Friday, April 28, 2017

WTF Friday

I've been matching up print and web all week, so why should I be surprised that it does not match yet again?

Taking it from the top:

"Brigham and Women’s offers buyouts to 1,600 workers" by Priyanka Dayal McCluskey Globe Staff  April 27, 2017

Brigham and Women’s Hospital, one of Boston’s largest employers, said Thursday that it is offering voluntary buyouts to 1,600 workers to rein in costs, a sign of financial stress in one of the region’s bedrock business sectors.

The hospital is profitable, Brigham officials said, but is being squeezed as payments from insurers and the government flatten while labor and other costs grow. Brigham also is burdened by debt from two big projects: a new $510 million building that opened last year, and a $335 million patient health record system that rolled out in 2015.

The buyouts — offered to almost 9 percent of the total workforce — are the largest in memory at Brigham, and underscore that even Boston’s highly regarded hospitals aren’t immune to the forces buffeting the health care industry. Hospitals, long a source of good jobs for workers up and down the income ladder, are under increasing pressure from private and government insurers to control expenses while doing more to keep patients healthy.

Our health care $y$tem, is about to go from $h**ty to rationed disgrace. I'm so glad we are a sanctuary state!

The situation creates a particular bind for the area’s premier hospitals, such as those owned by Partners HealthCare, the parent of Brigham and Massachusetts General Hospital. That’s because their reputations for medical excellence come with a high cost for services.

The big elephant in the room, price-gouging Partners. Several studies done over the last ten years, but the raw political and lobbying power keeps things the way they are as authority rings its hands.

Other hospitals will likely follow Brigham in trimming or restructuring their payrolls, said Nancy Kane, a professor at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health.

“The biggest chunk of cost in the health system is labor,” she said. “I think there’s going to be some big dislocations, and this is just the beginning of a lot of changes in how many people work in health care and where they work and what their job is.”

At this point I note that the healthcare field -- according to televised ads all day long -- is allegedly one of the drivers of jobs, future jobs, etc, etc. (It's about getting you to incur debt, isn't it? That's all higher education is.

The song and dance has been so played and the emperor has no clothes. That's my diagnosis anyone regarding whatever spew comes from ma$$ media. Sorry.

A 2012 state law sets a target of containing overall growth in medical spending to 3.6 percent a year, and beginning in 2018, that will drop to 3.1 percent.

Meanwhile, more people in Massachusetts have been joining the state Medicaid program, called MassHealth, while the share of residents paying premiums for commercial health insurance is falling. That is concerning for hospitals because MassHealth pays them less than private insurers pay for the same services.

Since the election of President Trump, hospitals also have been bracing for potential changes to the Affordable Care Act, which Trump and Republicans in Congress have vowed to repeal....

This is leading to nowhere.



"Partners HealthCare System and one of its hospitals, Brigham and Women’s, agreed to pay $10 million to resolve allegations that a stem cell research lab there fraudulently obtained federal grant money, the US attorney’s office in Boston said Thursday. The government said that the lab, run by well-known researcher Dr. Piero Anversa, included false scientific information in applications to the National Institutes of Health...." 

Don't you dare question received $cience though! 

I wonder if that had anything to do with the buyout.

Despite United’s apology and settlement, don’t expect air travel to get any smoother

Isn't stressing me out at all.

This UMass Boston program faces uncertain future

Think I'll cut class today, same as the Globe, and go to a soccer game instead.

"They pined for the old days of Democratic hegemony, and forked over checks for another former colleague. The scene was the latest in a series of Deval Patrick alumni reunions. Except now, more than two years after he left the governor’s office, the old gang is splintering. Perhaps worse still, some Democratic donors have cozied up to the Republican. Others are waiting on the sidelines. The scattered Patrick disciples will probably unite behind whichever candidate secures the party nomination, but whether the Patrick magic, which ended 16 years of GOP governors, remains is an open question...." 

I'll answer it for you: it doesn't. Eight years of agenda-pushing, do-nothing failure and corruption. That's his "magical" legacy.

So what time is the Sox game today?


You can do the comparisons for yourself (one click down).... 

