Sunday, March 31, 2013

Sunday Globe Special: Zipping Shut the Zumba Prostitution Case

Nice and tight.

"Zumba teacher could get jail in prostitution case" Associated Press, March 31, 2013

PORTLAND, Maine — The dance instructor who used her Zumba fitness studio as a front for prostitution faces jail time after pleading guilty in a case that captivated a quiet seaside town known for its beaches and picturesque homes.

The plea agreement, which calls for a 10-month sentence, spares Alexis Wright from the prospect of a high-profile trial featuring sex videos, exhibitionism, and pornography. She is scheduled to be sentenced on May 31.

Wright quietly answered ‘‘guilty’’ 20 times on Friday when the judge read the counts, which include engaging in prostitution, promotion of prostitution, conspiracy, tax evasion, and theft by deception.

Bankers going to jail, too?

The 30-year-old Wright was accused of conspiring with insurance agent Mark Strong Sr. to run a prostitution business in which she kept detailed records indicating she made $150,000 over an 18-month period.

That is so $mall fry when compared to war-profiteers and banksters.

She was also accused of using a hidden camera to record sex acts without her clients’ knowledge.

Okay, not nice, but government spies on people.

She was originally charged with 106 counts. All the counts in the agreement were misdemeanors, including three counts relating to welfare and tax fraud that were reduced from felonies.

Oh, so a DEAL was CUT to keep this QUIET! I wonder WHAT BIG WIGS were on the CLIENT LIST!

Strong, 57, of Thomaston, was convicted this month of 13 counts related to promotion of prostitution and was sentenced to 20 days in jail.

He was originally charged with 59 counts. 

Must not have been a very strong case.


Also see: Zumba Zs

That ought to keep it quiet and protect some well-known names and reputations. 

Globe certainly doing it's part:

"Maine man gets 20 days in Zumba paid-sex case" March 22, 2013

PORTLAND, Maine — An insurance agent who helped run a prostitution operation out of his mistress’s Zumba studio and watched secretly videotaped sex acts was ordered Thursday to spend 20 days in jail.

Then he's really a pimp and a pervert, isn't he?

My printed paper continues with "in a scandal that rocked a community better known for its beaches and sea captains' homes than for crime."

Before being sentenced, Mark Strong apologized for the pain he has caused his family, and his wife broke down in sobs while pleading for leniency....

I say castrate him.

Prosecutors said Strong was involved in every facet of the Kennebunk operation with fitness instructor Alexis Wright.

Another whacking:  "monitoring fitness instructor Alexis Wright's calendar, reviewing her ledgers, collecting dossiers on clients and watching the sexual encounters streamed live to the computer in his office 100 miles up the coast in Thomaston."

He is sick!

The one sentence buried deep down that they kept:

In court, Strong said he should have owned up to his mistakes right away. 

For some reason, elite scum can't do that until it's far too late.

What the Globe website chopped:

Strong also suggested boosting profits by marketing to higher-paying fetish clients and engaging in paid sex acts with multiple men simultaneously, prosecutors said. 

He really wanted to see a gang bang, 'eh? 

Deputy York County District Attorney Justina McGettigan asked the judge to sentence Strong to 364 days in jail, noting that the prostitution continued even after police raided Wright's studio, office and apartment in Kennebunk.

Defense lawyer Dan Lilley asked for a maximum of 14 days in jail, telling the judge that police and prosecutors were overzealous in an investigation that fizzled with only two defendants and mostly minor charges. 

And all he got was 20. The stink of after-sex cover-up is stifling. And I love that phrase describing the calling off of the cops. Right, the cops were overzealous like in the Swartz case.

"The state wanted Moby Dick but got fish bait. This is relatively minor case that has become, or did become, a media event. The simple fact is that the media ... has already punished Mark Strong," Lilley said. 

This IS sick.

Strong, 57, has acknowledged helping the 30-year-old Wright open her dance studio but contends he didn't profit from prostitution. 

Except for the jerking-off at the office.

That was contradicted Thursday by prosecutors who said Strong received 20 percent of prostitution revenue under an agreement with Wright.

"Initially I wondered why this happened to me and why I'm going through this hell, when I should have accepted responsibility and instead focused on making amends for those I hurt," he said. 

Because your karma is scum, s***ter.

His wife, Julie, arm-in-arm with their son, Brad, broke down in tears as she pleaded for leniency, telling the judge that her husband "suffers from an illness that is curable." She also said their marriage is better now that he's confronting his illness. 

I think I'm going to cry. Good God.


Back to business as usual then:

"Notorious Maine Zumba studio to reopen as new one" by Clarke Canfield  |  Associated Press, March 11, 2013

KENNEBUNK, Maine — A year after a Zumba studio shut down following allegations the instructor was using it as a prostitution front, the space is reopening — as another Zumba studio....

The case has drawn worldwide media attention....

I've lost mine.



"Man completes sentence in Zumba case

The insurance agent accused of being the business partner of a Zumba instructor who engaged in prostitution has been released from York County Jail. A jail official said Mark Strong Sr. completed his sentence Friday after serving 15 days for conspiracy and promotion of prostitution. His 20-day sentence was reduced for good behavior. A message left at his Thomaston office was not immediately returned. Defense lawyer Tina Nadeau said Strong has decided against pursuing legal appeals and wants to go about getting on with his life and reconciling with his family. His release from jail comes in time for him to attend his son’s wedding (AP)." 

Ever notice there are certain levels of AmeriKan justice depending on what social station you occupy in life?

Sunday Globe Special: Milling Around in Maine

"Mill revival gives Maine community new hope" by Billy Baker |  Globe Staff, February 24, 2013

EAST MILLINOCKET, Maine — The unlikely revival of East Millinocket and its Great Northern Paper Co. mill began when a buyer, who didn’t know anything about paper, and the people of the town, who know everything about paper, threw their lot in together and took a leap of faith....

Mills that make paper for reading do not reopen in America. But then this one did....


Related: Milling Around Maine

Medford teen a sudden Maine woods survivalist

Globe Sets Moose Loose in Maine and Minnesota

Also see:

  • Small plane crashes on Maine lake
  • Dividing Maine Brings It Together
  • Maine Might See Oil Spill
  • Cumberland Cuties
  • The Cummington Creamery
  • Portland Purse Snatcher
  • Prescription Drugs Smuggled Into Maine Prison
  • Globe Remembers Ayla Reynolds
  • More Than a Moment to Put This Maine Post Together
  • Hunting For a Hit Man in Maine
  • Skiing in Maine
  • Lobbing You This Post About Maine
  • I Hope This Post About Maine Makes You Happy

  • I hope this one did, too.

