Tuesday, May 2, 2017

CQD Tuesday

Related: Mayday Monday

Still waiting for a response

Good thing they gave me a glass of water while I waited.

"Trump keeps praising international strongmen, alarming human rights advocates" by Philip Rucker Washington Post  May 02, 2017

WASHINGTON — On Monday, Trump opened the door to a future meeting with North Korea’s Kim Jong Un with conciliatory comments.

I'm fine with that. Always better to talk-talk than fight-fight.

In an undeniable shift in American foreign policy, Trump is cultivating authoritarian leaders, one after another, in an effort to reset relations following an era of ostracism and public shaming by Obama and his predecessors.


Yeah, Obama shamed them!

The article mention Egypt and Sissi, the junta in Thailand, Turkey and Erdogan, Philippines President Duterte (he's declining the meeting due to a “busy schedule”), and Chinese President Xi Jinping (needs him for North Korea).

Every American president since at least the 1970s has used his office at least occasionally to champion human rights and democratic values around the world. Yet, so far at least, Trump has willingly turned a blind eye to dictators’ records of brutality and oppression in hopes that those leaders might become his partners in isolating North Korea or fighting terrorism.

Selective memory from the pre$$ as they excoriate the president for not mouthing the words.

You know, go down to Central and South American or over to Africa and ask them about blind U.S. eyes turned towards dictators. All of a sudden, we have a pre$$ concerned with U.S. foreign policy in regard to human rights and democratic values -- as it violates those very same principles. 

Indeed, in his first 102 days in office, Trump has neither delivered substantive remarks nor taken action supporting democracy movements or condemning human rights abuses, other than the missile strike he authorized on Syria after President Bashar Assad allegedly used chemical weapons against his own citizens.


Maybe we have finally hit an epiphany with the Washington Post, 'eh? Acknowledging what we all know? That's usually the point where an idea has reached such mass consciousness that the ma$$ media can no longer ignore it. Up until now it was no question about it being Assad.

‘‘He doesn’t even pretend to utter the words,’’ said Michael McFaul, a US ambassador to Russia under Obama. ‘‘Small-d democrats all over the world are incredibly despondent right now about Donald Trump — and that’s true in China, in Iran, in Egypt, in Russia. They feel like the leader of the free world is absent.’’

If so, I'm sure the world would heaving a huge sigh of relief. As it is, he is blustering of the coast of Korea.

A tipping point for many Trump critics was his invitation to Duterte. Maryland Senator Benjamin Cardin, the top-ranking Democrat on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, said he was ‘‘deeply disturbed’’ by Trump’s ‘‘cavalier invitation.’’

That was the tipping point?

‘‘This is a man who has boasted publicly about killing his own citizens,’’ Cardin said of Duterte in a statement. “Ignoring human rights will not advance US interests in the Philippines or any place else. Just the opposite.’’


Does he realize the hypocrisy of that second statement vis-a-vis his own nation, and the problem with the first statement is Duterte boasting publicly. If you keep it quiet, like Pinochet or the Argentinian generals, that's okay.

Yet Trump’s advisers said the president’s silence on human rights matters is purposeful, part of a grand strategy to rebuild alliances or create new ones. Trump’s outreach is designed to isolate North Korea in the Asia-Pacific region and to build coalitions to defeat the Islamic State in the Middle East and North Africa, senior administration officials said.

That was where my pre$$ stopped transmitting.

Inside the Trump White House, the thinking goes that if mending bridges with a country like the Philippines — historically a treaty ally whose relationship with the United States deteriorated as Duterte gravitated toward China — means covering up or even ignoring concerns like human rights, then so be it.

Can I disown this government?

‘‘The United States has a limited ability to direct things,’’ said Michael Anton, the National Security Council’s director of strategic communications. “If you walk away from relationships, you can’t make any progress.’’ 

It's the old Kissinger philosophy! Realpolitik they called it.

Senate Foreign Relations Committee chairman Bob Corker, Republican of Tennessee, described the Trump strategy as establishing commonality with offending nations before publicly chastising them for offenses.

I shouldn't be, but I'm astonished.

White House officials cite the release last month of Aya Hijazi — an Egyptian-American charity worker who had been imprisoned in Cairo for three years amid el-Sissi’s brutal crackdown on civil society — as evidence that their strategy is paying dividends.