"Thursday's tensions were another example of how Berkeley has emerged as a flashpoint for extreme left and right forces amid the debate over free speech in a place where the 1960s U.S. free speech movement began before spreading to college campuses across the nation...."

Yes, it's a ‘‘shame that someone can’t speak in the home of the free speech movement,’’ but that's the 21st-century. Everything you ever knew has been turned inside out and on its head. Only correct speech is to be allowed.  Ironic that the birthplace of free speech is the same place as its grave.

Globe censorship(?):

Cassini just sent back images from its first-ever dive through Saturn’s rings
Death toll, damages rise as storms move across Deep South
Slain trooper’s young sons in court as killer gets death

That was at the bottom of the page.



Same sh**, different section:

"Two US troops die battling Islamic State militants in eastern Afghanistan" by Thomas Gibbons-Neff and Missy Ryan Washington Post  April 28, 2017

A Taliban resurgence across Afghanistan has meant that the government in Kabul controls only slightly more than half the country’s territory, according to a US government watchdog, and that the United States has been forced to return forces to areas pacified at great cost under President Barack Obama’s 2009-2011 troop surge.

At the same time, local forces are struggling to contain an array of militant groups along the country’s border with Pakistan, including the Islamic State.

Faced with those challenges, the Trump administration is reevaluating its strategy for Afghanistan and considering sending additional US troops to support local forces. Nicholson has called for thousands of extra service members to help train and support the Afghan military.

Who didn't see this coming, 'eh? 

You ready for a draft after the next horrific false flag?

Navy Lieutenant Chris Donlon, a spokesman for US forces in Afghanistan, confirmed that Wednesday’s raid happened close to Achin and near where US aircraft dropped the GBU-43 munition two weeks ago.

That bomb targeted a sprawling Islamic State tunnel complex, and although Afghan officials said between 36 and about 100 Islamic State fighters were killed in the strike, the US military has not announced what exactly the bombing accomplished.

An Afghan military official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss current operations, confirmed that there had been a joint US-Afghan operation in a village near Achin district Wednesday, said he was not aware of any casualties. He said it had been a long day of fighting.

It's been 16 years.

The Afghan branch of the Islamic State, mainly composed of militants pulled from other groups, has emerged as an increasing counterterrorism focus for United States in Afghanistan.

Although military officials say the group is far smaller than it was at its height in 2015, an estimated 600 to 800 militants, located mainly in remote mountainous areas, have proven to be a deadly adversary.



Fighting has been fierce as US and Afghan Special Operations forces, backed by hundreds of airstrikes, have sought to advance against militant strongholds in recent months.

The deaths mark the third time this year that a member of the US military has died in combat in Afghanistan. They come just days after Defense Secretary Jim Mattis visited Afghanistan to assess the security situation and advance deliberations about the Trump administration’s approach to a war that has largely been overshadowed by events in Iraq and Syria....


Reminds me of Yemen the other day

Below that was a photograph (last one in series) of what looks like a crisis drill gone live outside the British parliament. Coming at you once a week, regular over there.


They did want you to see this:

"Syria blames Israel for attack on Damascus airport" by Ian Fisher New York Times   April 27, 2017

Israel seemed to acknowledge it because “our enemies must know we will use our power to protect our interests by ourselves.” 

Got it, knew it.

JERUSALEM — Last month, Israel took the rare step of confirming that it had carried out several strikes in central Syria, also against what it said were efforts to transfer weapons to Hezbollah. The Shiite group is aligned with Iran and is fighting in Syria alongside forces loyal to President Bashar Assad. 

Do your timeline here: Syria shoots down an Israeli plane, then the chemical weapons false flag, Trump turns around, and now this. It's regime change, folks.

The Syrian government responded by firing anti-aircraft missiles at Israeli jets, but these were in turn shot down by Israel’s new antimissile system, Arrow, which the Israeli news media said had been deployed for the first time.