    Sunday Globe Special: Tobin Toll Bridge

    "Electronic toll collection soon coming to Tobin Bridge" by Martine Powers  |  Globe Staff, March 03, 2013

    Massachusetts residents will start to see all-electronic tolling on Tobin Memorial Bridge before the end of this year.

    The push toward “open-road tolling” began late last year, when transportation officials announced that they planned to cut costs by eliminating toll-collection booths and replacing them with digital toll collection technology.

    Not that I'm for state wa$te, but that is someone's job, right?

    Last Wednesday, Transportation Secretary Richard A. Davey announced at a State House hearing that the process will make its debut before the end of the year on Tobin Bridge, which runs from Charlestown to Chelsea, as a trial run before the new technology extends to other toll collection plazas throughout the state.

    Later this week, state highway administrator Frank DePaola gave more details on the process, saying the electronic-only tolling on Tobin would likely begin in the fall, though the switch probably will not occur on the Massachusetts Turnpike until 2016.

    “Because Tobin is a single location, we thought it was a good choice to do a pilot,” said DePaola.

    Open-road tolling, which has been adopted in other states in recent years, eliminates cash at toll collection stations. Motorists with E-ZPasses will have their fare automatically deducted from their accounts, while those without transponders will have bills sent to the address associated with their license plates.

    And how do they know where to send it? Camera took a picture of your license plate.

    Remember when those things were just for catching "terrorists?"

    Those bills will be sent out to motorists after one month, or after a driver racks up $20 in charges — whichever comes first.

    State officials estimate the switch will save the state millions over the years, and will reduce congestion as cars will no longer need to slow down when driving through tolls.

    Installing the collection booths along Massachusetts Turnpike is a herculean undertaking, as dozens of toll booths would need to be rehauled at once. But officials are hoping the Tobin Bridge, where tolls are only collected southbound, would offer a good site to work out the kinks in the system before it is rolled out in other parts of the state.

    Traffic delays will be minimal, DePaola said, and will probably only require some overnight closures to erect the canopy of E-ZPass detectors and high-speed cameras.

    Instead of straddling the center of the bridge, where the toll plaza is located now, the new archway will be located just before the entrance to the bridge on the Chelsea end.

    After the new technology is put in place, there will likely be a 90-day overlap before halting the use of the toll collection booths, DePaola said.

    Going to be some happy ticket-takers there (not that they are all that cheery to begin with).

    Highway administrators will be monitoring the reliability of the cameras that detect and identify license plate numbers on cars that will not need to slow.

    “We expect there will be some license plates that are obscured or unreadable,” DePaola said. “We’re looking to see, based on our experiences with the Tobin, what that percentage of unreadable license plates is. That might help us adjust for the overall system.”

    The Tobin project will cost the state just under $4 million — $2 million to install the new toll bridge, about $1.2 million to make related software updates to the toll collection computer system, and another several hundred thousand dollars to demolish the existing toll plaza. 

    I'm wondering which well-connected intere$t will be getting the contracts.

    And in an effort to ensure that out-of-state drivers adhere to the new digital-only practice, DePaola said, the state has entered into an agreement that will allow Massachusetts officials to petition their counterparts in Maine and New Hamsphire to hold up a motor vehicle registration transaction if a driver has an outstanding toll violation in the Bay State.

    Oh, yeah, hadn't thought of that. What a mess this is going to be.

    Coupled with the switch to an all-electronic system will be an intensive push to encourage motorists to get an E-ZPass transponder. That campaign will include announcements on the digital messaging boards that line Interstate 93.

    Who is $elling those?


    Sunday Globe Special: Booze Killed Barksdale

    "BU student dies after being found unconscious" by Jeremy C. Fox  |  Globe Correspondent,  March 02, 2013

    A Boston University freshman died early Saturday morning shortly after being found unconscious around midnight in an Allston apartment, authorities said.

    BU identified him as Anthony Barksdale 2d, a 19-year-old engineering student who graduated in 2012 from Souhegan High School in Amherst, N.H.

    He was found at 22 Wadsworth St. after Boston police received a call about an unconscious man at 11:58 p.m., said Officer James Kenneally, Boston police spokesman.

    Barksdale was taken to St. Elizabeth’s Medical Center in Brighton, where he was pronounced dead three hours later, according to a statement on BU Today, a university website.

    The cause of death was not released, but campus police said there was no indication of foul play, according to the website. Boston police said in a statement that “no visible injuries or trauma were observed on the victim.’’

    “We’re just heartbroken,” BU spokesman Colin Riley said in a phone interview.

    Riley was unable to say who lived at the Wadsworth Street address or why Barksdale was there. Barksdale was a resident of the Towers dormitory at 140 Bay State Rd. and a member of the Sigma Alpha Mu fraternity, according to BU.

    At the Towers Saturday night, students remembered Barksdale as a warm and affectionate young man with an ever-present sense of humor.

    “He was always a great guy,” said Christian Walls, 19. “He liked telling jokes, pranking people ... It’s a loss for tons of people that knew Tony, and he’ll be sorely missed.”

    Lauren Tzirides, 19, said she often hung out on the third floor where Barksdale lived.

    “I remember he would always give me the biggest bear hugs,” she said.

    Ben Sabath, also 19, said Barksdale’s death was sudden and surprising.

    Sabath said Barksdale and some friends had recently talked about a project to create a device capable of making microwaveable toast.

    “He was always there to make people happy,” Sabath said.

    The apartment where Barksdale was found is in a row of six weathered two-story stucco townhouses at the end of Wadsworth Street.

    Tanya Washburn, 41, who lives next door to the apartment, said she does not know much about her neighbors in the apartment where Barksdale was found, but they appear to be college-aged men. She has asked them to turn down music a few times and they have always cooperated, she said.

    Washburn said she thought they had a party Friday night, but it wasn’t particularly loud. She said they did not throw parties frequently....


    Related:  BU frat penalized in death of student

    Colleges should grant amnesty if students seek alcohol help

    Also seeB.U. Memorial

    Add another name to the wall. 

    Saturday, March 30, 2013

    Good Knight

    "Knight Capital gets lifeline of $400m; New investors take 73% stake, 3 board seats" by Christina Rexrode  |  Associated Press, August 07, 2012

    NEW YORK — Knight Capital Group survived a near-death experience on Monday, lining up Wall Street firms to lend it badly needed cash after the brokerage lost $440 million last week when a malfunction in its trading system flooded the market with erroneous trades.

