Thursday, August 24, 2017

Time to Shutdown

"Trump’s shutdown threat raises stakes for lawmakers in looming funding battle" by Mike DeBonis and Elise Viebeck Washington Post  August 23, 2017

WASHINGTON — Congressional Democrats are holding their ground in opposition to President Trump’s proposed border wall after Trump threatened to ‘‘close down the government’’ if lawmakers do not provide money for the project when they return from August recess.

Well, that's a first. Maybe there is some hope for them after all.

On Wednesday, Senate minority leader Charles Schumer of New York and House minority leader Nancy Pelosi of California repeated their objections to funding a wall, and argued Trump would be responsible if the government shuts down over the impasse.

‘‘If the president pursues this path, against the wishes of both Republicans and Democrats, as well as the majority of the American people, he will be heading towards a government shutdown which nobody will like and which won’t accomplish anything,’’ Schumer said in a statement.

Trump’s threat Tuesday night during a campaign-style rally in Phoenix instantly raised the stakes for the showdown over government spending that awaits lawmakers. Federal spending authority expires in a little more than a month, requiring Congress to act to keep the government fully operating past Sept. 30.

Many Republicans are hoping to include border wall funding in any deal to keep the government open, and key conservative lawmakers have rallied to Trump’s side. But Democrats on Wednesday showed no sign of backing down.

You know, he cuts Bannon loose, does an about face on Afghanistan, and now they are with him again.

‘‘Last night, President Trump yet again threatened to cause chaos in the lives of millions of Americans if he doesn’t get his way,’’ Pelosi said in a statement. ‘‘Make no mistake: The President said he will purposefully hurt American communities to force American taxpayers to fund an immoral, ineffective and expensive border wall.’’

Man, I am tired of the false politics.

Trump, escalating a conflict that has been brewing for months, told supporters Tuesday night: ‘‘Believe me, if we have to close down our government, we’re building that wall. Let me be very clear to Democrats in Congress who oppose a border wall and stand in the way of border security: You are putting all of America’s safety at risk.’’

We got the narrative, WaPo, even if it isn't true. Trump escalates, got it.

Neither Republican Senate majority leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky nor Republican House Speaker Paul Ryan of Wisconsin has weighed in on Trump’s remarks, but some prominent conservative lawmakers are urging Republicans to support the president. 

I was told he no longer speaks to Mitch.

Rasmussen Reports, a Republican firm, conducted a poll of likely US voters late last month and found that a solid majority of Americans oppose building a border wall, with 37 percent supporting Trump’s proposal versus 56 percent against. That is largely unchanged from a poll conducted in February by the nonpartisan Pew Research Center that found Americans opposed the wall 62 percent to 35 percent. 

I don't know if I believe those numbers, but be that as it may.

House Republicans voted last month to provide $1.6 billion in seed funding for the border wall as part of a larger spending package. That bill is expected to be taken up in the Senate, where Democrats can filibuster any measure that funds the wall or includes other GOP provisions that they have termed ‘‘poison pills.’’

A 2017 spending bill passed into law earlier this year did not include border wall funding after Democrats refused to accept it. That impasse increased pressure on Republicans to deliver wall funding in a future spending battle.

Democrats uniformally slammed Trump’s remarks, with several calling the president’s speech ‘‘unhinged’’ on Twitter.

Rank-and-file Democrats and several caucuses representing them took to Twitter Tuesday to double down on that position.....

They need to take a powder.


Bargaining with people's lives like that!


"In a unanimous vote Wednesday, Boston’s City Council called on the Trump administration to extend Temporary Protected Status, a program that authorizes employment and establishes protection from deportation for hundreds of thousands of immigrants who cannot safely return to their home countries because of environmental disasters, or ongoing armed conflicts, or other epidemics....."