The reporting was that one was hit. Wow

On Thursday, the British foreign secretary, Boris Johnson, suggested that his country was likely to agree to any US request to assist in strikes on Syria, possibly without consulting British lawmakers. He added in an interview with the BBC that if Washington proposed action in response to a chemical weapons attack, for instance, Britain would be unlikely to refuse to give support. 

Another government also controlled by Zionists (for a long time now, even before AmeriKa).


"Bowing to pressure from the H.R. McMaster, Dina Powell, Gary Cohn coalition, President Donald Trump’s first overseas trip is scheduled to be in Saudi Arabia, multiple sources confirmed after Steve Holland of Reuters first reported rumors of the trip. During the visit Trump will discuss a proposed arms package for the Saudis, [while] behind the scenes McMaster will be seeking Saudi support for a ground war in Syria."

“In my view, and I know it’s also the view of the prime minister, it would be difficult for us to say ‘no,’ ” Johnson said.

Even if Parliament didn't approve and it were illegal?

British participation in such operations is rarely crucial militarily, but it lends political support to the United States. As Britain prepares to leave the European Union, its government is seeking to build closer ties with Washington.

British law does not require the government to seek parliamentary approval before starting a military action, although prime ministers have done so in recent years.

In 2013, the Conservative prime minister at the time, David Cameron, was unable to muster votes in Parliament to approve strikes against the Assad government intended to deter the use of chemical weapons.

Israel has carried out intermittent strikes inside Syria, fearing that Iran is helping Hezbollah build its arsenal amid the chaos of the civil war.

Israel has also struck Hezbollah and Syrian military targets in southern Syria, in what appears to be an effort to prevent the militant group from gaining a foothold along the boundary between Syria and the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights.

And thus a huge pool of oil is under their feet.

Israel, which annexed the Golan Heights after seizing them from Syria in the 1967 war, a move not recognized under international law, counts Hezbollah as one of its most potent threats; it fought a monthlong war with the group across the Lebanese-Israeli border in 2006....

Did you see how they left Lebanon last time?

Oh, yeah, they also dumped chemical weapons on them. 

Where is the world outrage, huh?


And this:

"4,000 Canadian families will soon get paid by Ontario for doing nothing" by Alan Freeman Washington Post  April 27, 2017

OTTAWA — The government of Ontario, Canada’s most populous province, is joining the basic-income bandwagon with the launch of a three-year pilot program that will test how paying people an unconditional basic wage works in practice.

‘‘Many people are concerned about what the world is promising their kids,’’ Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne said at a Monday news conference announcing the three-year experiment. ‘‘It’s a world of global competition, reduced benefits, more and more part-time employment.’’ 

If any.

Under the plan, Ontario will provide a basic income to as many as 4,000 randomly chosen low-income households in the cities of Hamilton and Thunder Bay and in the rural community of Lindsay. The money will be provided to participants whether they work or not, and welfare recipients and and working poor families will be included.

I hope you win the "lottery!" 

And if you don't?

The idea of a basic income has been around for years in one form or another. It gets surprising support from both the left, which sees it as an extension of the social safety net, and the right, which sees it as a way to escape the intrusive, bureaucratic nature of traditional welfare programs. (The Ontario experiment will compare families receiving the basic income payments to a control group that will receive benefits under the current system.) Finland and the Netherlands are also conducting basic-income experiments, and a much smaller pilot project is underway in Oakland, Calif.

The idea has also been embraced by tech companies, which worry that increasing automation and the advent of artificial intelligence will someday eliminate millions of jobs. The Oakland project is sponsored by Y Combinator, a Silicon Valley start-up incubator.


"The growing popularity of artificial intelligence technology will likely lead to millions of lost jobs, especially among less-educated workers, and could exacerbate the economic divide between socioeconomic classes in the United States, according to a newly released White House report. But that same technology is also essential to improving the country’s productivity growth, a key measure of how efficiently the economy produces goods. That could ultimately lead to higher average wages and fewer work hours. For that reason, the report concludes, our economy actually needs more artificial intelligence, not less...."

Suicide is looking pretty good, huh? 

It would sure make the elites happy; one less soul to cause trouble.

