and killed in 2014 by a driver with a suspended license and a history of traffic violations, the state Legislature required the Massachusetts Registry of Motor Vehicles to alert local police of troubled drivers in their communities, but in another administrative failing, the Registry is not regularly sending the notifications of suspensions and revocations as required under the law so that local officers can proactively monitor drivers who were stripped of their licenses for safety reasons, a Globe review of Massachusetts police departments has found.

Yeah, we will have full on police state but we already do.

The spotty compliance by the Registry has created confusion among many police departments and prompted critics to say it is another example of how the agency is failing one of its most basic responsibilities: overseeing the safety of the state’s roads.

“It’s appalling that we fought so hard to get this legislation only to have it not enacted as intended,” said Marc Cremer, the father of the 20-year-old victim, Haley Cremer.

Not only that, the offender got off light.

The revelations add to the controversies surrounding the Registry, which is reeling after the deaths of seven people in a crash in late June in New Hampshire, allegedly caused by a truck driver from West Springfield who should have been stripped of his Massachusetts commercial driver’s license.

That failure cost Registrar Erin Deveney her job, and the Baker administration has since revealed that the Registry ignored tens of thousands of alerts from other states about traffic violations by Massachusetts drivers, and also failed to send out its own such notices to other states.....

Believe it or not, the name Kafka comes up.


Related: Baker Moves on RMV

Not as fast as this guy:

N.J. man arrested after allegedly driving 142 m.p.h. on Interstate 95

You know why he is laughing, right?

Long before the shooting, Big Papi had brushes with people who ‘want something from me’

Lost interest, like so many things.

I will briefly say that there was much interest on page A2, but I am steering that towards a different post.

[Page A3 is a full-page GE advertisement celebrating 100 years of lifting people up -- as their stock price sinks]

Nothing funny about the cartoons and migrants making abuse claims on page A4.

[Page A5 full page Total Wine ad, with 15% off on cigars!]

Page A6 was the continuation of the front-page, above-the-fold, lead feature regarding Ortiz.

[Page A7 full page Sandals advertisement for Black Friday in July]

[Page A8 full page advertisement for New Hampshire Liquor and Wine Outlet. Name brands Great Prices No taxes]

The second-half of the first section began on page A9 with these:

Critics challenge Tenn. law blocking Internet-ordained ministers from solemnizing weddings

It's of LGBT concern, as is the article next to it:

No more manholes in Berkeley as city writes gender out of codes


People took part in a gay pride parade in Warsaw, Poland, on June 8. It brought thousands of people to the streets of Warsaw at a time when the LGBT rights movement in Poland is targeted by hate speeches and a government campaign depicting it as a threat to families and society.
People took part in a gay pride parade in Warsaw, Poland, on June 8. It brought thousands of people to the streets of Warsaw at a time when the LGBT rights movement in Poland is targeted by hate speeches and a government campaign depicting it as a threat to families and society.(Czarek Sokolowski/Associated Press)

The photo tells you all you need to know as to who is behind that agenda.

"Besieged Puerto Rico governor goes quiet amid protests" by Michael Weissenstein Associated Press, July 20, 2019

SAN JUAN — In the Spanish colonial fortress that serves as his official residence, Puerto Rico Governor Ricardo Rosselló is under siege.

Motorcyclists, celebrities, horse enthusiasts, and hundreds of thousands of ordinary Puerto Ricans have swarmed outside La Fortaleza (The Fort) in Old San Juan this week, demanding Rosselló resign over a series of leaked online chats insulting women, political opponents, and even victims of Hurricane Maria.

Rosselló, the telegenic 40-year-old son of a former governor, has dropped his normally intense rhythm of public appearances and gone into relatively long periods of near-media silence, intensifying questions about his future.

I think they just answered the question unless he can pull a Northam, in what has otherwise been a one-day blip before the Globe closed the book.

New protests began Friday afternoon, with unionized workers organizing a march to La Fortaleza from the nearby waterfront. Horseback riders joined them with a self-declared cavalry march, while hundreds of other people came from around the city and surrounding areas. A string of smaller events was on the agenda across the island over the weekend, followed by what many expected to be a massive protest on Monday.

Oh, bully!

Rosselló offered a press conference on July 11 to address the arrest of two of his former department heads on federal corruption charges. He also asked the people of Puerto Rico to forgive him for a profanity-laced and at times misogynistic online chat with nine other male members of his administration, short selections of which had leaked to local media. Two days later, at least 889 pages of the chat were published by Puerto Rico’s Center for Investigative Journalism, and things got much, much worse for Rosselló.

In the chats on the encrypted messaging app Telegram, Rosselló calls one New York female politician of Puerto Rican background a ‘‘whore,’’ describes another as a ‘‘daughter of a bitch,’’ and makes fun of an obese man he posed with in a photo. The chat also contains vulgar references to Puerto Rican star Ricky Martin’s homosexuality and a series of emojis of a raised middle finger directed at a federal control board overseeing the island’s finances.....

Just flipping them off, and this is Puerto Rico 120 years after we liberated them from Spain, huh? They don't even have representation or electoral vote status despite the popular vote formalities. Who could blame them for rejecting statehood and wanting to secede or join someone else?

The chorus calling for Rosselló’s resignation was joined Friday by Puerto Rico’s non-voting member of Congress, Jenniffer Gonzalez; US Senator Rick Scott of Florida; and New York congresswomen Nydia Velázquez and Alexandra Ocasio-Cortez.

The crisis has even cut back Rosselló’s affable online presence. The governor normally started every day by tweeting ‘‘Good morning!’’ to his followers around 5 a.m. The last such bright-and-early message came on July 8. The tweets from his account have dwindled to a trickle since then, and each one is met by a flood of often-abusive responses from Puerto Ricans demanding he resign.

He's like Trump!

Rosselló’s secretary of public affairs, Anthony Maceira, told reporters Friday that the governor was in La Fortaleza working on signing laws and filling posts emptied by the resignations of fellow members of the leaked chat group.

After he winged back from vacation in the south of France or somewhere.

The head of Rosselló’s pro-statehood political party said a meeting of its directors had been convened for coming days, although the agenda was not disclosed beyond ‘‘addressing every one of the complaints of our colleagues.’’

The next day, Sunday, Rosselló appeared in a San Juan church and asked the congregation for forgiveness, without informing the press. The church broadcasts its services online, however, and his remarks became public. On Monday, July 15, Rosselló gave a notably nonconfrontational interview to a salsa music radio station. The governor’s spokesman said the questions had been ‘‘negotiated’’ between Rosselló’s press team and the station. That night, thousands swarmed Old San Juan to demand his resignation.

Rosselló was raised in the public eye, as the youngest son of Pedro Rosselló, who served as governor from 1993 to 2001. One of Puerto Rico’s most charismatic and controversial governors, the elder Rosselló launched a string of large-scale infrastructure projects that swelled the public debt and ensuing bankruptcy that his son has inherited.