The Obama administration had pressed unsuccessfully for her release, but once Trump moved to reset US relations with Egypt by embracing el-Sissi at the White House, Egypt’s posture changed.

Human rights activists are concerned that Trump is condoning the actions of dictators....

Nothing new for U.S. presidents and the pre$$ is acting like the idea comes from outer space!!




Trump proclaims Loyalty Day as protests flare

What used to be a day to celebrate labor has been coopted since 2006 so that it is now a day about immigrants (and thus cheap foreign labor) in my pre$$ while Trump is trying to turn it into blind obedience to him.

Related: "He has likened President Trump’s political ascendance to that of Adolf Hitler’s."

He may well have been right after all (in a different way; it's Muslims who are the 21st-century Jews). All it will take is an extreme false flag now (not a shooting at Ohio State, but a mushroom cloud over Chicago, an Iranian bomb smuggled in by Syrian refugees??) and everyone that is anyone falls in line. Otherwise, it's the off to the camps.

Dallas EMT shot responding to shooting; suspect, other man found dead

Sure looks like an active shooter drill gone "live" to me!

As for the rest....

16 dead after tornadoes, floods ravage Midwest, South

A brief, soon to be a blip.

Ohio governor delays nine executions as court fight continues

Kasich first move as a candidate for 2020.

"San Diego man shoots seven, kills one at pool party" Associated Press  May 02, 2017

SAN DIEGO — A man despondent over a recent breakup opened fire at a poolside birthday party and phoned his former girlfriend as he kept shooting strangers, killing one woman and injuring six other partygoers before he was killed by police officers, authorities said Monday.

A real party pooper, 'eh?

Peter Selis, 49, sat on a pool chair during most of the rampage, calmly shooting guests at the party with a .45-caliber handgun.

‘‘These victims were just in his vicinity when he committed this terrible tragedy,’’ Chief Shelley Zimmerman said. ‘‘What started as a celebration of a friend’s birthday party turned into a tragedy of epic proportions.’’

Witnesses said Selis was wearing a black coat and sitting alone during the party for a man’s 50th birthday Sunday at an apartment complex near the University of California, San Diego.

At one point the guest of honor invited the man to join the party. That’s when Selis drew a handgun and shot the honoree in the torso, said Demetrius Griffin, a friend at the party.

After shooting two people, Selis called his former girlfriend and said what he was doing as he continued firing.

‘‘It is apparent that Selis wanted his ex-girlfriend to listen in as he carried out his rampage,’’ Zimmerman said.

Was he on any SSIs?



"Unions split between those who have explicitly endorsed Macron, and those who have only called for votes against Le Pen. The latest polls have shown an increase in the number of voters who say they plan to abstain in the second round...." 

What crock of NYT lies. The latest polls show Macron is slipping and Le Pen is surging, and if voters abstain that helps Le Pen (not that it matters; Zionists control both sides).

Defiant rallies for worker rights mark May Day around world

2 Muslim men killed by mob over cow allegations charges in India

What would Gandhi have said? (Answer: She would have approved)

Al Qaeda leader says group fought alongside US-backed forces

A white Al-CIA-Duh militant with curly hair, huh?

The whole propaganda operation surrounding the terror groups and their backers has become so laughable that it would be beneath description were it not providing cover for the evil, globe-kicking psychopaths and their wicked designs.

Swedish police investigate fire at mosque as possible arson As asylum-seekers have flooded into Sweden in recent years, anti-migrant sentiment has grown and there have been increasing xenophobic attacks, including 112 fires last year at refugee reception centers, most of them found to be arson. No one was injured [and] only a handful of people were in the Shiite mosque.

Protesters reject Hungary’s closer links to Russia Moscow is also expanding Hungary’s Soviet-built nuclear power plant while lending Hungary $10.9 billion, about 80 percent of the project’s cost. Hungary already depends on Russia for much of its imported oil and gas. A separate protest in Minsk, the capital of Belarus, drew about 400 people on Monday even though the event was officially banned and its main organizer was arrested over the weekend. However, police stood by and allowed protesters to march through the center of the city as they called for the government to step down and for free elections to be held.

Looks like Soros people to me.

The Globe didn't want you seeing those?