It's for the Haitians, and I'm for it. That's my bias and exception. I'm not sending them back to that hell hole

"Trump’s science envoy quits with scathing letter with an embedded message: ‘I-M-P-E-A-C-H’" by Amy B. Wang The Washington Post  August 23, 2017

Daniel Kammen, a renewable energy expert appointed last year as a science envoy to the State Department, resigned Wednesday, citing President Donald Trump’s response to the violence in Charlottesville, Virginia, as the final straw that led to his departure.

In a resignation letter posted to Twitter, Kammen wrote that Trump’s remarks about the racial violence in Virginia had attacked ‘‘core values of the United States’’ and that it would have ‘‘domestic and international ramifications.’’

Kammen, who was appointed during Barack Obama’s presidency, said it would be unconscionable for him to continue serving the administration after those remarks; however, his most biting message may have come in the form of a hidden acrostic; the first letter of each paragraph spelled out ‘‘I-M-P-E-A-C-H.’’

He just did Trump a favor. The treasonous bastard just removed himself from his post.


You know, Bernie would have won.

Also see: UN panel condemns Trump’s response to Charlottesville violence

The sharks are out for blood and Trump is like a deer in the headlights.

"Trump makes new appeal for unity after searing Phoenix speech" August 23, 2017

RENO, Nev. — A day after a searing speech tearing into the media and members of his own political party, President Trump returned to calls for unity and love as he spoke to veterans Wednesday at an American Legion conference.

‘‘We are here to hold you up as an example of strength, courage, and resolve that our country will need to overcome the many challenges that we face,’’ Trump told veterans, speaking in measured tones and adhering to his prepared remarks. He said all Americans must learn the same work ethic, patriotism and devotion as veterans.

That's when the bells started ringing for me regarding the fascist militarism.

The messaging zig-zag appears to reflect the president’s real-time internal debate between calls for moderation and his inclination to let loose. Trump had opened his Tuesday rally in Phoenix much the same way — but quickly erupted in anger, blaming the media for the widespread condemnation of his response to violence at a Charlottesville, Va., protest organized by white supremacists.

At the Phoenix rally, he read from his three responses to the racially charged violence, becoming more animated with each one. He withdrew from his suit pocket the written statement he’d read the day a woman was killed by a man who’d plowed a car through counter-protesters, but he skipped over the trouble-causing part that he’d freelanced at the time: his observation that ‘‘many sides’’ were to blame.

The bells go off again as I realize the ma$$ media is again excusing leftist antifa thuggery

It's all one-sided, folks, and will be again when they flip the narrative.

As for the state AG, she is tough, but not on the Teamsters.

That, as well as his reiteration days later that ‘‘both sides’’ were to blame for the violence that led to the death of Heather Heyer and two state troopers, led Democrats and many Republicans to denounce Trump for not unmistakably calling out white supremacists and other hate groups.

The president awoke Wednesday still thinking about the rally, as evidenced by his Twitter account.

By the time he arrived at the American Legion conference, Trump seemed more congenial. He even thanked Senator Dean Heller, a Nevada Republican with whom he has openly and repeatedly feuded. He discussed his early efforts to restructure and improve the Veterans Administration.

Later in the speech, Trump said Americans aren’t defined by the color of their skin, the size of their paycheck or their political party.

‘‘Our hearts beat for America. Our souls fill with pride every time we hear the national anthem,’’ Trump said. ‘‘This is the spirit we need to overcome our challenges.’’

I do because it symbolizes this nation giving England the boot forever, which brings up a question what to do with certain historic buildings, but beyond that he really seems to be pointing to some sort of late-summer, early-fall false flag. That is what makes my skin crawl!

We have a military to defend our values, not tear them down 

Some U.S. and NATO general squawking Nazis, Nazis, Nazis (he needs to see something called Operation Paperclip). Need to check your own ranks and those of the Ukrainian collaborators, general!

