Sunday, May 21, 2017

Sunday Globe Special: Breakfast Buffett

You know you have been doing this too long when you are recycling titles more than once

It's the $ame meal $erved over and over again and again.

"Buffett, in annual letter, praises US economy" by Landon Thomas Jr. New York Times   February 25, 2017

Warren Buffett, the billionaire investor, lauded Saturday the “miraculous” qualities of the US economy in highlighting another stellar year for his company, Berkshire Hathaway.

Well, I suppose he would. Where is he on the li$t anyway?

Buffett, whose record of beating the stock market over the past 50 years is unparalleled, is known for being persistently optimistic about the prospects of the US economy, but his usual hymn to the dynamism of the US economy in his annual letter to Berkshire Hathaway shareholders that was released Saturday morning reached new heights.

Reminds me of someone else, but.... (blog editor shakes head at the attempted rehabilitation and humanizing of him from Hollywood. )

He did not mention President Trump in his letter, but his celebration of the economy’s ability to deliver growth stands in stark contrast to Trump’s darker descriptions of the country’s economic prospects.

That Buffett went out of his way to give credit to a “tide of talented and ambitious immigrants” was also worthy of note in light of the Trump administration’s crackdown on immigrants.

Helps keep labor costs low at the companies in which he invests.

Last year was another outstanding one for the man known as the Oracle of Omaha. Berkshire Hathaway’s stock price was up 23 percent in 2016, about double the return on the Standard & Poor’s 500 index.

Berkshire’s operating companies, which include insurance firm Geico, railroad company BNSF, and numerous others, also performed well in an improving economy, with operating earnings increasing to $17.5 billion in 2016 from $17.3 billion in 2015.

Those Geico ads, they're funny!

Buffett’s investment letters, which accompany Berkshire’s report, are highly anticipated. After all, he is 86 years old, sitting on a mountain of $85 billion in cash, and, as a recent documentary about his life made clear, showing little sign of slowing down.

The drug firms have about twice that.

Buffett also revealed in his letter that a recent bet on Apple had paid quick dividends.

Over the years, Buffett has had a complicated relationship with Wall Street. He has been a withering critic of the culture of high pay, group think, and excessive fees, yet he has also swooped in to buy big stakes in investment firms when they hit rough times....

He bailed them out (with government guarantees, of course), and that's why the in$ider trading stuff goes away.


So how much tax loot did he haul out of Ma$$achu$etts last year?


"Warren Buffett knows how to make a serious point fun. The billionaire over the weekend showed off his wit again, with an annual letter to Berkshire Hathaway Inc. shareholders. Here are some selected remarks. After overpaying for past deals with Berkshire stock: “I would rather prep for a colonoscopy than issue Berkshire shares.” On being ready for financial market disruption: “Every decade or so, dark clouds will fill the economic skies, and they will briefly rain gold. When downpours of that sort occur, it’s imperative that we rush outdoors carrying washtubs.” On why Geico, Berkshire’s auto-insurance unit, is adding customers after an industry slump: “We like to make hay while the sun sets, knowing that it will surely rise again.” On planet-friendly power projects in the Midwest: “When it comes to wind energy, Iowa is the Saudi Arabia of America.” On why the rich overpay for money management: “The wealthy are accustomed to feeling that it is their lot in life to get the best . . . For that reason, the financial ‘elites’ — wealthy individuals, pension funds, college endowments, and the like — have great trouble meekly signing up for a financial product or service that is available as well to people investing only a few thousand dollars.”

Please make sure you flush.

Also seeBuffett’s Apple, airline wagers highlight emergence of deputies

He had one for breakfast, and did you see who was in attendance?


I was up early because I couldn't get to sleep and got a preview of the Globe before I bought it.

Two former FBI directors, one investigation 

That's the lead story this morning, continued on page A2.

For Total Wine, it’s total war against alcohol regulations

They uncorked a new front in the total war that is followed by a full-page Total Wine adverti$ement on page A3, and the article just below it (still above the fold) proves that the paper is geared toward the elites of Bo$ton and New England. 

Beneath the fold is an agenda-pushing project that takes up the entirety of pages A8 through A11 (inclusive) inside.