    But the rescue, which came down to the wire, had a steep price: control of the firm. And it is still not certain that Knight will make it through the episode intact.

    Knight’s new investors will gain a 73 percent stake in the company and three board seats. The value of current shareholders’ stake will also be heavily diluted. And Knight, which has removed the problem software and is still completing its own investigation of what went wrong, faces a difficult task of rebuilding trust with clients and persuading regulators that Wednesday’s problem was an anomaly. Its stock has plunged 70 percent since last Tuesday, before the glitch happened.

    ‘‘This is an isolated situation,’’ Knight’s chief executive, Thomas Joyce, said on CNBC Monday morning. ‘‘We screwed up. We paid the price.’’

    All weekend, speculators wondered whether Knight would be able to open for business Monday. The technical glitch briefly sent dozens of shares swinging wildly last week, and the company had to drain its capital to atone for the sin by covering the erroneous trades.

    The trading disaster Knight caused has revived a thorny debate about the merits of high-speed trading, where lightning-fast mathematical algorithms trade stocks in milliseconds and, as recent mistakes indicate, strain the system that is supposed to handle them.

    That's how Goldman's and the rest generate profits as well as prop up the stock market.

    More and more stock trading is handled by computers, and many market players have called for stricter controls to prevent disasters from happening. The mistakes have eroded shareholders’ confidence that they can trust the system — a point punctuated again Monday, when a technical problem shut down markets in Madrid for five hours....

    Knight Capital is a trading firm that takes orders from big brokers like TD Ameritrade and E-Trade. It then routes them to the exchanges where stocks are traded, like the New York Stock Exchange.

    One of the roles Knight plays in the stock market is that of a ‘‘designated market maker.’’ Those firms are responsible for keeping trading of the stocks they oversee orderly....

    Early Monday morning, before the stock market opened at 9:30 a.m., it still was not clear whether Knight was OK.

    Just after 7 a.m., Knight made a regulatory filing saying it had secured a $400 million lifeline but that the deal wasn’t yet sealed.

    An hour later, the New York Stock Exchange threw another twist into the story, announcing it had temporarily reassigned some of Knight’s trading responsibilities to a rival firm.

    At 9:22 a.m., Knight announced that the deal was completed, but didn’t say who the investors were. At 9:24 a.m., it did....


    Why didn't the paper tell us who it was?

    RelatedKnight Capital losses spur tighter automated-trading rules from SEC

    Knight Capital's software snag causes big 3Q loss

    I'm working on a new format for a new month. Please bear with me.

    Boston Globe Hits a Sour Note

    Every morning when I read one.

    "Clash over music lessons, classes roils Longy’s campus" by Geoff Edgers  |  Globe Staff, March 19, 2013

    The Longy School of Music of Bard College’s move, announced via e-mail March 6 and effective at the end of August, has sent controversy tearing through Boston’s music community.

    Parents and teachers have picketed each of the last two Saturday mornings on Longy’s campus, an online petition has gathered more than 1,000 signatures, and the faculty union has complained to the Cambridge City Council....

    At the heart of the dispute are differing visions for the nearly 100-year-old institution: Is the school’s primary role to offer music programs for the general public, through its preparatory and continuing education programs? Or, as argued by Longy’s board, should the school’s focus be on its full-time conservatory students?


    "New York has the Governors Ball. Chicago has Lollapalooza. New Orleans has Jazz Fest. And now, if all goes according to plan, Boston will have a signature music festival to call its own....


    Also see:

    Austin flexes its tech muscles, so why can’t we?
    Music sales rose in 2012, bringing hopes of recovery
    Violinist with one hand inspires young musicians

    Conceding to the Boston Globe

    "Red Sox make price cuts on concessions to woo fans" by Amalie Benjamin  |  Globe Staff, March 26, 2013

    Faced with the possibility of a dank April, dubious prospects, and swaths of empty red and blue seats, the Red Sox are ripping a page from the strategy manuals of down-market teams across Major League Baseball. They are offering free food and reduced-price beer, though only in April.

    Kids under 14 will eat free — well, before the third inning, provided they go to specially designated concession stands to pick up their Fenway Frank, Goldfish, and carton of juice. Around the park, buy one hot dog, get a second for free.

    I don't know if I would eat any food at the park.

    Hot chocolate will be sold for half-price. And beer, which flows from the Fenway taps like liquid gold and costs almost as much, will be sold for $5 per 12-ounce cup, down from between $7.50-$8.50.

    It’s something that’s more likely to be seen in Kansas City, Mo., or St. Petersburg, Fla., or Arlington, Texas, than Boston....

    Uh-oh.  Old ball team headed south in the standings, 'eh?

    But with all that went on in 2012 with the Red Sox, it’s clear that the team is ready to admit to fan dissatisfaction and capitulate to fan demand for a friendlier environment around the Olde Towne Team.

    I thought it already was the family-friendly confines of Fenway Park. I mean, the Globe-sponsored pre-game show and NESN broadcasts certainly implied that imagery.

    It also needs to sell tickets.

    “We recognize that the sellout streak is likely going to be coming to an end in early April, and we’re looking for ways to thank our fans for their incredible support and commitment,” Red Sox chief operating officer Sam Kennedy said.

    The Sox expect their home opener on April 8 against the Orioles to be a sellout — though there were tickets available as of Monday afternoon — but beyond that, there are serious questions.

    Tickets remain for all home dates in April, and the Sox hope that the fan appreciation discounts will help boost ticket sales.

    “We’re looking for ways to fill the ballpark, and hopefully this will help,” Kennedy said. “But more importantly, that it be received as a thank you given everything we’ve been through the last nine, 10 years together. We thought it was an appropriate gesture.”

    There’s no question that the Sox have a tough slog in April. Not only is the team coming off a 69-93 season, complete with the Bobby Valentine managerial disaster, but it’s hosting 17 games in the span of 21 days in April, only the second time that has happened in the 113-year history of the club and the first time in 23 years.

    And the teams visiting Fenway in April aren’t exactly the iron of the American League. While the Sox do have division foes Baltimore and Tampa Bay on the schedule, they also have the A’s, Royals, and woeful Houston Astros.

    In another family-friendly move, or one in response to chilly April evenings, 11 of the 17 home games in April will start before 7 p.m.

    That includes eight true afternoon games and three games with a first pitch set for 6:35 p.m.