Time to salute the ladies:

"Army suspends drill sergeants at Fort Benning amid allegation of sexual assault" by Dan Lamothe The Washington Post  August 23, 2017

The US Army has sidelined numerous drill sergeants at its training center at Fort Benning, Ga., amid allegations of sexual assault against at least one trainee, the service announced Wednesday.

You know whom is to blame, right?

The cases are under investigation by Army Criminal Investigation Command and the service’s Maneuver Center of Excellence, Army officials said. The investigation began after a female trainee accused a drill sergeant of sexual assault, then expanded after that allegation revealed indications of additional allegations of sexual misconduct involving trainees and drill sergeants, the Army said in a statement. It declined to say how many drill sergeants are now under investigation.

‘‘We take these allegations very seriously, and we will ensure a full and thorough investigation of the facts,’’ the statement said. ‘‘Our initial actions are to ensure the safety and welfare of all of our soldiers. The drill sergeants have been suspended from drill sergeant duties and will have no contact with trainees during the course of the investigation.’’ Army officials declined to release additional information.

The case marks the latest black mark against drill sergeants or drill instructors in the US military, where trainees have little power as they transition into service life.

Most recently, the Marine Corps has faced allegations of hazing and abuse at the service’s boot camp at Parris Island, S.C.


"Girl Scouts accuse Boy Scouts of recruiting girls to increase membership" by Rachel Chason The Washington Post  August 23, 2017

Long plagued by declining membership, the Boy Scouts are considering a campaign to recruit in a previously untapped market: girls.

The Girl Scouts aren’t having it.

A feud between the two largest scouting organizations broke into the open Tuesday when the president of Girl Scouts of the USA called the Boy Scouts’ ‘‘covert campaign’’ to recruit girls ‘‘reckless’’ and ‘‘unsettling’’ in a letter obtained by BuzzFeed News. A Girl Scouts spokesman confirmed the letter in an e-mail to The Washington Post.

‘‘We were disappointed in the lack of transparency as we learned that you are surreptitiously testing the appeal of a girls’ offering to millennial parents,’’ Girl Scouts President Kathy Hopinkah Hannan wrote in her letter to Boy Scouts of America President Randall Stephenson. ‘‘Furthermore, it is inherently dishonest to claim to be a single gender organization while simultaneously endeavoring upon a co-ed model.’’ 

That was my reaction when I read the headline. 

If you are going to merge them, just call it Scouts.

She said the Boy Scouts’ ‘‘well documented’’ declining membership — the organization’s numbers have dwindled by a third since 2000, to just more than 2 million as of 2016 — is behind its push to include girls.

The Boy Scouts said in a statement to The Washington Post that they are considering including girls in their ranks not to boost their numbers but in response to requests from families who want their daughters to be a part of the same organization as their sons.

‘‘The Boy Scouts of America believes in the benefit of single-gender programs,’’ said the statement from the Boy Scouts’ director of national communications, Effie Delimarkos. ‘‘But in evaluating the possibility of serving the whole family, we’ve been having conversations with our members and volunteers to see how to make Scouting accessible for families.’’

No final decision on whether to include girls has been made, she said.

The Girl Scouts spokesman, explaining the letter, said the organization ‘‘believes in maintaining an open and honest dialogue with other organizations in the youth serving space. . . . To that end we sent a professional letter’’ to the Boy Scouts, and look forward to ‘‘working out those issues with them in a mutually satisfactory manner.’’

Girl Scouts’ membership has also taken a hit in recent years, falling from its peak of more than 3.8 million in 2003 to 2.8 million in 2014.

Maybe they should recruit boys. 

Were I a young whippersnapper and not an old fart I would join!

Some women outside the Girl Scouts have actively lobbied the Boy Scouts to include girls in its ranks.


In February, after the 107-year-old Boy Scouts announced it would admit transgender children in its scouting programs, the National Organization for Women called on the group to ‘‘honor its decree to help all children by permitting girls to gain full membership.’’

You can see where this is leading. 