"Utah GOP says goodbye to Jason Chaffetz, with some disappointment" by Michelle L. Price Associated Press  May 20, 2017

SANDY, Utah — As Utah Republicans met for their annual state convention Saturday, the party faithful both gave Representative Jason Chaffetz a warm send-off and occasionally expressed disappointment at his abrupt departure from Congress and key role investigating the White House.

Chaffetz, known for his hard-charging investigations of Hillary Clinton and his frequent appearances on cable news, announced Thursday that he was resigning June 30, just as his committee was poised to investigate President Trump’s firing of FBI director James Comey.

The five-term, 50-year-old congressman described the decision as a reaction to a mid-life crisis and desire to spend more time with his family. The move shocked political junkies in Washington, where Chaffetz’s profile was soaring, but also those back in Utah.

Chaffetz has declined to say what his next move will be but has said in the past he’s interested in running for Utah governor — an office that isn’t up for election until 2020.


Chaffetz appeared briefly at the event Saturday, where the crowd greeted him with a standing ovation. With his wife at his side, he gave an emotional goodbye speech.

‘‘When I go after something, I go after it with everything I can possibly go with. But there does come that point when you’ve got to make some choices,’’ Chaffetz said, with his voice catching a bit. ‘‘In my hierarchy of needs, the thing that really matters the most is my family.’’

I can $ee why he would get choked up there.

Chaffetz said one of his greatest achievements was using his oversight role to help expose scandals with Clinton’s e-mails, the 2012 terrorist attack in Benghazi, and the Secret Service — a list of investigations that drew applause from the audience....

Yup, he's ‘‘got a life,’’ we are told, and ‘‘the need to put family first.’’


He should have cited health reasons:

"Senators run into obstacles, consider options on health bill" by Alan Fram Associated Press  May 20, 2017

WASHINGTON — GOP senators say they are discussing a possible short-term bill if their talks drag on. It might include money to help stabilize shaky insurance markets with subsidies to reduce out-of-pocket costs for low-earning people and letting states offer skimpier, and therefore less expensive, policies. It’s unclear whether Democrats would offer their needed cooperation, but Republicans are talking about it.

That could mean Republicans might even temporarily extend Obama’s individual mandate — the requirement that people to buy coverage or face tax penalties. It’s perhaps the part of Obama’s law that Republicans most detest. But it does prompt some people to purchase insurance, which helps curb premiums and make markets viable.


Btw, it didn't help curb premiums! One of the reasons Clinton lost was the Obummer albatross around her neck. The money they are going to pour in to "stabilize" the markets are insurance company bailouts that were written into the law. Had that provision not been there, there would be no Obummercare.

Time is important. Insurance companies could grow increasingly spooked by the uncertainty and make health care markets even worse by raising premiums or pulling out. Also, the longer it takes Republicans to write the bill, the less time they will have for tax cuts and other GOP priorities....


Have you gotten through to them yet?



There is a Nazi enclave in New York? 









Nigeria: 82 freed students back with families
Syria: Final rebel group leaves Homs area
Iraq: Troops complete operation in Mosul

‘‘Mosul used to be a good city,’’ and peace efforts have been unsuccessful in Syria. In the attack that disrupted the talks, the suggestion is it was carried out by Syrian ‘‘spoilers’’ and was possibly an ‘‘inside job.’’


By killing CIA informants, China stifled US spying

You know, I thought it was a nightmare.


Hassan Rouhani is re-elected president of Iran by wide margin


That is the end of my A section. 


Time for plan B:

"Police believe body found in woods is Franklin student" by Jeremy C. Fox Globe Correspondent  May 20, 2017

FRANKLIN — Deputy police chief James A. Mill said it appeared that after leaving the party, missing Duke University student Michael Doherty entered the woods at Oak Street Extension, where Doherty’s shirt and one untied shoe were found.

He apparently crossed Mine Brook and reached the Maplegate Country Club, where his second shoe was found, and then crossed back over the brook and wound up near I-495. “It looks like he was just trying to fight his way home,” Mill said after a press briefing Saturday night.

The body was found about 450 feet from the highway in an area that law enforcement had searched earlier in the week. “There’s some incredibly thick brush. . . . It’s just almost impossible, unless you’re right on top of something, to find it,” Mill said. Franklin police and fire remained at the scene on a rural stretch of Besso Street near I-495 for several hours late Saturday afternoon.