Thanks, dad, but it looks odious and should be lifted from the backs of the people.

Known widely as Ricky, the younger Rosselló started his political career in his father’s pro-statehood New Progressive Party. Trained in biomechanical engineering at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, University of Michigan, and Duke, he launched his campaign for governor in 2015 with little previous history of public service.

Deflecting questions about whether he owed his success to his connections, Rosselló portrayed himself as an affable technocrat with solutions to Puerto Rico’s debt and crumbling infrastructure, and by less than 3 percent of the total votes cast defeated David Bernier of Popular Democratic Party, which advocates greater Puerto Rican autonomy from the mainland United States.

Yeah, once we got you in our clutches you can't leave.

Until now, Rosselló’s greatest challenge was Hurricane Maria, a Category 4 storm that struck Puerto Rico on Sept. 20, 2017, destroying the island’s power and communications systems. Rosselló came under heavy criticism for mismanaging the crisis, particularly for understating the deaths from the storm. While some of his deputies were vilified, Rosselló seemed to emerge relatively unscathed, perhaps due to his friendly and nonconfrontational manner with critics, opponents, and journalists alike.

Besides, the pre$$ and Democrats blamed all that on Trump and a paper towel.

The father of two young children, he often posts their photos online, along with images of his wife and their two rescue dogs, a Siberian Husky and a Yorkshire Terrier. Rosselló once halted a press conference to help local journalists move their equipment out of the rain.

Get that barbecue pit going, for the Puerto Rican people are hungry.

Among the greatest shocks of the leaked chats for many Puerto Ricans was the puncturing of that image of low-key charm by the misogyny of online conversations.

And the illusion of it, that is how our world functions.

‘‘He was making an effort, carrying out his governor’s role,’’ said Jessica Castro, a 38-year-old San Juan resident attending a Friday evening protest with her family. ‘‘He was mocking everyone behind their backs, the people who believed in him. People are really disillusioned. He’s got to go.’’

He really is like Trump, and who knows, maybe he will not seek reelection.


Sorry to get you the check so late:

"Invisible no more: Social Security will soon slide into insolvency" by Robert Weisman Globe Staff, July 20, 2019

Some time next year, as the ranks of retirees swell, the Social Security system in the United States will pass an ominous tipping point and start the slide into insolvency.

For the first time in nearly four decades, the government program that provides retirement checks to older Americans will pay out more in benefits in 2020 than it takes in. That will force the program to dip into a rainy day fund that will be depleted in about 15 years, and if the political dysfunction in Washington continues and lawmakers don’t fix the system, benefit cuts are in store for current and future retirees, most of whom haven’t socked away enough money in their personal retirement accounts.

Better to have your own rainy day fund, and what this $ignals is that, after all the fancy footwork in accounting, the government Ponzi scheme has basically looted the fund for various reasons and tossed in nothing but IOUs, or it's a $care-mongering tactic.

“If you look around and see how much middle-class people approaching retirement have in their 401(k)s, they don’t have enough,” said Alicia Munnell, director of Boston College’s Center for Retirement Research. “And most lower-income people don’t have 401(k)s. So Social Security is going to become more important to most people.”

If only we hadn't spent all the money on all the endless and increasingly pointless wars, huh?

Indeed, most Americans are seriously unprepared for retirement despite years of warnings from policy wonks and financial professionals. One reason may be because once the nearly $3 trillion in the Social Security trust fund starts shrinking, no one will lose benefits right away, but if the funding isn’t replenished by 2035, all recipients will face benefit cuts of more than 20 percent, under current projections by Social Security trustees.

But if? 

That's 15 years away, too, and since when has Congre$$ ever been urgent about something several election cycles out?

Starting to $ound like a money grab of $ome $ort.

Senate majority leader Mitch McConnell has called for cutting funds for Social Security and other “entitlement” programs such as Medicare and Medicaid, arguing it’s the only way to reduce the federal deficit, but there’s currently no bill to address the Social Security funding shortfall in the Republican-controlled Senate, and no appetite in the Senate to take up the House bill.

It's not an entitlement; the people paid into the the program with the promises that in turn, they would be talking care of. Then the government either mismanaged or outright stole the from the fund. 

President Trump’s appointee as the new Social Security commissioner, New York businessman Andrew Saul, who was sworn in June 17 for a six-year term, hasn’t commented publicly on how he would approach the coming shortfall. Saul, through an administration spokesman, declined a request to discuss his plans for the Social Security Administration.

Well, that's no surprise.

Trump himself has largely steered clear of the issue, perhaps sensing it’s a political loser, though he’s said he believes in “honoring the deal” the government made with retirees. That’s effectively dampened GOP enthusiasm for an idea embraced by George W. Bush when he was in the White House: to partly “privatize” Social Security by allowing recipients to invest a portion of their benefits in place of federal payment increases.

Oh, it's another money grab.

Democrats have long opposed that approach, and continue to argue against it.

“Privatizing Social Security means taking the risk of market downturns and putting it on the beneficiaries,” said retired Tufts Health Plan president Jim Roosevelt, a former associate commissioner for retirement policy for the Social Security Administration. (His grandfather, President Franklin Delano Roosevelt, signed the Social Security Act into law in 1935.)

I'm beginning to think they have so perfected their methods that it will never come down, and if it does, it will be designed by those $ame intere$ts to devastate certain populations and allow for property acquisition and consolidation at prices dear.

Former New Hampshire senator Judd Gregg, a Republican who struggled with colleagues from both parties to find ways to keep the program solvent during his two decades in Washington, however, is skeptical that Congress will adopt any solution that doesn’t include at least some benefit cuts as well as increased revenue for Social Security. That was the recommendation during the Obama administration of a bipartisan group of lawmakers that crafted the Simpson-Bowles plan, which would have stabilized Social Security funding as part of a broader deficit reduction strategy.....

Yeah, the good old days -- not. 

For as much as he annoyed Israel's leadership with the Iran deal, the actions in Libya, Syria, Ukraine, and Yemen counterbalance it.


"In Trump’s long career, an opportunistic view of race" by Peter Baker, Michael M. Grynbaum and Maggie Haberman New York Times, July 20, 2019

Over decades in business, entertainment, and now politics, Donald Trump has approached America’s racial, ethnic, and religious divisions opportunistically, not as the nation’s wounds to be healed but as openings to achieve his goals, whether they be ratings, fame, money, or power, without regard for adverse consequences.

He was accused by government investigators in the 1970s of refusing to rent apartments to black tenants (he denied it but settled the case) and made a name for himself in the 1980s championing the death penalty for five black and Hispanic rape suspects who were later exonerated. He threatened to sell his Mar-a-Lago estate to the Unification Church in 1991 and unleash “thousands of Moonies” if city officials in Palm Beach, Fla., did not allow him to carve up his property.