    That’s a rare concession for a team so committed to night games that it often had its players grumbling about not playing day games on getaway days.

    It’s all part of the team’s push to be more welcoming to fans, as the Sox have encountered trouble selling tickets for the first time in recent memory.

    Related: Slow Saturday Special: Tickets to the Game

    Season-ticket renewals were down about 10 percent over last season, and tickets remain for many games throughout the year.

    The Sox have tried to put together a more fan-friendly team as well, emphasizing chemistry after a season in which the team was widely regarded as both unlikable and unwatchable. 

    Look for a last place finish, folks.

    Perhaps, after a few $5 beers, the team will be able to change that.



    RelatedSelling the Red Sox

    There is just something lacking for me, readers, sorry:

    "John Lackey, an expensive free agent who didn’t meet expectations, became the surly symbol of all that had gone so wrong for the Red Sox and was at the center of the now infamous fried chicken-and-beer scandal."

    RelatedGlobe Investigates Collapse

    Closing the Book on the Boston Globe

    I'm resigned to seeing self-serving sports on the front page.

    "Group hopes to take homophobia out of sports" by Christopher Muther  |  Globe Staff, February 22, 2013

    Boston College cross country runner Jose Estevez heard the slurs in the locker room. There was, “That’s so gay” or “Don’t be a fag.” Even though the sophomore believes the words were intended as playful profanity rather than hate talk, it was hard to hear.

    “When I was in the closet — especially when I was in the closet — hearing things like that would just push me further back in,” says Estevez, now 20, who came out as gay a year ago. “By throwing around homophobic slurs, you’re terrifying gay athletes.”

    Now there are signs of change. Straight athletes are supporting gay athletes in public service videos, antigay remarks from prominent athletes are met swiftly by public reprimands, and just this week, one of the NFL’s most visible players, Tim Tebow, cancelled an appearance at a Dallas church because its pastor has described homosexuals as “perverse.”

    Helping propel that change is....


    RelatedNFLPA president: We're prepping for openly gay player

    I'm sure the fans will get a kick out of that.

    Here's a heads-up:

    "Harvard to lead $100m study of NFL players; Cross-campus research on 1,000 retired players aims to treat, prevent wide health problems" by Kay Lazar  |  Globe Staff, January 29, 2013

    The National Football League players union, alarmed that its members die nearly 20 years earlier on average than other American men, has selected Harvard University to oversee a $100 million accelerated research initiative aimed at treating and ultimately preventing the broad-ranging health problems plaguing the athletes.

    Legions of Harvard specialists from across its many schools and affiliated hospitals will team up with the NFL Players Association in an unprecedented study of 1,000 retired players. The researchers will look at everything from their repetitive brain traumas, torn knee ligaments, and arthritic joints to the gnawing effects of long-term exposure to acute pain and chronic use of painkillers.

    The 10-year collaboration carries an ambitious goal: ­begin to transform the health of active and retired players within five years.

    The stakes are high — for the players and for the NFL.

    More than 100 concussion-related lawsuits have been filed against the league, with thousands of players claiming the NFL did not do enough to inform them of the long-term dangers from repeat brain injuries and protect them.

    Public attention has focused on an Alzheimer’s-like condition, called chronic traumatic encephalopathy, that is thought to be caused by repeated blows to the head. It has been linked to the erratic behavior, depression, and deaths of several former players, including Junior Seau, a linebacker for the New England Patriots and other teams who committed suicide in May.

    See: Saying Goodbye to Seau

    But the health problems are much wider-ranging. Countless former players struggle with searing and debilitating joint pain and rely heavily on anti-inflammatory medications and painkillers, say union officials. Many others grapple with heart disorders linked to extreme strength training common in the NFL.

    The result is a dramatically shortened life span....


    Related: Sunday Globe Special: Field of Dreams

    More like a nightmare.

    Brain injuries: Obama punts the football

    Maybe it's time to abolish football and give him the boot.

    Also see: Economic factors are key as Celtics look to future

    Injury revives NBA age feud

    That's my game, and my brackets blew up (but the Globe is still in last, and unless Louisville wins it all they may well finish there. It's between them and my mother, and she has Duke).


    Jackie Bradley finally offers Red Sox hope

    Pragmatic Red Sox fans ready for a fresh start

    Red Sox price cuts should be extended

    Finding seats a bit easier for Fenway faithful

    At least they won their first game over the hated Yankees!

    Turning Off the Boston Globe's Big TV

    "Pity the man without his own man cave in which to install a super-colossal screen."

    Where you can watch the abysmal ads, and then wonder why things like rape happen. Besides, wouldn't you rather go to a game? I know someone who can get you tickets.


    "Best Buy’s founder makes offer of $8.8b; Deal would be record buyout of a US retailer" by Mark Scott  |  New York Times, August 07, 2012

    Richard Schulze, the founder of Best Buy, said he planned to pay for the acquisition by contributing $1 billion of his own money, securing investments from private equity firms as well as debt financing.

    That's a good way to destroy a company, although I'm sure he and his group will collect a good check for doing it.

    In his letter, Schulz said that ‘‘Credit Suisse, who I have retained as my financial adviser, is highly confident that it can arrange the necessary debt financing.’’

    Best Buy has $2.2 billion in debt and $1.1 billion in cash on hand, according to Capital IQ data.

    Not a good balance when many mega-conglomerates are sitting on billions and are flush with the $tuff.


    Looks like Best Buy is already on the way out anyway.

    Also seeBest Buy cutting 2,400 jobs as it changes tactics

    That can't be helping the alleged job growth we aren't seeing.

    And look whose back: 

    "Best Buy cofounder back in the fold" Associated Press, March 26, 2013

    MINNEAPOLIS — Best Buy’s cofounder and former chairman, Richard Schulze, is returning to the fold as chairman emeritus. The move comes after Schulze considered making a buyout bid for the electronics retailer but never made a formal offer.

    Best Buy has been working to turn itself around amid tough competition from online retailers and discounters. Since hiring Hubert Joly as chief executive in August, the company has cut jobs, invested in training, and started matching online prices....

    Schulze founded Best Buy in 1966 and is its largest shareholder, with a 20 percent stake. He resigned as chairman in May and left the board in June after a company investigation found he knew about an inappropriate relationship then-CEO Brian Dunn had with a female staffer.

    Schulze says he supports Joly’s plans to turn around the company. Financial results show that his changes seem to be beginning to help....