Residents who live in nearby homes say the land can be treacherous. “It’s just absolute swamp back there,” said a man, who declined to give his name.

Doherty had gone to a friend’s party and planned to get a ride home, his parents said. When he decided to stay late, he texted his brothers for a ride. But when they did not respond because they were asleep, Michael apparently decided to walk home, the Dohertys said.

Couldn't he have just stayed at the party house?

An exhaustive search ensued, led by Franklin police and fire, State Police, the Massachusetts Environmental Police, and regional law enforcement agencies. The investigation into Doherty’s disappearance will continue by local police and State Police detectives assigned to the office of Norfolk District Attorney Michael W. Morrissey, Franklin police said.

On Saturday, Franklin police thanked all involved in the search and expressed sympathy to the Doherty family. “The thoughts and prayers of all the members of the Franklin Police Department and all of the other agencies that participated in searching for Michael go out to the Doherty family in this time of great tragedy,” police said in a statement....

They say no evidence of foul play, and don't forget to thank the cops of Brookline.


Also see:

Newton mayor launches bid for governor

Aaron Hernandez pleaded for new cellmates


More than 4,000 rally on Boston Common to oppose education cuts

They are blaming Trump despite state support drying up

You know it as agenda-pushing, controlled protest when you see who was leading it.

"Salem State University’s Twitter account was hacked Friday night and temporarily taken over by “unknown miscreant(s)” who posted racist language on the eve of the university’s commencement day, according to campus police. The tweets, which started around 11:30 p.m., included attacks on immigrants and criticism of the Black Lives Matter movement along with praise for President Donald Trump. At 7:54 a.m. Saturday, university president Patricia Maguire Meservey sent out an e-mail to the Salem State University community, stating that the incident was “not acceptable” and the school was investigating. The hack occurred the night before the university’s commencement, where speakers include Governor Charlie Baker, Former U.S. Ambassador Nicholas Burns, and Dr. Antonia Novello, the first female and first Hispanic surgeon general of the United States. Both Meservey and Salem State spokeswoman Nicole Giambusso stressed the importance of coming together in spite of the attack. “It is terribly unfortunate, and while we’re investigating and looking at ways to strengthen our security measures,” Giambusso said....”

Sure looks like a false flag, and there go the waterworks yet again.

"A Falmouth man faces multiple charges after police say he sped his vehicle through a parking lot at a Yarmouth beach Wednesday afternoon, intentionally running over a flock of seagulls. Brandin Botelho, 22, was charged with animal cruelty and operating a vehicle negligently. According to a statement released Friday by Yarmouth police, several witnesses at Seagull Beach saw a 2015 black Honda Civic drive at a high speed through the parking lot toward a group of more than 25 seagulls around 5 p.m. Wednesday. Police said two of the seagulls were killed by the vehicle and several more were injured.  A witness followed the vehicle out of the parking lot and recorded its license plate number, which police used to identify Botelho. Botelho denied that he had driven into the flock of seagulls, but then police told him that there were surveillance cameras at the beach. The tapes show Botelho’s vehicle “rapidly accelerating” through the lot and into the group of seagulls. The tape “shows that he went out of his way to hit the birds,” the statement said. Botelho is expected to be arraigned in Barnstable District Court....."

Did he spend night in jail?


I think this is where I put the section to rest, and will you turn down that racket?


The rest is none of my Bu$ine$$ and the $ports are for $omeone el$e. Looks like the Celtics have been declawed, and neither series is much of a cat fightThen again, there is nothing more dangerous than a wounded and cornered animal. Maybe they can turn it into a dog fight after all and make it worth watching (warning: spoiler alert):

"Why is it so hard to stop buying more stuff?; A neurosurgeon zeroes in on the tricky problem of overconsumption and why our brains aren’t signaling when enough is enough" by Shira Springer   May 18, 2017

The first test subject was Buffett, right?

On a recent weekend at the Watertown Target, the store was packed with shoppers pushing carts filled to the brim.

You know, all the "mixed me$$ages" are really a Catch 22 at this point.