Taking on competitors of his Atlantic City casinos, he questioned whether rival owners were really Native Americans entitled to federal recognition — then later teamed up with another tribe when there was money to be made. With his eye on the White House, he opened a yearslong drive to convince Americans that President Obama was really born in Africa.

It was the Clinton's that first floated that as Hillary's 2008 bid was losing ground.

His own campaign in 2016 was marked by slurs against Mexicans, a proposed Muslim ban, and other furors. To deflect criticism, two campaign officials said they regularly positioned a supporter nicknamed “Michael the Black Man” so cameras would show him behind Trump at his rallies.

The strategic selection and staging of crowds is nothing new.

In the White House, Trump equated “both sides” of a white supremacist rally in Charlottesville, Va., referred to African nations as “shithole countries,” and said Nigerian visitors to the United States would never “go back to their huts.”

Trump has insisted he is the “least racist person you have ever met” and over the years he has made friends with prominent African-Americans, particularly sports and hip-hop stars. Just Friday, Trump spoke with rapper Kanye West and promised to intervene in the case of his fellow artist ASAP Rocky, who is being held in Sweden on an assault charge, and followed up by calling the Swedish prime minister on Saturday.

I'm sure he thinks he is, and the ruling cla$$ and its celebrities has its $hare of diver$ity.

Some of Trump’s black friends defended him in recent days, saying his raw, politically incorrect approach was just bracing honesty about the reality of America, and not motivated by hate.

“I have an advantage of knowing the president very well, and he’s not a racist and his comments are not racist,” Ben Carson, the secretary of housing and urban development and only black member of the Cabinet, said on Fox News. “But he loves the country very much and, you know, he has a feeling that those who represent the country should love it as well.”

Which country would that be, Ben?

Lynne Patton, a Trump family event planner now working in the administration, rejected accusations of racism.

“Trump sees success and failure, not color not race, not gender not religion,” said Patton, who is African-American. “I’ve traveled the country with this family, I’ve had drinks with this family, I’ve been at their weddings, their baby showers, their bachelorette parties. I’ve never heard anyone say anything bigoted or racist in my life,” and White House officials argue that actions speak louder than words. Unemployment among Hispanics and African-Americans has fallen to record lows on Trump’s watch, they say, and the president signed legislation overhauling a criminal justice system tilted against people of color, but the longer Trump spends on the stage, the more friends and former employees, like Michael D. Cohen, Omarosa Manigault Newman, and Anthony Scaramucci, have concluded that he is more racist than they had admitted.

“Let me be clear: Donald Trump is a disgusting, filthy, petty racist and he is trying to start a race war in this country and what we saw this week is just the beginning,” said Manigault Newman, a former “Apprentice” star fired after a stint in the White House.

That mole had her fifteen minutes of fame and still no tape, and the enemy of my enemy is my best friend forever.

Trump is a product of his place and time, born and raised in the Queens of another era. As he sought to make his mark in Manhattan real estate in the 1980s and 1990s, New York was struggling with a string of racial episodes, including the Bernhard H. Goetz subway shooting, the Howard Beach racial killing, the Tawana Brawley rape hoax, and the Crown Heights riots.

Much like General Robert E. Lee, and did you know that in 1975, the House of Representatives joined the Senate in voting to restore the American citizenship of Confederate General Robert E. Lee?

In a city rived by tribal politics, elections were about assembling coalitions — ethnic groups in Queens and Brooklyn, Hispanics in the Bronx, African-Americans in Harlem, and, later, central Brooklyn. Race was a part of every citywide campaign every four years. That shaped the outlook of many rising stars of the moment.

Did you ever think that political reasons are why the problem persists?

“It was a period of enormous tension and the city was a caldron for those kind of emotions and very strong passions and feelings, and they spilled over,” said Robert Abrams, the special prosecutor in the Brawley case. “And unfortunately, I think Donald Trump was helping to fan some of those flames.”

The Justice Department housing discrimination lawsuit against him and his father and the case of the Central Park Five were early milemarkers on Trump’s path, but he was a Democrat then operating in a diverse city and he showed a different side to many he met.

In other words, he was two-faced and somehow Democrats don't come in for the same scrutiny when it comes to race, despite the long history of support for lslavery and segregation. 

The Times then turns to the corrupt Charles B. Rangel, then a powerful African-American Democratic congressman from New York, and the charlatan Rev. Al Sharpton, the civil rights leader who has grown more publicly critical of Trump in recent years before the web version takes over:

When Trump opened Mar-a-Lago as a club in the 1990s, he welcomed African-American and Jewish members. Still, he did not mind turning societal divisions to his advantage, at one point claiming Palm Beach was anti-Semitic in a zoning dispute because his members would be Jewish.

‘Laziness Is a Trait in Blacks’

Some who worked for Trump said he showed his true colors after growing comfortable with people. Jack O’Donnell, who was president of the Trump Plaza Hotel and Casino and later wrote a scathing book about Trump, said the mogul would come into the casino and notice many African-Americans. “It’s a little dark tonight,” he would say.

Never herd of it, just like I never saw a word in print regarding Vicky Ward's book on the Kushners. We get Mike Wolff instead.

According to O’Donnell, Trump said “laziness is a trait in blacks” and complained about an African-American accountant: “Black guys counting my money! I hate it. The only kind of people I want counting my money are short guys that wear yarmulkes every day.”

And pop goes the Weisselberg!

In an interview, O’Donnell said Trump trafficked in stereotypes. “He genuinely believes things like white people are smarter. And black people don’t want to live next to white, and white people don’t want to live next to black people,” O’Donnell said. “And he rationalizes that as, everybody thinks that, so it’s not racist.”

Trump’s assumptions about people are based on what his biographer, Michael D’Antonio, called his “racehorse theory of human development.” D’Antonio said Trump told him a person’s genetic traits at birth were more important than anything learned over life.

Look, he has been immersed in the world of Zionist Jewry and the real estate business, so his supremacism is not really surprising.

“He likes to put people in these boxes and deal with them accordingly,” D’Antonio said. “It’s not universal and you can work your way out of the box. But working your way out of it is always personal. So one by one, black people can gain his confidence, but he does have this mentality about people as members of a group.”

Until he can use you again.

(END OPTIONAL TRIM.) ‘The Blacks Love Me’

I decided to leave that in because it explains why the articles run on long after the snip-snip for print.

That helped shape Trump’s time on “The Apprentice,” where he was accused of giving short shrift to an African-American contestant, Randal Pinkett, who won the fourth season. During the finale, Pinkett said he was stunned when Trump, upon declaring him the winner, suggested he share the honor with the white woman he had just beaten.

“I would describe it as racist,” Pinkett said in an interview. “Not even racist overtones — racist.”

At least he wasn't being sexist!

“Donald,” he said, “has constructed a world around him that reflects his identity and reflects his values. People who agree with him, people who celebrate him, people who he would consider to be his peers — wealthy, white men.”

Mo$tly Zioni$t Jews.