    Of course, you know what happens when you watch too much TV, kids:

    "Low activity may mean low sperm, study suggests; Harvard study looks at exercise and TV watching" by Deborah Kotz  |  Globe Staff, February 05, 2013

    Watching too much television and exercising too little might be at least partly to blame for a possible decline in the sperm counts of American men, a Harvard School of Public Health study suggests....

    Yeah, it's anything but chemicals, pollution, prescription drugs, oil, radiation in the air,water, and soil, or a sterility campaign waged under cover of vaccines. 

    The result was surprising because it contradicts previous research....

    Translation: It's a pile of BS propaganda -- likely for the rea$ons I mentioned.

    Both too much TV and a sedentary lifestyle independently raised a man’s likelihood of having fewer sperm, but men who exercised and watched a lot of TV didn’t fare as poorly from their excess TV viewing as those who didn’t exercise at all.

    That can't be good or anybody. 

    The research, however, has several limitations....

    I usually fall asleep watching TV, so.... zzzzzzzz.

    What Alice Domar, a fertility researcher and psychologist who heads the Domar Center at Boston IVF,  does advise -- based on previous research -- is that men with fertility problems avoid biking for extended periods, choose boxers instead of briefs, and remove warm laptops from their laps. Anything that raises the temperature of the testicles can destroy sperm....

    And I was laughed at years ago for suggesting my problems were related to the bike-riding (back when I believed and lived global warming), just the way 9/11 truth theorists were once laughed at.  

    When will we people learn we are telling the truth, not the propaganda machine known as the AmeriKan ma$$ media?


    Think about it for a minute: The Globe is pitching the latest big TV or electronic gadget that causes impotence on the one hand, then trying to get you to take your life in your hands with the biking around Boston bit on the other.

    I'm going to keep looking through the Globe's business shelves and may add to this later.

    NEXT DAY UPDATE: Spring is a great time to buy a new TV

    But buyer beware.

    Boston Bus Missed Low Bridge Signs

    "Bridge at site of crash lacked height warning; Other signs along roadway have faded, been lost" by Akilah Johnson  |  Globe Staff,  February 05, 2013

    For years, it was a weekly event: A big box truck or bus would crash into one of the bridges along the road winding beside the Charles River. Tow trucks often were on call to free vehicles wedged between roadway and bridge.

    So massive rubber signs were installed at overpass level to brush against the top of oversized vehicles, warning drivers of a low bridge ahead. And just in case drivers didn’t feel the impact, cowbells were added to sound the alarm.

    But over the years, some signs faded, got lost, or became tangled on the stanchions that support them, according to the former state administrator who put them there.

    On Saturday night, a bus ferrying high school students from Philadelphia who had just toured Harvard University slammed into the Western Avenue bridge over Soldiers Field Road....


    RelatedOne still critical after bus accident in Boston

    Boston Globe Sex Change

    It's going to cost taxpayers how much?

    "Challenges to inmates’ gender cases costly to Bay State; Legal bills could total $2 million" by Milton J. Valencia  |  Globe Staff, December 31, 2012

    The state Department of Correction may face legal bills of roughly $2 million for unsuccessfully challenging what three prisoners say is their right to treatment for gender disorders.

    The most high-profile of the cases is that of Michelle Kosilek, the convicted murderer who successfully sued for a sex change operation after doctors found it was the only appropriate treatment for a severe case of gender identity disorder. A judge earlier this month said he will order the state to pay $700,000 in legal fees to the inmate’s legal team.

    SeeKosilek’s lawyers to be paid $700,000

    But the state also raised challenges in at least two other similar cases — that of inmates
    Sandy Battista and Ketheena Soneeya — losing both. If the inmates’ lawyers win the legal fees they are seeking, it could cost taxpayers an additional $1 million or more.

    This at a time of austerity. 

    “The fact that they’re fighting these seems absurd,” said Neal E. Minahan, a lawyer with McDermott Will & Emery, who won a lawsuit forcing the state to provide hormone treatments for Battista, a convicted rapist who was born David Megarry....

    Well, let it never be said that the state of Massachusetts wasn't good at wasting money.


    I'm all for tolerance and individuality, folks, but thi$ is getting out of hand.

    RelatedRelative of woman killed by Michelle Kosilek blasts judge for making state pay for sex-change operation

    Prison chief must make oath in sex-change case

    As long as you keep him, 'er, her in prison. 

    "Hospital signals interest in Kosilek surgery" by John R. Ellement  |  Globe Staff, March 05, 2013

    One Massachusetts hospital has signaled an interest in hosting sex reassignment surgery for convicted killer Michelle L. Kosilek, but the state must still find a doctor from outside Massa­chusetts willing to get a license and malpractice insurance before the surgery can take place here, according to court records....

    Kosilek was born Robert ­Kosilek. As a man, he strangled his wife, Cheryl, in Mansfield in 1990 and dumped her body in a car at the Emerald Square Mall in North Attleborough. Kosilek fled to New York State before he was arrested.

    Kosilek was convicted of first-degree murder in January 1993 and is serving a life sentence. The Globe refers to ­Kosilek as a woman because that is her preferred gender.

    Not that I'm trying to be insensitive; however, why is such sensitivity being shown a murderer? I guess it's all who you are and what agenda you represent.

    The Patrick administration is appealing US District Court Judge Mark Wolf’s ruling. While that is pending, Wolf has put Kosilek’s surgery on hold....


    I don't think I'll be back to check on this story. 

    UPDATE: Ruling on Mass. inmate’s sex change is fought

    Also see:

    "Boston, transgender woman settle lawsuit; Officers’ actions under scrutiny" by Maria Cramer  |  Globe Staff, February 05, 2013

    The city of Boston has agreed to pay a transgender woman $20,000 in exchange for dropping her suit against the officers who arrested her on disorderly conduct at a homeless shelter, in a case that highlights the department’s absence of written policies for dealing with transgender people....

    Cheryl Fiandaca, spokeswoman for the Boston police, declined to comment on the lawsuit, but she said top commanders have been meeting with leaders in the transgender community about such issues.

    “Currently, we are working with the Massachusetts Transgender Political Coalition to develop new policies to deal with various situations and issues of importance that could arise with the police and the community,” she said.

    Last Friday, the Boston Public Health Commission, which runs the Woods Mullen Shelter where Wernikoff was arrested, agreed to pay her an additional $10,000. Staff members at the shelter, who called police that day, were retrained after the incident, said commission spokesman Nick Martin....

    Wernikoff’s lawyer, Howard Friedman, a well-known civil rights attorney, pointed to departments in Washington, D.C., and Los Angeles, which make clear in their rules and regulations that officers are to address a transgender person by their preferred name and use appropriate personal pronouns....