"Japanese warship escorts US supply ship on way to join strike force" by Motoko Rich New York Times  May 02, 2017

TOKYO — Japan’s action is a sign of its expanding military presence in the region. It is particularly significant because it represents the first time a warship is being used to aid an allied force since the country’s Parliament passed legislation authorizing overseas combat missions.

I'm told the "group is meant to send a powerful deterrent signal to North Korea."

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe fought a hard political battle to push through those security laws two years ago, and they remain contentious in a country that has considered its postwar pacifism a deeply embedded part of its identity. 

I have always held the Japanese in high regard for that, and that is why this is so sad.

Under Japan’s new security laws, Japan may engage in “collective self-defense,” meaning its military forces may guard the ships or weapons of US forces when the United States is involved in the defense of Japan.

The laws were largely seen as a first step by Abe to expand the country’s military power and, eventually, overturn the clause in the country’s postwar Constitution that calls for the complete renunciation of war....

Can you imagine it?


"The C.I.A. director, Mike Pompeo, visited the South Korean capital on Monday amid heightened tensions with North Korea, and about a week before South Koreans vote for a new president, an embassy spokesman said on Monday.

Mr. Pompeo, traveling with his wife, was in Seoul to meet with American diplomats and military officials, said the embassy spokesman, Daniel Turnbull. The C.I.A. chief had no meetings scheduled with officials from the South Korean president’s office, Mr. Turnbull said, or with any of the candidates vying to succeed Park Geun-hye, who was impeached for corruption in December and removed from office in March...."

Think of that as invisible ink. 

WTF was he doing there anyway?


April nerve gas attack in Syria appears to be one in a series" by Anne Barnard New York Times  May 01, 2017

F***ing NYT. 

Sure does, be it scripted and staged fiction or false flag skullduggery.

Chinese tycoon who sought stake in Kushner property faces scrutiny

All this financial flimflammery that no one ever gets to the bottom of (they like Ivanka, though)?

"Hamas tries to project moderation, but still won’t recognize Israel" by Ian Fisher New York Times  May 01, 2017

JERUSALEM — Hamas, the militant group built around violent resistance to Israel, sought Monday to present a more moderate public face, taking its next shot in an intensifying struggle for leadership of the Palestinian cause and international recognition.

A new document of principles for the group calls for closer ties to Egypt, waters down the anti-Semitic language from its charter, and accepts at least a provisional Palestinian state — though it still does not formally recognize Israel.

The document was released by Hamas just days before its chief rival, the Palestinian Authority leader Mahmoud Abbas, was to meet President Trump,

With its statement, Hamas is trying to offer a more mainstream-friendly version of its vision for the Palestinian cause, and to gain ground against Abbas, whose influence is growing more tenuous.

Abbas is 82, and his rivals within his own Fatah movement are increasingly open about the struggle to succeed him.

Seeking to regain the initiative, he has recently waged a crackdown on Hamas, cutting salaries due to them from the Palestinian Authority and refusing to pay for electricity in the militant group’s power base in Gaza.

It is well-known that Abbas is a Zionist agent and the PA a puppet for USrael.

The split between the two groups — Fatah in the West Bank, Hamas in Gaza — has stood as one of the major obstacles in the peace process with Israel: Who, the Israelis ask, is their partner if the Palestinians are so deeply divided?

And who benefits?

Also see:

Hamas, Son of Israel 

Israel's Dirty Secret

Interesting. Anytime there is one Palestinian voice, something happens.

That division has also been convenient, and encouraged, by those on the Israeli right who do not want a peace deal.

ACTIVELY encouraged!

But the Hamas document, which has been leaking for weeks, is less a change in Hamas’s fundamental beliefs than a challenge for the credibility of Palestinians in both Gaza and the West Bank, as well as internationally.

“Whether it’s a coincidence or it’s connected, I have one thing to say: The Palestinian leadership is afraid of this Hamas moderation,” said Mkhaimar Abusada, a political scientist at Al-Azhar University Gaza. “Because the PA and Fatah are afraid that by this moderation, Hamas presents itself as the true representation of the Palestinian people,” he said, referring to the Palestinian Authority.

I'm sure some Israeli settlers will go fire off some bottle rockets so Israel can take it to Gaza again (while Trump is bombing North Korea?)