Pinkett added: “He’s completely out of touch with the realities of people not like him. Whether that’s people of color, ethnic minorities, immigrants — I mean, take your pick.”

That explains his policies towards Palestinians. That's my pick.

Over the years, Trump has deflected criticism by citing friendships with black celebrities. In the 1980s, he became a fixture ringside in Atlantic City, befriending the boxing legends Muhammad Ali and Mike Tyson and promoter Don King. He briefly owned a US Football League team, leading to friendship with its star player, Herschel Walker.

As the hip-hop industry flourished in the 1990s and 2000s, rappers often used Trump’s name in lyrics as a symbol of wealth and flash. Along the way, he became friendly with Sean Combs, Snoop Dogg, and Russell Simmons.

Trump boasted about the mention of his name in rap videos, asking one of the secretaries to find examples on YouTube and play them for guests. “The blacks love me,” Trump said proudly.

By 2015, now running for president, he stopped using “the” before describing ethnic groups. While some black celebrities stood by Trump, other relationships have soured because of his politics. Simmons, in an open letter that year, told his estranged friend to “stop fueling fires of hate.”

Oddly enough, he captured a larger share of the black vote in the 2016 general election than any Republican in decades -- including those great defenders of race relations, the Bushes.


The steam whistle is never a teachable moment for humility and kindness when Israel is the victim.

Related: Final Round Up

Strangely enough, it was on this day in 1942 that the Nazis began transporting Jews from the Warsaw Ghetto to the Treblinka concentration camp.

Babies first:

"Where Roe v. Wade has the biggest effect" by Quoctrung Bui, Claire Cain Miller and Margot Sanger-Katz New York Times, July 20, 2019

Today, there is at least one abortion clinic in every state, and most women of childbearing age live within an hour’s drive or so of one, the new analysis found. In more than half of states, including the entire West Coast and Northeast, that would still be true without Roe. In other states, like Missouri and Mississippi, with one clinic each, some women are effectively already living without Roe’s protections, because the driving distance to the nearest clinic is prohibitively long.

Without Roe, significantly more women — concentrated in the South and Midwest — would be living without an abortion clinic nearby. This state variation is a leading goal of abortion opponents, said Clarke Forsythe, senior counsel at Americans United for Life. “The blue states can legislate according to public opinion in the blue states, and the red states can legislate according to public opinion in the red states,” he said.....

Perhaps you ladies can learn a lesson from history regarding secession.


Better get paddling:

Pocket-sized shark squirts glowing clouds from pockets

It's being claimed they are a new species; however, I can help but wonder if it's a mutation based on all the oil slicks, layer of tar on the Gulf floor mingled with Corexit, the fertilizer runoff, and the pollutants pouring in there after the dead dolphins were found a while back.

Maybe this will help you get a closer look:

"Standoff on Hawaii mountain is about more than a telescope" by Jennifer Sinco Kelleher Associated Press, July 20, 2019

HONOLULU — Walter Ritte has been fighting for decades to protect Native Hawaiian rights, inspiring a new generation of activists trying to stop construction of a giant telescope they see as representative of a bigger struggle.

He ain't alone.

In his early 30s, Ritte occupied a small Hawaiian island used as a military bombing range. Now at 74, he’s still a prolific protester, getting arrested this week for blocking a road to stop construction of the one of the world’s most powerful telescopes on Hawaii’s tallest peak, which some Native Hawaiians consider sacred.

For activists who say they’re protecting Mauna Kea, the long-running telescope fight encapsulates critical issues to Native Hawaiians: the 1893 overthrow of the Hawaiian kingdom, clashes over land and water rights, frustration over tourism, attempts to curb development, and questions about how the islands should be governed.

It’s an example of battles by Native Americans to preserve ancestral lands, with high-profile protests like Dakota Access pipeline leading to arrests in southern North Dakota in 2016 and 2017.

For Native Hawaiians, opposition to the $1.4 billion Thirty Meter Telescope isn’t universal — some support the educational opportunities from the project and are facing backlash from those questioning their identity.

Ritte’s first taste of activism came during a resurgence of cultural pride and identity that began in the late 1960s and 1970s. He’s fighting a project that dates to 2009, when scientists selected Mauna Kea after a global campaign to find the ideal site for what telescope officials said ‘‘will likely revolutionize our understanding of the universe.’’

Those are the last of the real grass roots protests, and I can't see any point in reading this anymore.

The swelling protest is a natural reaction to the pain Native Hawaiians have endured and the changes the islands have seen, said Glen Kila, program director of Marae Ha’a Koa, a Hawaiian cultural center.....


I'd say join Canada, but.....

"In legalizing marijuana, Canada did everything differently. Here’s what we can learn" by Naomi Martin Globe Staff, July 20, 2019

MONTREAL — This is the world of legal marijuana in Canada, which last October made history as the largest country to legalize pot, and the first to create large-scale government-run cannabis stores in addition to private shops.

Canada went about legalizing pot very differently from Massachusetts: It opened more than 100 cannabis stores overnight, and now has a mix of publicly run and privately owned retailers. That compares to the painfully slow rollout of retail options in Massachusetts, where private companies undergo a lengthy application process; however, products that are already popular in Massachusetts, edibles and vape pens, were banned by Canada during the first year. Canada also has a different approach on age cutoffs, public health controls, social justice issues, and the role of big corporations, but for those frustrated with the glacial pace and limitations of the Massachusetts legal marijuana market and looking north for inspiration, Canada’s experience suggests there is no perfect system. Prices are high, products are few and in short supply, and the stores have long lines. As here, pot smokers there have mixed feelings about the shape of legalization, while opponents try to block its spread.

Yeah, anyone who expects perfection has been smoking something and the sides of the debate reflect the drugs effects: apathetic on one side and zeal on the other. 

Maybe most revealing is that both Canada and Massachusetts continue to have flourishing black markets that undermine the legal industry, as consumers still find it easier and cheaper to shop in the shadows.

The government-run pot stores are “professional, clean, and basically well-organized,” said Byron Hardie, 33, a massage therapist in Montreal, but he prefers buying online from an unlicensed delivery service, which is “far superior, with better prices and better selection, and it comes right to my door.”

Canada’s government sees itself as unique among weed dealers: It wants to put the illicit market out of business while still tempering the availability of pot, particularly just to people who already consume it. In Quebec, officials designed stores to ensure that children passing by cannot see any cannabis. They even banned sales of merchandise that could promote pot consumption, including posters or T-shirts with images of pot leaves or “420.” 

Like in horticulture, you don't grow you die. Same for bu$ine$$ models and products of any kind.

“We don’t want cannabis to become as mundane or common as alcohol,” said Fabrice Giguère, a spokesman for the Quebec cannabis authority, Société Québécoise du Cannabis, or SQDC. “We want our prices to be competitive with the black market, but not so competitive that it becomes a benign product, because it’s really not.”

Sacre bleu!

While happy weed is legal, cannabis consumers interviewed in Montreal are not exactly overawed by the government’s first year.