    Wernikoff, whose birth name is Bruce Wernikoff and who began identifying as a woman when she was in her mid-50s, had been staying at the shelter for about a year. She said she had nowhere else to go after she left her uncle’s home, where she felt unwelcome by relatives uncomfortable with her gender identity.

    Wernikoff was in a bathroom stall when a counselor, Margaretta Collins, came into the bathroom and told her she could not be there when other women were present.

    Collins said in an interview that her supervisor told her that transgender people at the shelter were supposed to use another bathroom on the floor.

    “For whatever reason, she chose to use the female’s bathroom and the females complained,” said Collins, who left her job about a month ago for health reasons.

    The Boston Public Health Commission’s policy stipulates that transgender women may use the women’s restroom and showers....

    That's why I've always felt squeamish about the issue, but if you gotta go.... 


    UPDATE: Schools get guidelines on transgender students

    That's just confusing the kids more.

    The Boston Globe's Baggy Pants

    Must be carrying a load.

    "Alliance cracks down on teens’ sagging pants; Cable TV ad campaign seeks to discourage the rogue fashion" by Meghan E. Irons  |  Globe Staff, February 19, 2013

    The target audience for a new cable TV ad campaign that aims to get them to pull up their sagging pants or face fines or prison time.... 

    You see, kids? Putting on a banker's suit has its advantages.

    RelatedMississippi Schools Put on Parole

    You are no better than Mississippi, self-righteous scum of Massachusetts. 

    At least the kids are getting an education.

    The Black Mental Health Alliance of Massachusetts, which launched the public service announcement in January, said that sagging is an obscene offense and an assault on common decency in the African-American community. It adds that sagging heightens thug-like behavior and contributes to how young men are perceived and treated by police, teachers, and other adults....

    Played hoop with a white kid (teen) last week that had the shorts down to the knees, untied sneakers and everything -- and once he got acclimated he made a fake, up, and under move that brought the house down. Please stop it with the stereotypes.

    The ad by the alliance, a trade and advocacy group of mental health professionals who treat minorities, is the latest in a nationwide war against sagging. While other campaigns have used courtesy and respect in their efforts to change behavior, the alliance is stressing the law....

    Good Lord, another war! Haven't we had enough of those? 

    Oh, btw, the biggest thugs in AmeriKa these days are the guys in blue called police. 

    But the ad has hit a nerve in urban communities and is raising a discussion about what is the best approach to address what many concede is an annoying fashion statement.

    “If the question is that you can change a person’s behavior merely by changing his or her wardrobe, [then this] is highly problematic,’’ said Michael Jeffries, a sociologist at Wellesley College who authored “Thug Life: Race, Gender, and the Meaning of Hip-Hop.” “It’s like saying you can change the story of a book by changing its cover.”

    Critics cited racial profiling and said the ad has a misguided emphasis on hip-hop and men’s clothing that further maligns young black men.

    And Boston does do stop-and-frisk, don't they?

    “What people wear on the outside might be a manifestation of what is going on on the inside, but is not a cause of it,’’ said Mariama White-Hammond, who heads Project Hip-Hop, a Roxbury youth program. ”Young people don’t wear slouching pants and suddenly become gang members. That’s not what is happening.”

    Among the younger crowd, teenagers like Dollar lament what they see as adults unfairly judging black men by their clothes and not who they are.

    “It’s just a style,’’ says Dollar. “It’s not hurting anyone.”

    But Tamara Bubble, a 25-year-old Brooklyn-born rapper, took on sagging on her latest album in a song called “Pull Them Pants Up,” a message she will soon be taking on a college tour.

    In the song, which is on YouTube, she laughs at the suggestion of dating anyone who sags and openly mocks men for flaunting their boxers....

    Rappers Lil Wayne and Jay-Z wear the style on the big stage, a symbol of their hip-hop authenticity. Justin Bieber is sagging. The pants are worn below the hips, exposing a portion or all of the buttocks. Even skinny jeans come with a sag.

    “I think the definition of swag changed with sagging,’’ said 14-year-old Damone Clark of Dorchester. “Now sagging is part of the swag.”

    Reid said the alliance launched the campaign after mental health clinics across the state were being besieged by parents who brought their sons in for behavioral treatment. The sons were skipping school, smoking marijuana, and acting thuggish — conduct the parents attribute to the saggy pants, Reid said....

    While not approving of thuggish behavior, it really gets hard to take the Globe seriously anymore. Blaming those things on baggy pants?

    Young people have long pushed the envelop when it comes to fashion — think Gothic, grunge, and boys with the bill of baseball caps turned backwards. And hip-hop has been an easy scapegoat for those who want to find links to what some call “ghetto pathologies,” some critics contend.

    And a way for a certain group of people to maintain their power over their flock.

    Even so, observers acknowledge that there is a fine line between teenagers’ fashion taste and adults’ urge to protect them from a highly judgmental public....

    Hey, if the kid can play.

    At the Dorchester Youth Collaborative recently, some teenagers scoffed at the idea of ever pulling up their pants, a waist-high concept they attribute to a long ago generation.

    “It’s not comfortable,’’ said D.J. Feliciano, a 17-year-old from Quincy said of pulling up his pants. He stood up and danced to demonstrate how easily he can move with his pants sagging.


    Also see:

    Now pull those bootstraps, 'er, pants up.

    Obama Laid Off Jobs Council

    I hope he included himself....

    "Obama won’t extend jobs council’s mission" February 01, 2013

    WASHINGTON — President Obama is letting his jobs council expire, cutting off one source of input from business leaders....

    As if they didn't have enough.

    White House officials said Obama would seek input about the economy from business leaders in other ways....

    Gee, I wonder what tho$e could be?

    Adding to the concern about the job market’s vulnerability, the Commerce Department said Wednesday that the US economy shrank at an annual rate of 0.1 percent from October through December of last year, the first quarterly drop since 2009. 

    It shrank during the black-ink holiday season in this age of economic recovery? 

    The Federal Reserve said the economy appears to have ‘‘paused in recent months.’’

    Critics have asserted that the council’s primary purpose was to create the appearance of action at a time when the nation was pining for something to rein in soaring joblessness.

    That's all they ever do down there. 

    The administration acted on many of the council’s recommendations, including suggestions to streamline permitting and small business loans, increase tourist visas, and boost energy-efficiency.