Maybe the human impulse to acquire isn’t entirely our fault. After hundreds of thousands of years spent living with scarcity, we’re predisposed to accumulate. We are buying far more than we need, craving goods, services, and food in seemingly endless quantities. The evidence of our urge to buy is everywhere, from toys piled curbside on trash day to overstocked refrigerators filled with moldy food to demands for professional organizers.


I don't know what life he is living, but there isn't any moldy food in my understocked refrigerator. The only thing I have accumulated that is worth nothing are the piles of Bo$ton Globes I sift through to bring you posts.

Why keep doing this?

Great question!!!

Our seemingly insatiable desire to acquire depletes our bank accounts and hurts the environment. We know the harm done from pollution and deforestation. We know our trash is floating in the ocean, more than 5 trillion plastic pieces of it. And we know we waste more than 20 pounds of food per person each month. It turns out that telling people to adopt more environmentally friendly behaviors is about as effective as asking people to lose weight or quit smoking.

Or quit reading a Globe?

The collective "we" from the pre$$ elites with the agenda-pu$hing guilt trip is getting tiresome.

EVERSOURCE, AN ENERGY PROVIDER in Massachusetts, Connecticut, and New Hampshire, regularly sends out a “home energy report” with colorful bar graphs that let individual households see how their energy use compares with the neighborhood average, and with that of the most energy efficient neighbors. Customers consuming less are rewarded with a smiley-face emoji.

I'm the worst on the block and I'll give you one gue$$ why. 

Maybe I should shut down for the day, 'eh?

Instead of asking its customers to do something good for the environment, the mailer challenges them to do better than their neighbors. Eversource started this “behavioral program,” as the company calls it internally, eight years ago. The goal: to raise awareness about energy conservation and help customers take control of energy use. Penni Conner, the Eversource senior vice president who oversees energy efficiency programs, says the idea with the neighbor-to-neighbor comparisons was to “tap into folks being naturally competitive.”

Think about that for a minute. 

The energy indu$try is pushing competition over cooperation. Hate they neighbor, or at least be envious and want to be better than them!

All of a sudden, all the pre$$ lies, the wars, the wealth inequality, the endless agenda-pushing of wedge issues like race, gender, sex pref, age, religion, and anything else they can use to distract from cla$$, makes a whole lot of $en$e.

By encouraging customers to use less energy, the program saves households an average of $15 per year in energy costs. While that number seems small, when you add up the savings across the region, the impact is significant. Over the past three years, Eversource has sent home energy reports to 1 million customers who have saved a total of $47 million, which translates to a decrease in energy  use of nearly 2 percent.

He must have used Tom May as a te$t $ubject, right?

Equally significant, customer feedback and company analytics show habits slowly changing. Conner says customers who receive the reports think more often about buying energy-efficient appliances or getting home energy assessments. In the future, Eversource hopes to understand how different customers respond to different messages about saving energy and create more personalized reports.

Thus all the data collection by corporations  and the government.

What’s Eversource’s reward? With more customers conserving more energy, the company can expand its customer base and still meet demand while the region avoids the need for expensive new power plants. Consumers’ natural competitiveness also factored into an experiment three researchers conducted with hotels.

SO, WHAT’S NEXT? How does a better understanding of the brain’s reward system and its connection to consumption go beyond emojis and towel-use statistics? 

That's when I threw in the -- you guessed it -- towel.


Excuse me, does the store have a restroom?

"In a lawsuit being heard by the US Supreme Court on Monday, a registered sex law could ban sex offenders from online life. ‘‘Everyday Americans understand that social media — which includes Twitter, Facebook, Instagram — are absolutely central to their daily life and how the First Amendment is exercised in America today,’’ said Stanford law professor David Goldberg. Though the intent of lawmakers may have been to block sexual predators from finding prey online, Goldberg said the law makes it a crime for someone on a sex-offender registry to say anything about any subject on social media. ‘‘That goes way, way too far,’’ Goldberg said. ‘‘We have to protect young people wherever they are, whether that’s at school, or at summer camp, or increasingly online,’’ said North Carolina Attorney General Josh Stein, whose office is defending the law...."

Unless it is from the elite pedophile rings.

So which bathroom am I supposed to use?