You mean they are not crazy about it?

“Now, you can go buy marijuana without being scared that the police are going to get you,” said Brandon Golib, 20, who works in a restaurant. He said the SQDC stores offer a great experience with knowledgeable staff, but, “the only downside is they didn’t have enough for the whole of Montreal” in their early months due to supply shortages, Golib said.

The minimum age to buy pot in most Canadian provinces is 19; Quebec is slated to raise the minimum from 18 to 21 this fall.

When pot was illegal in Canada, minorities were far more likely to be arrested than whites, as was also true in the United States. Legalization has made it easier for people with pot convictions to apply for pardons, but Canada made no effort to create business opportunities for people in those communities that saw high prosecution rates during the war on drugs. These social justice goals were a cornerstone of legalization in Massachusetts and other US states.

To cover wanting a cut of the pie that they were not getting.

One area where some in Massachusetts want to take a page out of Canada’s playbook is having the government sell pot, instead of private companies. That, public health advocates say, would remove the profit motive, which history has shown — with alcohol, tobacco, and opioids — leads companies to lobby for looser rules, obscure health risks, and push increasingly addictive substances on the young.

Don't over-inhale on this one, kids, but the same Globe that is again pushing that worn out trope demands 37 sets of vaccinations, will soon have the betting apps for sports on the mobile devices, that's rolled out the welcome mat and said c'mon down to the casinos (tax loot take is lower than projected, but you know), and while the $tate lottery rakes it in, but here, now, gotta step in and put their foot down.

Oh, and then there are the LIQUOR ADS ubiquitously gracing the Bo$ton Globe on a near-daily basis [as for today, GE was in full splendor on page A3, with a full exhale by JUUL on page A5, cough]

Canada’s strict rules contrast with the scene in Massachusetts, where a billboard by the website Weedmaps greets travelers near Logan International Airport: “Smile Boston, weed is legal.”

Well, it is and it isn't. Feds are turning a blind eye to it.

In a May letter to Massachusetts leaders, more than 40 local doctors and scientists implored the state to adopt regulations that prioritize public health efforts like those in Canada: government control of sales, precise warning labels about mental health risks, stricter bans on advertising and medical claims, and oversight by a health authority.

You will suffer from a psychosis.

Currently, labels on pot products in Massachusetts say, “There may be associated health risks,” and warn against consuming before driving or while pregnant or breast-feeding.

That must not be the medical line!

“Businesses are supposed to sell more of their product to make more money, but that’s really very dangerous with addictive substances,” said Dr. Sharon Levy, director of the substance use program at Boston Children’s Hospital, and one of the letter’s signatories. “What Canada’s worked to do is counterbalance that profit motive. . . . In Massachusetts, my understanding and my experience is that’s not really the consideration.”

Yeah, unless it's the war indu$try, or the pharmaceuticals. To pun a bad analogy, they are looking it over for not one seed.

For their part, Massachusetts regulators say they are effectively prioritizing both public health and social justice, which are not at odds.

The verdict on which cannabis policies are more effective for public health is likely years away, but many studies on retail sales of alcohol, including one in the American Journal of Public Health, show that government-run stores were linked to lower rates of alcohol consumption and youth access.

With all the electronic surveillance and data collection of the Five Eyes system, why would you want government to run them? 

They truth is, it's an either/or. Government does it and knows directly who is using, or a private company in the business of vice brings it to you and relays the information.

While cannabis is viewed by some as safer than other drugs, there is research suggesting a link between heavy, high-potency cannabis consumption and psychosis.....

What's crazy is continuing to read this skewed, agenda-pushing slop when the medicinal qualities are being completely ignored (even helps the football players with their concussions, but don't let someone else's pain stop the $pecial intere$ts that remain anonymous).


Oh, yeah, $orry to disappoint you:

"Cannabis commission defends pace of pot shop openings and lower-than-expected tax revenue" by Felicia Gans Globe Staff, July 19, 2019

The chairman of Massachusetts’ cannabis commission is defending the agency after a lawmaker criticized the lower-than-expected tax revenue generated for the state and the slow pace of licensing marijuana businesses.

This comes as they are flush with nearly one billion -- with a B -- in unexpected tax revenue, or so I am told.

In a letter sent Thursday to state Representative Mark Cusack, commission head Steven Hoffman said the launch of Massachusetts’ marijuana industry has been “relatively smooth and incident-free,’’ compared to other states that legalized marijuana at the same time.

Cusack, in his own letter to Hoffman in June, criticized the agency’s progress on generating tax revenue and questioned why state cannabis leaders had not been able to deliver on the revenue promised.

Not up and running yet, and are they grilling the gaming chairman so hard?

Hoffman responded that collecting taxes was undoubtedly important, but it should not take priority over other responsibilities of cannabis commissioners, like efforts to enhance public safety, cut down on the illicit market, and keep marijuana out of the hands of children.

Yeah, hit 'em where it hurts!

While the generation of tax revenue for the state and its municipalities was a clear objective of the law, Nowhere in the statute does it state that maximizing tax revenue, particularly in the short term, should dominate the other objectives,” he wrote.

In his own letter, Cusack, the House chairman of the Joint Committee on Revenue, requested information about the agency’s licensing processes, tax revenue projections, and its role in certain municipality decisions. Cusack also included more than two dozen questions and asked Hoffman to respond within three weeks.

Most notably, Cusack, who is also the former chairman of the Joint Committee on Marijuana Policy, questioned why expected tax revenue had fallen short.

Cusack wrote on June 27 that with just days left in the fiscal year, the state had collected about $29.9 million in marijuana tax revenue, about $33 million less than projected. The goal for fiscal 2020 will rise to $132.5 million.

The casino guys miss, the Wall Street guys miss, is it no surprise the pot people $ee things?

Marijuana tax revenue is expected to grow as more businesses open, Hoffman said, and as commissioners worked to set up the initial framework for the marijuana industry, they did their best to weigh the concerns of all participants, while placing a priority on consumers and patients.

All of this, he said, took time.

“I feel we have done a good job balancing the oftentimes conflicting perspectives of these groups and are continuing to stand up a marketplace that will work for all,” Hoffman wrote in his 13-page response, which also had several documents attached.....

Well, like casinos, it's here and business is flowering.

You know, if Feds were smart they would slap a $5 tax on it wherever it's legalMaybe that would hold the Union together, or at least prevent armed conflict between regions.


Also see:

"A group of lobbyists, businesses, and nonprofits are concerned new lobbying regulations in Boston are overly broad and could “chill civic engagement,” according to a letter sent recently to city officials....."


Sal DiMasi hired by medical marijuana group to lobby city

The $moke-filled room means something else these days.

He says it is his inalienable right, but the Globe says he is a crook.

Are you sure it isn't steam?

Another scorcher in store for Sunday

Then you can go to the new water park by the ocean or go fishing of the coast of Maine by the light of the moon before finding a message in a bottle on the beach.