    But the White House was at odds with several council members on tax policies, particularly a proposal to exclude overseas corporate earnings from US taxes. That idea divided even the jobs council, whose membership included labor and Obama’s political allies.


    Also seeSlow Saturday Special: Obama Bends Over Backward For Business

    What, the booming banks and record corporate profits in this golden age not enough?

    Related:  GE paid "no federal tax bill last year, even though it turned a $14.2 billion profit" that got GE a $3.2 billion refund(?).  

    Just Immelt$ your heart, doesn't it?

    How did they do last year? 

    "GE 1Q profit falls 12% but tops estimates" Associated Press, April 21, 2012

    NEW YORK - General Electric Co.’s first-quarter net income topped Wall Street expectations on a strong performance from the conglomerate’s industrial businesses.

    GE said Friday that net income fell 12 percent to $3.03 billion, or 29 cents per share. That compares with $3.4 billion, or 31 cents per share, for the same part of 2011.

    Yeah, that's with a B, and it haoppens to be about a BILLION BUCKS a MONTH in PROFIT!

    Excluding charges, GE earned 34 cents in the quarter, a penny better than Wall Street estimates.

    The industrial and financial giant said its primary manufacturing operation has rebounded after posting weak results following the global recession....

    That’s an improvement from 2011, when GE was able to grow revenue in the industrial segment but operating profit remained flat.

    The Fairfield, Conn., company has a stake in almost every sector of the economy....

    Thus making it too big to jail.


    Good start. 

    At least he is looking out for Labor:

    Obama poised to make Labor pick

    "Some Republicans vow to oppose choice for Labor Dept." by Sam Hananel and Jim Kuhnhenn  |  Associated Press, March 19, 2013

    WASHINGTON — President Obama gave a glowing rollout Monday to Thomas Perez, his choice to lead the Labor Department after an aggressive stint as the nation’s chief civil rights enforcer. But the nomination quickly ran into trouble as a Republican senator declared he would block the nomination until GOP concerns about Perez’s Justice Department tenure are addressed.

    Senator David Vitter said he objects because Perez enforced Louisiana’s voting rights laws in a way ‘‘that specifically benefits the politics of the president and his administration at the expense of identity security’’ of registered voters in the state. The Justice Department, he said, has not responded to Vitter’s 2011 letter on the subject.

    But Obama and his allies pressed ahead with Perez’s nomination, saying they expect him to bring the same aggressive mindset to the Labor Department. He would replace Hilda Solis, who left the post in January.

    See: Labor Secretary Hilda Solis resigns

    Obama called Perez a ‘‘consensus builder’’ whose ‘‘story reminds us of this country’s promise.’’

    ‘‘Tom’s made protecting that promise for everybody the cause of his life,’’ Obama said in an appearance with Perez in the White House East Room.

    The son of Dominican immigrants who worked as a garbage collector to pay his way through college, Perez is a graduate of Brown University, the Harvard Kennedy School of Government, and Harvard Law School and had served as a top adviser to Senator Edward Kennedy. Perez is the only Hispanic so far to be named to Obama’s second-term Cabinet.

    ‘‘Our nation still faces critical economic challenges, and the department’s mission is as important as ever,’’ Perez said, sprinkling some Spanish throughout his remarks.

    Perez has led the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division since 2009. If confirmed, he would take over the Labor Department as Obama pushes several worker-oriented initiatives, including an overhaul of immigration laws and an increase in the minimum wage.

    But he could face spirited opposition from some Republicans lawmakers who say his tenure at Justice has been guided too much by political ideology. His nomination comes days after a report from the Justice Department’s inspector general found the agency’s voting rights section has been plagued by ideological divisions and unprofessional conduct over two presidential administrations.


    Who cares if he gets the job?

    Pelosi's Photo Shop


    "Pelosi defends altered photo of women in Congress

    WASHINGTON — House minority leader Nancy Pelosi on Friday defended an altered picture of Democratic congresswomen that was posted on her Flickr photo-sharing site.

    The photo showed four House members who were not in the original picture, which was taken Thursday, when lawmakers were sworn in as members of the 113th Congress. They arrived at the Capitol steps late, and their images were inserted with a computer program.

    ‘‘It was an accurate historical record of who the Democratic women of Congress are,’’ Pelosi told a news conference. ‘‘It also is an accurate record that it was freezing cold and our members had been waiting a long time for everyone to arrive and . . . had to get back into the building to greet constituents, family members, to get ready to go to the floor. It wasn’t like they had the rest of the day to stand there.’’

    And it's no big deal if lies were told or fakes provided. I know you say it's a small thing, but small things show character and often foretell conduct. What it shows is the entire staged and scripted show Americans are fed on a daily basis extends across the ruling structure and body politic. 

    Oh, I remember the days when Pelosi took over with such promise and we were going to end Bush's torture and obscene wars of occupation. Since then we have had two more regime change attempts at least (Libya, Syria) and torture is again in vogue. 


    Can you really believe anything you see or hear from government or AmeriKa's ma$$ media these days, especially with such a callous attitude toward the truth?

    Senate Taking Care of Women

    Tell it to Liz Warren and friends....

    "Senate resets efforts on domestic violence" by Jim Abrams  |  Associated Press, February 05, 2013

    WASHINGTON — Senate Democrats, bolstered by Republican support, Monday launched a new attempt to broaden a law protecting victims of domestic abuse by expanding its provisions to cover gays, lesbians, and Native Americans.

    The legislation to renew the Violence Against Women Act appeared on a smooth path toward passage in the Senate, possibly by the end of this week. Monday’s vote to make the bill the next order of business was 85 to 8.

    Advocates hope that Republicans, smarting from election losses among female voters in November, won’t repeat their resistance last year to the Senate approach.

    ‘‘Allowing partisan delays to put women’s lives at risk is simply shameful,’’ Senate majority leader Harry Reid, Democrat of Nevada, said before the vote. He said he hoped convincing support for the legislation in the Senate would ‘‘send a strong message to House Republican leaders that further partisan delay is unacceptable.’’

    House Republicans, including majority leader Eric Cantor of Virginia, say reauthorizing the 1994 act, which expired in 2011, is a priority.

    Resolving partisan differences remains an obstacle: Last year the House and Senate passed bills but the House would not go along with Senate provisions that single out gays, lesbians, bisexuals, and transgenders for protection and give tribal authorities more power to prosecute non-Indians who attack Indian partners on tribal lands.

    Kim Gandy, president of the National Network to End Domestic Violence, said that after last year’s election both parties are eager to demonstrate they are behind a pro-female agenda....