The official release came at a telling time and place: Hamas officials, normally secretive, held several events Monday in Doha, the capital of Qatar, a US ally that would play a crucial role in any deal between the Israelis and Palestinians that Trump is pushing.

RelatedTrump admin stalls Obama’s last-moment $221mn handout to Palestine

He didn't call back the $38 billion to Israel though.

Abbas was scheduled to meet with Trump in Washington on Wednesday as the sole representative of the Palestinian people.

He wasn't mentioned in the page A1 piece above.

Experts on all sides of the complex struggle here say the new document is unlikely to represent any profound change in Hamas’s true position toward Israel.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel quickly denounced the new Hamas move. “Hamas’s document is a smoke screen,” he said. “We see Hamas continuing to invest all of its resources not just in preparing for war with Israel, but also in educating the children of Gaza to want to destroy Israel.”

That's where the print left it, and ever notice everything Israel accuses of others is conduct they are guilty of themselves?

“Not even one mind” will be changed in Israel, said Yossi Kuperwasser, a retired Israeli brigadier general who leads the army’s research arm. “Nobody will be affected by this.”

Hamas is still considered a terrorist group by much of the West, including the United States, a status that has led to its exclusion from wider international talks about the Palestinians’ future.

Fawzi Barhoum, a Hamas spokesman in Gaza, said the group had to move beyond its original charter to achieve its goals.

“The document gives us a chance to connect with the outside world,” he said. “To the world, our message is: Hamas is not radical. We are a pragmatic and civilized movement. We do not hate the Jews. We only fight who occupies our lands and kills our people.” 

No one in power is listening.

The document is a distillation of various public statements over the years signaling an attempt by Hamas to appear more pragmatic since it seized broad control of Gaza in 2007, after winning parliamentary elections a year earlier. Four years in the drafting, the document represents the consensus of Hamas’s top leadership.


"Hamas overwhelmingly won Palestinian Parliament elections in 2006....  Hamas won Palestinian parliamentary elections in early 2006....  In 2006, Hamas won Palestinian legislative elections.... Hamas won the last parliamentary elections in 2006....  Hamas won parliamentary elections in 2006.... Hamas won a majority in 2006 elections"

They didn't "seize" control, they won it in election -- and the pre$$ knows it! Yet they repeat the distortion and lie.

The paper calls for Hamas to distance itself from the Muslim Brotherhood in an effort to build stronger ties with Egypt, which controls the Gaza Strip’s southern border. 

The MB is funded by Qatar and other Arab sheikdoms.

It reiterates the Hamas leadership’s view that it is open to a Palestinian state along the borders established after the 1967 war, though it does not renounce future claims to Palestinian rule over what is now Israel.


"Venezuela’s Maduro calls for new constitution amid crisis" by Hannah Dreier Associated Press  May 02, 2017

CARACAS — Venezuela’s increasingly embattled president called Monday for a new constitution as an intensifying protest movement entered a second month with clashes between police and antigovernment demonstrators.

After hundreds of thousands took to the streets again to call for his ouster, President Nicolas Maduro announced that he was calling for a citizens assembly and a new constitution for the economically flailing South American nation.

He said the move was needed to restore peace and stop his political opponents from trying to carry out a coup.

I certainly believe that. U.S. has wanted the Venezuelan prize for a long time.

Opposition leaders immediately objected, charging that Maduro was seeking to further erode Venezuela’s constitutional order. Maduro was expected to later give more details about his plan, which is likely to ratchet up tensions even more in a country already on edge.

Many people expect the socialist administration to give itself the power to pick a majority of delegates to a constitutional convention.

Maduro could then use the writing of a new constitution as an excuse to put off regional elections scheduled for this year and presidential elections that were to be held in 2018, political analyst Luis Vicente Leon said.

Polling has suggested the socialists would lose both those elections badly. Opposition leaders have pledged to put top government officials in jail if they win power.

So did Trump and you see what has happened.

If the constitutional process goes forward, opposition leaders will need to focus on getting at least some sympathetic figures included in the citizens assembly. That could distract them from the drumbeat of near daily street protests that they have managed to keep up for weeks.

‘‘It’s a way of calling elections that uses up energy but does not carry risk, because it’s not a universal, direct and secret vote,’’ Leon said. ‘‘And it has the effect of pushing out the possibility of elections this year and probably next year as well.’’