Michael Tanner, a senior fellow at the Cato Institute, a libertarian think tank in Washington, said he’s sympathetic to the basic-income concept ‘‘but a skeptic’’ when it comes to cost. While he believes the idea would be an improvement on the current social safety net, Tanner estimates that providing a basic income to everyone in the United States would cost a staggering $4 trillion a year. He says the tech industry likes the idea because it fears a political backlash against automation, which could end up leading to ‘‘antitechnology legislation.’’

But Evelyn Forget, an economist at the University of Manitoba who specializes in community health, believes a basic-income program could be affordable, noting that Canada already spends 15 billion Canadian dollars a year on social welfare programs. Forget has studied the effects of an earlier basic-income experiment — a similar pilot program in Manitoba in the 1970s — on the town of Dauphin.

She said there was virtually no change in the number of hours worked by primary earners as a result of the basic-income project, but that the hours worked by teenage boys declined - and she later found that the high school completion rate for boys rose.

Her conclusion was that boys in low-income families who were previously under pressure to quit school and go to work were able to remain in school because of the support that the basic income provided. The Manitoba experiment ended without any follow-up because ‘‘governments changed.’’ But 40 years later, as society is moving increasingly toward a ‘‘gig economy,’’ Forget sees a growing role for a basic income.

‘‘Basic income plays a nice job in filling in the gaps and in supplementing low wages,’’ she said.


Seems like a backward idea to me. You really think the greedy bankers are just going to hand us money? I suppose driving governments further into debt is the ultimate goal here.

Related: O Canada!

There is actually a Canadian quartet I trust, and you can see what they are saying about the idea for yourself.

As for Oklahoma....

This is absurd.


Scientists to study surge in humpback whale deaths

No mention of radiation from Fukushima as the cause. It's either global warming (pfft) or boats.

Boston police charge St. Louis man in connection to 1988 double murder

Frederick Weichel freed on bail after serving more than three decades for 1980 murder

That’s no jackhammer — woodpecker season is upon us

I don't find it annoying at all. In fact, I rather enjoy the melody.

Urban nonprofit celebrates 25 years of giving youths a voice

Awwwww, shaddup!


Aaron Hernandez’s family demands end to leaks 

I'd settle for not seeing his name in the paper tomorrow.

"A former Newton police chief who was fired in 2012 over allegations that he used vulgar and sexist language with female employees is entitled to back pay that an arbitrator previously awarded him, the Massachusetts Appeals Court has ruled....."

In feminist Ma$$achu$etts?

State plans to shut child psychiatric unit at Westwood Lodge Safety problems [were] discovered during a surprise inspection, [and] the hospital is owned by Arbour Health System, a for-profit company that is part of the largest psychiatric provider in the country, Universal Health Services.


N.H. House has its own special cast of characters

Who cares?

Boston International High School teacher set for Arctic


No charges over sexual misconduct claims at Conn. boarding school

Wellesley High track coach arrested on child porn charge

Teens arrested for Taunton robbery that left clerk wounded

What do you mean those last three were missing?



Albert Freedman, 95, producer of rigged 1950s quiz show

Was actually a pretty good film.



It’s the witching hour for state’s $40b budget

She can't figure out the B$? was for sale, and you won’t guess who bought it

Globe didn't tell me.

More driverless cars coming to Mass. roads?

They can't make a left turn in the rain?


"More Americans filed for unemployment benefits last week, but applications remained at a low level that suggests most workers enjoy job security, the Labor Department says....

Labor department one of the U.S. governments lead liars.

Comcast Corp.’s foray into Hollywood is paying off, with box-office hits “Get Out” and “Fifty Shades Darker” boosting first-quarter profits and sending shares to a record. The two films — a sequel to “Fifty Shades of Grey” and a critically acclaimed horror film — drove a 43 percent increase in sales for Comcast’s Universal unit. Comcast is also reversing a trend of cord-cutting. The largest cable operator added pay-TV customers for the fifth time in the past six quarters....

Time to cut the cord?

Amazon’s double-digit revenue growth continues

Customer traffic stalls at Starbucks

Lyft Inc.’s bookings and ridership surged in the first quarter, suggesting the company benefited from user defections and management turmoil at larger rival Uber...."