    What doe that mean, a pro-female agenda? Does that mean no more bombing of innocent Muslim women?

    Related: Healey Will Help Babson

    See who is behind the agenda?


    Look, no one is for violence against women; I just wonder what is really in the bill. What other forms of tyranny were tucked deep into it?

    Also see:

    Lawmakers let tribes tackle abuse
    House, Senate battle emerges on bill to protect women against violence
    House GOP clears way to renew women’s act

    On it's way to Obama:

    "President signs expanded domestic violence legislation; Advocates for gay rights, others hail added protections" by Josh Lederman  |  Associated Press, March 08, 2013

    WASHINGTON — President Obama signed expanded protections for domestic violence victims into law Thursday, renewing a measure credited with curbing attacks against women a year and a half after it lapsed amid partisan bickering.

    Not to be a cynic, but how does it do anything to stop an attack? It might include tougher penalties and things, but that is reaction.

    The revitalized Violence Against Women Act also marked an important win for gay rights advocates and Native Americans, who will see new protections under the law, and for Obama, whose attempts to push for a renewal failed last year after they became entangled in gender politics and the presidential election.

    ‘‘This is your day. This is the day of the advocates, the day of the survivors. This is your victory,’’ Obama said. ‘‘This victory shows that when the American people make their voices heard, Washington listens.’’

    Pffft. Then why are you guys doing the exact opposite on most things?

    As Obama prepared to put his pen to the new law, new government data underscored both the progress that has been made and the enduring need to do more.

    Reminds me of the whole crime is down, crime is up game they got going on. 

    Maybe you just ought to let women pack their own pieces.

    The rate of sexual violence against women and girls age 12 or older fell 64 percent in a decade and has remained stable for five years, the Justice Department said in a survey released Thursday. In 2010, women and girls nationwide experienced about 270,000 rapes or sexual assaults, compared with 556,000 in 1995. 

    So despite the laws lapse incidents of sexual violence have dropped? 

    And yet we need a new and updated law again?

    The survey also showed that rapes and sexual assault rates involving women have plateaued while violent crime rates overall have declined.

    Boy, that sure isn't the impression you would get if you picked up an AmeriKan newspaper on any day of the week, or if you watched AmeriKan television. 

    Women’s advocacy groups called the report proof that the Violence Against Women Act and heightened awareness by police has had a positive effect.

    Still, 1 in 5 women will be raped during their lifetime, said Obama, asserting a continued need for action nearly two decades after the bill’s original passage in 1994.

    Which makes all the false cries of rape even more insidious, because there are many cases out there where DNA has absolved men after decades in prison.

    The law authorizes some $659 million a year over five years for programs that strengthen the criminal justice system’s response to crimes against women and some men, such as transitional housing, legal assistance, law enforcement training, and hot lines.

    My first reaction was, that's it? A mere pittance of a few million? That's all you ladies are worth?

    Then the word response sort of clashed with prevention, and I got that old mixed message feeling again.

    One element of this year’s renewal focuses on ways to reduce sexual assault on college campuses. It also reauthorizes the Trafficking Victims Protection Act, adds stalking to the list of crimes that make immigrants eligible for protection and authorizes programs to reduce the backlog in rape investigations.

    Oh, so the bill was a cover to insert special interest protections. And why would there be a backlog in a time of reduced incidents?

    After twice being renewed with little resistance, it was something of a surprise in 2011 when lawmakers let the act expire. At the crux of the election-year clash were disagreements about expanded protections for gays and lesbians, Native Americans, and illegal immigrants.


    "Indian country, where violent crime rates on some reservations are 20 times the national average. Women are especially vulnerable; federal statistics show that nearly half of all American Indian and Alaska Native women have experienced physical violence, sexual assault, or stalking by an intimate partner and 1 in 3 will be raped in her lifetime." 

    The legacy of our treatment of Native Americans is abysmal.

    Sensing a political advantage, Senate Democrats offered an expanded law that specifically protects gays, lesbians, bisexuals, and transgender Americans and gives tribal authorities the power to prosecute non-Indians for abuse committed on tribal lands.

    Just once I would like for them to do the RIGHT THING, not the POLITICAL THING!

    Republicans saw the move to load a popular bill with controversial elements as a provocation and objected to the Native American provisions on constitutional grounds. Democrats rejected a Republican alternative, arguing it didn’t go far enough.

    Continued resistance became less tenable for the GOP after its less-than-stellar performance among women voters in November’s election. In February, House Republicans capitulated — a clear sign that Republicans wanted to put the issue behind them....

    Me, too.


    At least the administration takes care of its women:

    "White House defends makeup of the Cabinet

    WASHINGTON — Responding to criticism from a fellow Democrat, the White House said Tuesday that anyone unhappy with the level of diversity in President Obama’s second-term Cabinet should hold the criticism until he completes it.

    White House spokesman Jay Carney commented about a letter to the president from Representative Marcia Fudge of Ohio, chair of the Congressional Black Caucus, in which she worried that an African-American was not among the new members of Obama’s Cabinet....

    Obama named white men and women to oversee the departments of State, Treasury, Defense, Energy, and Interior, as well as the CIA, EPA, and Office of Management and Budget. He was criticized for a lack of diversity at the start of his second term after he initially named no women to top posts.

    What I resent, and what is never mentioned, is the outsized influence of Jews in the executive.

    Carney said Tuesday that Obama is deeply committed to having a diverse Cabinet because he believes it makes for better decision-making. He encouraged critics to “assess the diversity of appointments once they’ve all been made.”

    “There are obviously still appointments the president will be making,” Carney said. “The president is committed to diversity. He believes that having a diverse Cabinet and a diverse set of advisers enhances the decision-making and deliberation process”

    Obama still must name new heads for the departments of Labor, Commerce, and Transportation, as well as a new US trade representative and head of the Small Business Administration. Labor was headed by a Latina, Hilda Solis, and Ron Kirk, the outgoing trade representative, is black.

    Related: Obama expected to nominate Thomas Perez as next labor secretary

    Some Republicans vow to oppose choice for Labor Dept.

    Because he is a man, right? 

    The Cabinet includes Attorney General Eric Holder and Susan Rice, the US ambassador to the United Nations, both of whom are black and are continuing in the posts they held in the president’s first term.

    Yeah, great. Holder is damn near a criminal for validating waterboarding, running guns to Mexican drug cartels, and refusing to prosecute big banks for laundering drug cartel cash, while Rice is still at the UN because Israel wanted Kerry as SecofState.