Earlier Monday, anti-Maduro protesters tried to march on government buildings in downtown Caracas, but police blocked their path — just as authorities have done more than a dozen times in four weeks of near-daily protests.

If law enforcement and the military turn on Maduro it is over for them.

Opposition lawmaker Jose Olivares was hit in the head with a tear gas canister and was led away with blood streaming down his face. Some demonstrators threw stones and firebombs.

Reminds me of Tristan Anderson.

A separate government-sponsored march celebrating May Day went off without incident in the city.

What's that? Arbitrary coverage of protests in my paper?


Yeah, I can see why the Globe wouldn't want you seeing those two.


"$1.1 trillion budget agreement shows Democrats’ clout" by Andrew Taylor Associated Press  May 01, 2017

WASHINGTON —Also Monday, Trump administration officials said they are pressing the House to vote on a revised version of the Republican health care repeal bill this week, perhaps as soon as Wednesday. White House officials expressed confidence that they were nearing success on the health law, at least in the House.

None other than Gary Cohn confirms it.

On the budget compromise, Trump and the White House made concessions last week when the president relented on his demand that the measure include a $1.4 billion down payment for his proposed wall along the US-Mexico border. Congressional Republicans and Democrats ignored Trump’s proposal to cut billions of dollars from domestic programs, agreeing instead to provide funds for Planned Parenthood and the National Institutes of Health.

See: NIH to get a $2 billion funding boost as Congress rebuffs Trump’s call for cuts

Democrats boasted of money for foreign assistance and cash-strapped Puerto Rico while winning funding for favored programs like transit projects and grants for first responders. They also defied Trump on a bid to punish ‘‘sanctuary cities’’ and on immigration enforcement.

The White House and some top GOP allies declared victory anyway, citing billions of dollars more for the military. Trump won a $15 billion down payment on his request to strengthen the military, though that also fell short of what he requested.

Vice President Mike Pence said the administration ‘‘couldn’t be more pleased’’ and called the agreement it a ‘‘budget deal that’s a bipartisan win for the American people.’’

Longstanding conservative resistance to robust government spending typically requires the party to seek Democratic votes to pass spending bills despite the Republican majorities both houses of Congress.

That made the party out of power a major player in the negotiations. The talks were also spurred by a strong Republican desire to complete unfinished business well into the fiscal year and move on to health care repeal and tax overhaul.

Yeah, this is being presented as a Democratic victory, but it is a Pyrrhic victory. The Republicans bit the bullet for this year in furtherance of their goals going forward.

House Speaker Paul Ryan’s office peppered reporters’ inboxes with news releases cheerleading for the bill and GOP-won provisions such as extending a private school vouchers program for students in Washington, D.C., through 2019.

Democrats stressed their efforts to protect the Environmental Protection Agency, infrastructure grants, and foreign aid....


Yes, EVERYONE'S A WINNER and it shows that "Democrats retain considerable clout during President Trump’s term." 

So much for all that Hitler stuff, 'eh?

"Trump open to raising gas tax, breaking up banks" by Jennifer Jacobs Bloomberg News  May 02, 2017

WASHINGTON — President Trump said Monday that he is willing to raise the federal gas tax to fund infrastructure development and that he is actively considering whether to break up giant Wall Street banks.

Wow, talk about betraying Middle America and his base. 

As for that second idea, that is not happening and he better watch himself.

“It’s something that I would certainly consider,” Trump said of the gas tax increase during an interview in the Oval Office. He said the idea would be supported by truckers “if we earmarked money toward the highways.”

Truckers are going to support that?

During the interview with Bloomberg News, the president gave a push to efforts to revive a Depression-era law separating bank consumer lending and investment banking.

“I’m looking at that right now,” Trump said. “There’s some people that want to go back to the old system, right? So we’re going to look at that.”

I hate to tell him this, but Warren and McCain have the same idea (Harry Reid blocked them).

During the presidential campaign, Trump called for a “21st-century” version of the 1933 Glass-Steagall law that required the separation of consumer lending and investment banking. The 2016 Republican party platform also backed restoring the legal barrier, which was repealed in 1999 under a financial deregulation signed by then-President Bill Clinton.

Rubin and Summers said it would be a good idea.