Today, race is still front and center, but at least the heat wave did not stop them from celebrating the neighborhood with a Unity parade with a bang and a whimper:

"Deal struck on $43 billion state budget, drug price controls" by Matt Stout and Priyanka Dayal McCluskey Globe Staff, July 21, 2019

Three weeks into the fiscal year, legislative leaders on Sunday filed a compromise state budget proposal that plows nearly $270 million more into public school spending, increases funding to the University of Massachusetts without freezing tuition, and spends hundreds of millions more dollars than either the House or Senate initially proposed.

The $43.1 billion proposal, which lawmakers expect to pass and send to Governor Charlie Baker on Monday, also includes compromise language aimed at curbing the cost of prescription drugs in the state Medicaid program — a time-consuming debate during lawmakers’ weeks-long negotiations.

Overall, the bill tacked on $317 million more in spending than either the House or Senate had approved as part of its own debate in the spring, in addition to setting aside hundreds of millions more for the state’s reserves and $23 million more for the MBTA and Massachusetts School Building Authority. That’s because an expected budget surplus prompted negotiators to rely on a rosier fiscal forecast for the current fiscal year.

The bill also slashed plans for new taxes on opioid manufacturers and vaping products, both of which Baker had proposed. As expected, the proposal puts a heavy emphasis on beefing up school spending.

It is “a good first step,” as lawmakers also reached a compromise on a controversial proposal to tackle prescription drug spending after the debate around drug pricing was marked by heavy lobbying from industry groups and the House softened the language.....

The pharmaceutical industry is still winning in Washington, too, because “Big Pharma has replaced Big Tobacco as the most powerful brute in the ranks of Washington power brokers, as Pharma’s billions allow them to continue to rip off American families and taxpayers.” 

Part of the problem is the stocks figure very prominently in the portfolios of Congre$$, which then has the ability to direct money into those streams. 

Hey, you wind some, you lose some. That's the reality.



"The superintendent of Brookline public schools has resigned after three years in the job, according to a letter sent Friday to the chairwoman of the town’s school committee. “[S]ustaining the quantity and quality of my work as Superintendent has come at great personal cost to me, and to my family,” read Andrew Bott’s letter to Julie Schreiner-Oldham, the school committee chair. “I have decided that these sacrifices are too great to sustain any further, and so, I have decided to resign as Superintendent.” During his time as superintendent, Bott said he worked to strengthen policies that protect students’ rights and achieve greater budget transparency and fiscal stability, according to his letter. He said the diversity of teachers and paraprofessionals has steadily increased during his tenure and the district’s leadership “is more diverse than ever before.”

That's strange. 

Maybe you kids should take the day off:

"Oregon will allow students to take ‘‘mental health days’’ just as they would sick days, expanding the reasons for excused school absences to include mental or behavioral health under a new law that experts say is one of the first of its kind in the United States, but don’t call it coddling. The students behind the measure say it’s meant to change the stigma around mental health in a state that has some of the United States’ highest suicide rates. Oregon’s bill, signed by Governor Kate Brown last month, represents one of the few wins for youth activists from around the state who were unusually active at the Capitol this year. Along with expanded mental health services, they lobbied for legislation to strengthen gun control and lower the voting age, both of which failed. Haily Hardcastle, an 18-year-old from the Portland suburb of Sherwood who helped champion the mental health bill, said she and other student leaders were partly motivated by the national youth-led movement that followed last year’s Parkland, Fla., school shooting....."

It ‘‘inspired them in the sense that it showed young people can totally change the political conversation.’’ 

Next is shaming the colleges in a cyberbullying campaigning.

Here is another jolt of reality:

"Bernie Sanders might be losing his N.H. firewall" by James Pindell Globe Staff, July 21, 2019

Bernie Sanders and his aides would be forgiven if, when mapping out his 2020 presidential campaign, they didn’t spend a lot of time wondering how the Vermont senator would win the New Hampshire Democratic primary.

After all, in 2016, no state was better for Sanders than New Hampshire. The independent senator won the first-in-the-nation primary with 60 percent of the vote. The 22-point win over Hillary Clinton — who had a decades-long relationship with New Hampshire — was the biggest victory margin in that state for a competitive Democratic primary in over a half century.

In the years since, Sanders returned to the state often. He maintained a strong volunteer team and a local steering committee that met regularly. His son even ran for Congress in the state last year, but now, with a little more than six months to go until the 2020 New Hampshire primary, Sanders can no longer take the state for granted. He has gone from being the unquestioned front-runner to second place — and sliding.

He's a bit estranged from his son for some reason.

A University of New Hampshire Survey Center/CNN poll out last week found Sanders dropping 11 points among likely Democratic primary voters since April. He relinquished first place to former vice president Joe Biden and was tied with Senator Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts, and while Sanders dropped there, Warren has surged by 14 points.

The machers are not taking any chances on Bernie, even if he is nominally from the tribe. 

“His campaign supporters felt they had New Hampshire in the bag and they could run this national campaign and dare others to catch up, but here they are in the summer and they are suddenly tumbling in what should be their best early state,” said Wayne Lesperance, a political science professor at New England College in Henniker, N.H. “And if he doesn’t win here, where can he actually go after that?”

Continue on in the campaign, racking up some delegates and hope to deny Biden a first ballot nomination, thereby forcing the Party to address his issues before the vote, same as last time.

I mean, I'm voting for him again. You fight fire with fire, and it would totally remove the Squad anti-semitism from the equation.

At this point, it’s anyone’s guess who, among a handful of candidates, is best positioned to win.


Maybe you will be able to bet on it.

“I think at the end of the day, we’re going to win New Hampshire,” Sanders told WMUR, a New Hampshire television station, on Thursday.

“I’m not here to tell you that it will not be a hard-fought race and a tough race. But I believe we’re going to win it.”

Adam Huberty, who was a senior New Hampshire staffer for Sanders in 2016, still backs Sanders, but said, “I think it is fair to say the staff didn’t think that Warren would be this big of a threat.

She has momentum here, and while she has her own challenges, she is a real problem for Bernie.”

Money, too.

The UNH poll suggests that in the past few months, Warren has become more interesting to New Hampshire Democrats, particularly women in the southern part of the state. Sanders is better positioned with men in the north. Sanders and Warren were tied as the most popular candidates in the field. With 25 candidates in the field, it will probably be impossible for anyone to blow out either New Hampshire or the first caucus in Iowa.

It's like a GoT thing!

Former New Hampshire state senator Burt Cohen served as one of the 16 Sanders delegates from New Hampshire to the Democratic National Convention in 2016, but in the 2020 contest, he is so far undecided. “I love what Bernie Sanders says, and I love that so many other candidates are running with his message this time, but it also means that I, like a lot of Sanders backers last time, are still sorting out our choices,” said Cohen, who earlier in July hosted a house party for candidate Marianne Williamson.