Time to make a U-Turn.


"Seven large Mass. companies cited in study as paying little or no state taxes" by Beth Healy Globe Staff  April 27, 2017

Over eight years, profitable Fortune 500 companies paid state taxes at a 2.9 percent rate, on average, and some didn’t pay anything at all during individual years.

According to an Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy study of state taxes reported by large corporations, 240 avoided $126 billion in state corporate income taxes between 2008 and 2015.

Despite posting profits, 92 of the 240 firms paid no state income tax in at least one of the eight years, according to the institute, a left-leaning research group based in Washington, D.C. Those included Waltham-based Thermo Fisher Scientific Inc., which the group said paid no state taxes in 2015, even though the laboratory supplies giant reported hundreds of millions in profits.

The corporate tax rate in Massachusetts is 8 percent.

That's all? 

Corporate taxes have become a hot subject for policy makers and voters as the Trump administration presses for a tax overhaul that would dramatically lower federal tax rates on businesses. The Institute on Taxation also recently reported that large companies already are paying far less than the top 35 percent corporate tax rate at the federal level.

So we are basically being lied to by big bu$ine$$ when they scream high taxes, 'eh?

RelatedProfitable companies, no taxes: Here’s how they did it

Not only that, did you $ee the amount of tax loot they were given?

AT&T ($38.1 billion)
Wells Fargo ($31.4 billion)
JPMorgan Chase ($22.2 billion)
Verizon ($21.1 billion)
IBM ($17.8 billion)
General Electric ($15.4 billion)
Exxon Mobil ($12.9 billion)
Boeing ($11.9 billion)
Procter & Gamble ($8.5 billion)
Twenty-First Century Fox ($7.6 billion)
Time Warner ($6.7 billion)
Goldman Sachs ($5.5 billion)

Nice haul, huh?

Thermo Fisher disputed the report, saying it paid $15 million in state taxes across the country in places where it had operations in 2015, and paid taxes at a 5.5 percent rate in Massachusetts. Spokesman Ron O’Brien said the company paid more state taxes than were evident in its filing with securities regulators — the records used by the Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy.

Matt Gardner, a senior fellow at the Institute, said it stands by the study results.

Six other Massachusetts companies were named in the report with regard to 2015 state income taxes, including biotech Biogen Idec, which paid at a 0.7 percent state tax rate, according to the study; office supply retailer Staples Inc., which paid 0.5 percent; and defense contractor Raytheon Co., which paid 1 percent.

 I'm sure there is a metaphor in there somewhere. Makes one wonder why Staples is in trouble, and why Raytheon only paid 1%.

State Street Corp., Eversource Energy, and retailer TJX Cos. also were reported to have paid below the 8 percent rate.

State Street, in a statement, pointed out that it paid the highest rate of state taxes of the group, at 7.2 percent.

Those percentages are all still lower than the nominal tax rate in the state!

“State Street takes its local tax responsibilities seriously, a fact confirmed by this report and State Street’s position on the list of corporate state tax rates,’’ Dennis Ross, the bank’s executive vice president, global tax, said in the statement.

Eversource disputed the study’s numbers, calling them “misleading and flawed.” Staples also disputed the study but did not provide details. The other companies did not respond to requests for comment.

“Corporations benefit from an educated workforce, paved roads, and safe communities,’’ Meg Wiehe, deputy director of the tax institute, said in a prepared statement. “They should contribute their fair share of tax revenue that makes these things possible.”

But then the campaign checks will stop coming.


RelatedStocks inch higher, giving Nasdaq a record

Time for me to run.


What'$ in a name?

Tom Brady to speak at pricey Tony Robbins ‘wealth summit’

Will he be getting paid?

James Patterson plans true crime book on Aaron Hernandez

Tom Hanks Proves He’s Very Mad About Raiders Leaving Oakland In Lengthy Rant

I'm glad he is using his celebrity to take on the big issues.

She's a Patriot cheerleader.

Can you hear the boos?

WCVB-TV reporters told to ‘move it’ while on camera

It really is all staged and scripted productions!