A handful of lawmakers blame the repeal for contributing to the 2008 financial crisis, an argument that Wall Street flatly rejects.

Trump officials, including Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and National Economic Council director Gary Cohn, have offered support for bringing back some version of Glass-Steagall, though they’ve offered scant details on what an updated approach might look like. Both Mnuchin and Cohn are former bankers who worked for Goldman Sachs Group Inc.

Yeah, I trust those guys (blog editor rolls eyes towards ceiling).

Trump also said the tax-overhaul plan he released last week was just the starting point for negotiations.

That's where I ended them on the issue.

In other matters Monday:

■ Congress plans to allocate more than $120 million to help cover the escalating costs of protecting the first family and Trump Tower under a bipartisan spending agreement that appears poised to pass this week.

About half of the money, nearly $60 million, is earmarked for the Secret Service, with most of the funds going toward protecting the president while traveling and security for Trump Tower in New York City, according to legislation being circulated Monday.

Another roughly $60 million would be set aside in a rare provision to reimburse localities, like New York City and Palm Beach County in Florida, that have incurred “extraordinary law enforcement personnel costs” associated with protecting Trump’s residences since Election Day.

All of a sudden, travel costs have become a big issue.

■ Spicer said the White House is ‘‘looking into’’ ways to potentially change the nation’s libel laws to make it easier to go after reporters whose stories they deem inaccurate, the Associated Press reported. ‘‘That is something that is being looked into, substantively and then both logistically how it would happen,’’ he said.

How very Hitler-ish of him!!

Trump had pledged during his campaign to ‘‘open up’’ the nation’s libel laws — a process that could not be accomplished by the White House. That would require a constitutional amendment or a reversal of Supreme Court precedent interpreting the First Amendment....

He might have more luck with the second option.



"President Trump mused in an interview that the Civil War could have been avoided if only Andrew Jackson had been around to stop it. Jackson had been dead 16 years and long out of office when the war started in 1861. Trump’s comments, among several he made about Jackson in an interview broadcast Monday on satellite radio, quickly drew condemnation from his critics and from historians who said they appeared to show the president profoundly misunderstanding US history....."

That's the least of my concerns right now:

Donald Trump slams 'archaic' US constitution that is 'really bad' for the country

Oh, CRAP! 

Same reaction I had.

Sexual assaults in the military declining, Pentagon survey finds

Guess who is getting the credit (name starts with a T).


"Trump’s irresponsible rhetoric on Iran" May 02, 2017

An inconvenient truth has now been obvious for some time: Iran has been complying with the nuclear deal.

Even "the Israeli intelligence community" agrees.

The deal gives the International Atomic Energy Agency the right to conduct close inspections of the Iran nuclear fuel cycle — from mining to milling through processing and the waste cycle – for a quarter of a century. And if the United States determines that Iran has, at some future point, embarked on a breakout race to a bomb, it’s not as though we will have surrendered our military options....

I'm hoping for "a future flip-flop" from the guy.


Globe is not advertising that stance.

The Art of the Deal: Bait and Switch Division

This is a guy who was running the gay sex ring out of his Washington apartment and also got his lovers jobs at Fannie and Freddie.


OK, then, Mr. President, I’ll just see myself out

No page #:

Trump’s ruinous fiscal fraud

Trump’s early and devastating impact on Latino community

No concern about Trump's comments regarding the Constitution.


Baker voices concern about drug-injection clinics

The transcendent grace of Isaiah Thomas

Webster man charged with assaulting, killing girlfriend

Kathryn White, 82, elder advocate and former first lady of Boston

Winchester 7th-grader fires back at Trump supporter


BU research questions impact of sugary drinks on memory

Related: Mexican Bubbly

Attorney general makes grants to prevent drug abuse


Prosecutors want to keep Hernandez’s conviction intact

There is that name again.

DeLeo wants marijuana panel akin to gambling board

For the kids.

Boston police officer charged with buying 2 pistols for civilians 

One ended up in the hands of gang members (like Fast and Furious!) and I suppose that is good for the law enforcement bu$ine$$, 'eh?

See: A No Brain(tree)er

MBTA misses spending target on infrastructure upgrades

The hole is blacker than one of their tunnels!