The UNH poll found that Sanders is still seen as the most progressive candidate and that he and Biden are seen to have the best chance of winning, though Warren has improved in that category. Sanders, who last campaigned in the state on June 30, also has a large volunteer base there, and this past weekend his campaign held a series of organizing events with them.

Senator Michael Bennet of Colorado, who is also running for president, believes that as voters become more familiar with other candidates, they see there are better options than Sanders.

“He ran for office last time, and he didn’t get a lot of pushback. Essentially he had a free pass,” Bennet said in an interview with the Globe. “And now there is pushback on ideas like Medicare for all that sound interesting but the vast majority of Democrats don’t support and believe will sink us as a party if we ran on it.”

He didn't get any pushback and had a free pass? 

He was up against the mighty Clinton machine that denied him the nomination! 

He was brave to run, and that's not the last word.

Mark Longabaugh was a senior strategist with Sanders in 2016 and helped map a 2020 strategy before parting ways with Sanders earlier in the year. He contends that Sanders has a lot of advantages, particularly with his volunteer base.

“No, New Hampshire is not just Bernie’s to lose anymore. No, it is not even a contest between just Bernie and Biden, because both are slipping. It is a contest now between four or five of them. Does Bernie have to win in New Hampshire? Well, here is the thing: All of them do.”



Why Sanders Wanted His Meeting With a Rabbi Kept Secret

He needed his blessing before the most important gun fight of all.

Maybe he can get a recall or a do-over or whatever:

"In some states, GOP sees the recall as its way back to power" by James Anderson Associated Press, July 21, 2019

DENVER — Republicans frustrated by losing their grip on political power in some Western states have begun deploying a new weapon: the recall.

Once reserved for targeting corrupt or inept elected officials, the recall has become part of the toolkit for Republicans seeking a do-over of election results. One GOP strategist in Colorado has put a name to it — ‘‘recall season.’’

Then all levels of government need to be recalled.

To be sure, Democrats also have used recalls, most notably in Wisconsin, where they tried unsuccessfully to oust then-Republican Governor Scott Walker in 2012 over his actions to weaken public sector unions, but Republicans have been mounting recall efforts against Democratic state lawmakers and governors at an unprecedented rate over the past two years in a handful of Western states, at the same time their political fortunes in those states have been declining.

Namely, California, Nevada, and Oregon.

Colorado recall proponents accused their targets of overreach on issues of gun control, climate change, taxes, sex education, and the Electoral College — issues that many of the Democrats ran on during their successful campaigns.

Karen Kateline, a talk show host working on the Polis effort, insists that she and other Republicans aren’t abusing the original misconduct intent for recalls. ‘‘Nobody is putting the brakes on these people,’’ she said of Democrats.

Matt Harringer, spokesman for the Democratic Legislative Campaign Committee, has a simple label for the Republicans pursuing the recall attempts — ‘‘sore losers.’’


"Ahead of Mueller hearings, top Democrats accuse Trump of ‘high crimes and misdemeanors’" by Felicia Sonmez Washington Post, July 21, 2019

The two House chairmen who will oversee this week’s hearings featuring former special counsel Robert Mueller III on Sunday declared President Trump an ‘‘unindicted co-conspirator’’ and accused him of high crimes and misdemeanors but stopped short of calling for his impeachment.

The statements by House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff, D-Calif., and Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerrold Nadler, D-N.Y., come three days before Mueller is scheduled to testify before their panels.

In an interview on ‘‘Fox News Sunday,’’ Nadler defended his decision to call Mueller to testify and said the public needs to hear directly from the former special counsel about his report on Russian interference in the 2016 campaign.

‘‘The report presents very substantial evidence that the president is guilty of high crimes and misdemeanors,’’ Nadler said. ‘‘And we have to let Mueller present those facts to the American people and then see where we go from there, because the administration must be held accountable and no president can be above the law.’’

Aides say Nadler has privately voiced support for impeachment proceedings against Trump, but he has stopped short of publicly calling for such a move.

Schiff on Sunday was asked about news last week that the US attorney’s office in the Southern District of New York has concluded its campaign finance investigation centered on Michael Cohen, Trump’s former personal attorney.

Schiff said on CBS News’s ‘‘Face the Nation’’ that it was ‘‘clear’’ that the Justice Department feels bound by an Office of Legal Counsel opinion that prevents the indictment of a sitting president. He added that Trump ‘‘is an essentially unindicted co-conspirator’’ and predicted that federal prosecutors will take another look at the case once the president leaves the White House.

That gives him every motivation to really fight dirty, and I suspect he will wander away like Clinton anyway.

‘‘I assume that all this means, in terms of the Southern District of New York, is that the case will be reopened when he leaves office, providing the statute of limitations has not run, and the Justice Department will have to weigh whether to indict the former president,’’ Schiff said.

That does it

Lock him up and send her back!

Mueller will testify on Wednesday for three hours before the House Judiciary Committee and two hours before the House Intelligence Committee.

The two panels have taken the unusual step of coordinating their questioning. Judiciary Committee Democrats plan to focus on possible obstruction of justice, while members of the Intelligence Committee are intent on getting answers about Russia’s contacts with the Trump campaign.

Democrats are divided about what they want to take place after Wednesday’s hearings: Pelosi and other party leaders are reluctant to pursue an impeachment inquiry, while many rank-and-file members consider Mueller’s testimony their best shot at moving public sentiment toward ousting Trump.

Got your popcorn?

Last week, when the House voted to kill an impeachment resolution filed by Representative Al Green, D-Texas, Schiff voted with most Democrats to table it, while Nadler was among the 95 Democrats who voted to keep the measure alive.

Nadler and several other Democrats on the Judiciary Committee tried to persuade Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., and other party leaders to refer the articles of impeachment to their panel but were rebuffed, according to congressional officials, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss internal talks.

She gave them an ultimatum.


"In 88 trips to Capitol Hill, Mueller grew weary of partisanship" by Noah Weiland New York Times, July 21, 2019

WASHINGTON — Days after he was appointed special counsel, Robert Mueller visited the Capitol to meet with members of the Senate Judiciary Committee, which was conducting its own Russia investigation and needed to coordinate with his. Senator Charles E. Grassley, R-Iowa and the committee’s chairman, came with a wisecrack.

You did well keeping the country safe as FBI director, he told Mueller at the end of the meeting, a senator in the room recalled, but you never answered mail from us, Grassley said of a Congress that conducts much of its business on paper.

Mueller laughed. Just keep sending those letters, he replied.

The lighthearted exchange hinted at a tension that has made Mueller a reluctant witness for two highly anticipated House hearings on the Russia investigation on Wednesday. Over decades of appearances before Congress, Mueller showed little patience for politics, and he grew weary of the partisanship that came with legislative oversight, according to interviews with former colleagues, law enforcement officials and lawmakers.