Toyota pullout left Bridj out of gas

See: Mayday Monday


"UBS Group AG has paid $445 million to settle National Credit Union Administration claims that the bank contributed to the collapse of corporate credit unions by selling them faulty mortgage-backed securities, the regulator said in a statement on Monday. NCUA said the settlement — which Zurich-based UBS agreed to without admitting or denying wrongdoing — closes a lawsuit filed in 2012 and is the latest in a series of deals struck with banks accused of improper sales to five corporate credit unions that failed. The agency had already recovered $79.3 million from UBS last year in a related claim....."

Yeah, that makes everything whole.


Fox News co-president Bill Shine is out amid harassment scandal

"Supreme Court says cities can sue big banks over housing bubble damages" by Robert Barnes Washington Post  May 02, 2017

WASHINGTON — The Supreme Court ruled Monday that cities may sue big banks over allegedly discriminatory lending practices that they say led to urban blight, but added that they must meet higher standards to prove a direct relationship.

The result was a mixed one for Miami, which was at the forefront of a move by cities across the country who have sued big lending institutions under the federal Fair Housing Act.

A majority of the court agreed that cities, not just individuals, could sue under the FHA, but to prove their cases, the justices generally agreed, the cities have to prove more than just that the damage done to the cities by the banks’ lending practices was foreseeable, a standard agreed to by the lower courts. Instead, the cities must show ‘‘some direct relationship between the injury asserted and the injurious conduct alleged,’’ Breyer wrote.

Miami and other cities had pursued what had been described as a novel approach under the FHA to recover what they lost in tax revenue and the demand for increased services as a result of the housing collapse.

Banks have been sued by individuals and taken to task by the federal government for lending practices, but these new cases are the first in which cities are the plaintiffs and are demanding that banks be held accountable for harming their communities.

The banks countered that Congress never intended for the law to be used for such purposes. ‘‘Municipal suits like this one were unheard of until recently, when enterprising contingency-fee counsel began pushing them,’’ Bank of America told the court. Baltimore settled a suit it had filed against banks, and there is litigation by other cities across the country.

Three justices disagreed. Justices Anthony Kennedy and Samuel Alito signed on to Justice Clarence Thomas’s opinion that Miami should not be able to bring suit under the FHA. Even if it could, he wrote, the city’s injuries are ‘‘too remote from the injurious conduct it has alleged.’’

The court sent the case back to lower courts....


Nothing about Kennedy retiring at the end of the term.


Boston Properties’ $6 million pledge to Kendall Square transit could be a model

Facing a financial squeeze, hospitals nationwide are cutting jobs

The Krafts put football aside to talk diversity

"Supporters of the regulations argue that they are a vital consumer protection that prevents Internet providers from abusing their strategic position between Internet users and the rest of the Web. Defenders of the 2015 rules said Monday’s court decision was a victory, but that win may prove temporary...."

Still waiting for me to load?


"US stocks rose Monday as big technology companies like Apple continued to rally. Investors bought stocks and sold bonds and gold after Congress agreed to a deal that will keep the government operating for the rest of the fiscal year. Technology companies have set the pace all year and are up more than twice as much as the rest of the market. Apple and Facebook, which report first-quarter results in the next few days, helped lead the way. Investors were relieved that the threat of a government shutdown appears to have been averted, so they bought riskier stocks and sold government bonds, gold, and high-dividend stocks...."

Who picked them?

"AllianceBernstein ousts CEO and shakes up board" by Landon Thomas Jr. New York Times   May 01, 2017

As part of the abrupt shake-up, AXA Financial, the French insurance giant that owns AllianceBernstein Holding, named as chairman Robert B. Zoellick, a former president of the World Bank and senior economic official in Republican administrations.

Zoellick did have a stint with Goldman Sachs, but he has no hands-on experience in the asset management industry.

Seth Bernstein, a longtime JPMorgan Chase executive, was named chief executive.

Look at the ince$t.

Wall Street chief executives have been fired before, but such a drastic reshuffling — suddenly removing nine directors — is unusual.

In a statement Monday, Denis Duverne, chairman of AXA, said, “In an industry that is confronting significant shifts, we need to continue transforming the business to improve the quality of our investment solutions while delivering our services more effectively.”


They are worried about the growth of "passive investing" -- which is a polite term for AI picking stocks instead of humans!

Related: Globe Gives You a Hand

What will we do when the machines make war on us?