A review of dozens of hours of his hearings — Mueller has appeared before Congress 88 times dating back to 1990, according to the Senate Historical Office, among the most of any official ever — offers insight into what kind of witness he will be this week. He was by turns forbidding and protective of the FBI’s mission, yet sympathetic to Congress’ obligation to monitor the bureau’s transformation from a crime-fighting agency into a centerpiece of the government’s post-Sept. 11 counterterrorism apparatus.

And embroiled in the events leading up to it.

Mueller brings a long-standing commitment to preparation to Wednesday’s hearings. He met into the evenings with FBI colleagues for days before congressional appearances, poring over thick binders in a large conference room next to the bureau director’s office on the seventh floor of the J. Edgar Hoover Building. Aides role-played as members of Congress who might have wanted to squabble with him on camera.

I expect Republicans will want to know answers to the staffing of the SPO as well as all the Steele and Fusion GPS stuff.

Before the special counsel investigation hearings, his old law firm, WilmerHale, has opened space for him at its offices in downtown Washington, said Robert T. Novick, a managing partner there. Another partner at the firm has functioned as Mueller’s representative in talks with Congress: Jonathan R. Yarowsky, the former general counsel for the House Judiciary Committee.

Mueller treated his appearances over the years with a kind of dread, said Lisa Monaco, his chief of staff at the FBI.

“I don’t think anybody loves going up there and sitting through hours of testimony and hours of speeches that maybe result in a question or not. He didn’t love it,” she said. “He would brace himself, because he knew it was an opportunity to put the FBI in the political cross hairs.”

Mueller was sworn in as FBI director a week before the Sept. 11 attacks.

That's often lost in the rubble, but look at what the web version dug up:

Lawmakers in both parties, unusually like-minded in response to the 2001 attacks, pressed him in several hearings on how the bureau missed leads on al-Qaida.

Mueller and Congress advocated the same broad overhaul of the FBI. Within a year, the FBI had reassigned 400 agents to counterterrorism from drug investigations, white-collar crime and other offenses. Mueller, who planned initially to hire 400 more analysts, knew how beholden he was to legislators for funding and direction. “We are not the policymakers,” he told an audience at Stanford University in 2002. “The FBI must use the tools that Congress gives us.”

To pay infiltrators, 'er, informants to entrap patsy plotters in pathetic plots.

The agency’s pursuit of what led to the Sept. 11 attacks rested, in turn, on Mueller. “He was the lead investigator of 9/11. And we were in a significant degree dependent on his ability and willingness to use his resources to get to the basic facts,” said former Sen. Bob Graham of Florida, the Democratic chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee from 2001 to 2003.

Actually, that was Zelikow. He was in charge of the commission. They only saw what he wanted them to see.

Congress questioned whether Mueller could reorganize a bureau with tens of thousands of employees spread across the nation, many of whom were believed out of sync with Washington headquarters. Former Sen. John Edwards, D-N.C., planned to introduce legislation that would have removed the bureau’s domestic intelligence arm and created a new kind of superagency akin to Britain’s MI 5.

Then he had the whole love-child thing with the campaign biographer in 2008 and was gone.

In a February 2003 hearing, a month after announcing a presidential campaign exploratory committee, Edwards used his five-minute question-and-answer allotment to criticize Mueller’s overhauls, reading off printouts of critical assessments and running out the clock before Mueller had a chance to respond. “It will never be able to reform itself to do this job,” Edwards declared of the FBI.

Mueller fired back: Edwards had ignored the work the FBI had done for 17 months in connecting the dots. “I have offered you an opportunity, personally, to come down to the bureau and be briefed on the changes that we have made since Sept. 11. You have declined to come down,” Mueller said, his voice shakingAt the end of the exchange, Mueller turned off his microphone and stared icily at Edwards.

After Republicans took back control of the House in 2010, Mueller’s relationship with lawmakers turned more cynical. The mostly civilized panels he encountered gave way to more ornery hearings, particularly in front of the House Judiciary Committee, whose members will question Mueller on Wednesday.

In a May 2012 hearing with the committee, Rep. Louie Gohmert, R-Texas, told Mueller that the only reason he had been granted an extension to serve beyond the typical 10-year term as FBI director was because no one was on the House floor at the time to object.

A year later, Gohmert, who is still on the committee, accused the FBI director of failing to respond to a tip about a mosque that the Boston Marathon bombers had visited. “Your facts are not altogether well founded,” the typically reticent Mueller countered, explaining that agents had met with imams at the mosque.

Yeah, that staged crisis drill that was piggy-backed upon was on his watch, and he was the #2 man in Boston during Whitey Bulger's reign but somehow didn't make the movie.

On the same day, Mueller encountered Representative Jim Jordan, an Ohio Republican who is now a close ally of President Trump and one of the most vocal critics of the Russia investigation. He will also question Mueller again this week.

Jordan was furious. Why did Mueller not know the name of the lead agent in the FBI investigation of the IRS, which had been accused of targeting advocacy groups with “Tea Party” and “patriot” in their names? Jordan had been a regular guest on Fox News programs that devoted hours of airtime to the issue. He continued to cut off Mueller, who closed his eyes in frustration. It was an active investigation, Mueller said repeatedly. He couldn’t say much. “This has been the biggest story in the country, and you can’t even tell me who the lead investigator is?” Jordan asked.

One of Obama's impeachable scandals, along with spying on the campaign, but it's down the memory hole and his regime is now considered scandal and corruption free.

Moments later, Mueller was grinning slightly. Jordan’s time was up.

“I’d be happy to take your questions in writing, sir,” Mueller said.

Weeks later, he retired.


More gaseous spew:

"A Kinder Morgan Inc.-led natural gas conduit is getting blowback in a place that’s so far been a refuge for the embattled pipeline industry: Texas. The $2 billion Permian Highway Pipeline would carry gas from America’s most prolific shale basin in West Texas to the Gulf Coast, helping to relieve bottlenecks that have led producers to burn off enough fuel to supply every home in Texas, but landowners along the route are staging a fight, arguing against the company’s use of eminent domain and urging city and county officials to consider potential environmental and safety consequences. The dispute poses a risk of pitting environmentalists concerned about the burning of excess gas, called flaring, against property owners who don’t want a pipeline running through their backyard or ranch. Oil explorers in West Texas are producing record amounts of gas as a by-product of crude drilling, and without new pipelines, their only option is to flare the gas into the sky. So far, Kinder has come out on top of litigation dealing with the project. The Travis County District Court last month dismissed all claims against the Texas Railroad Commission, which oversees drilling and permits for projects like Kinder’s Permian Highway Pipeline. In response, the Texas Real Estate Advocacy and Defense Coalition promised ‘‘additional legal actions.’’

They would have to take it to the regional council, I gue$$.

If they don't like it, they can migrate to Vermont as “the effort gains steam with its powerful message, because it works and there is not enough time,” and it is just the latest example of a private industry caught in the political fray of an overtaxed immigration system that is all wrong.

Related: Home security system proved anything but

At least it came with a happy ending.