That solves everything, right?

‘‘Women can now hold all combat roles in the military, and women have broken many glass ceilings at the top levels of government, business, academia and entertainment,’’ said NOW President Terry O’Neill. ‘‘It’s long past due that girls have equal opportunities in Scouting.’’

There she is, Miss America!

I wish equality would not be equated with killing and looting like a man, but then I also wish women would appreciate that wonderful and special quality that only they have (until the test tube generation anyway).

One New York teen leading the push for the Boy Scouts to include girls as official members is Sydney Ireland, who has been an unofficial member of her brother’s troop in Manhattan for several years but is unable to earn a merit badge to begin the process of becoming an Eagle Scout because she is a girl. With her father, Ireland has become a leader in the national push to allow girls to join the Boy Scout ranks, appearing in a video with more than 3 million views and launching a petition with more than 8,400 supporters.

‘‘I know I could rise through the ranks and become an Eagle Scout alongside the best of the boys — all I need is the opportunity,’’ Ireland wrote on

But the ‘‘single-gender expertise’’ of Girl Scouts’ leaders has inherent value, the organization’s president argued in her letter.

‘‘Girl Scouts believes in meeting the needs of America’s youth through single gender programming by creating a safe place for girls to thrive and learn,’’ Hopinkah Hannan wrote. ‘‘Over the last century, GSUSA has adapted to the changing environment, always prioritizing the health, safety and well-being of girls. For BSA to explore a program for girls without such priorities is reckless.’’

The Boy Scouts organization — which was launched into the national spotlight during President Trump’s controversial speech at its jamboree celebration — should focus its efforts on recruiting all boys, including black and Latino youth, instead of girls, Hopinkah Hannan said.

That was a fluke.


The monuments that must be saved:

"Zinke, Trump hear desperate appeals to save national monument areas" by Brady McCombs Associated Press  August 23, 2017

SALT LAKE CITY — Conservation and tribal groups are airing TV ads, sending letters to President Trump, and creating parody websites in a last-minute blitz to stop Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke from downsizing or eliminating national monument areas that cover large swaths of land and water from Maine to California.

A tribal coalition unveiled a new webpage Tuesday that explains the cultural importance of lands consider sacred to them. They also posted a letter sent to Trump telling him that part of ‘‘making American great again’’ is honoring tribal history and rights.

I'm actually with them, to a point. There is plenty of room for us all.

‘‘At a time when the United States feels anything but united under the shadow of Charlottesville, Virginia, please hear our voices,’’ wrote Willie Grayeyes, chairman of the coalition. ‘‘These sacred lands have held our song, our stories, and our prayers since time beyond memory, and these lands will continue to hold the promise of our future.’’

The outdoor recreation industry has hammered home its message that peeling back protections on areas where its customers hike, bike, and camp could prevent future generations from enjoying the sites.

In addition, the Wilderness Society has created a parody website featuring Trump and Zinke selling luxury real estate at the sites.

Groups that want to see the areas reduced have been less vociferous, pleading their cases on social media and working behind the scenes to lobby federal officials.

They say past presidents have misused a century-old law to create monuments that are too large and stop energy development, grazing, mining, and other uses.

Stan Summers, a Utah county commissioner who chairs a group that advocates for the multi-use of public lands, said outdoor recreation companies are peddling lies and misconceptions when they say local officials want to bulldoze monument lands.

If it's Confederate it's okay.

Summers said residents treasure the lands that comprise Bears Ears and the Grand Staircase-Escalante monuments in Utah, but don’t want to close the areas to new oil drilling and mining that produce good jobs.

‘‘We want to tend this area like a garden instead of a museum,’’ he said.

REI and Patagonia have joined a group of 350 outdoor companies, including The North Face, YETI Coolers, and Orvis, in signing a letter sent last week to Zinke by the Outdoor Industry Association.

‘‘It’s an American right to roam in our public lands,’’ the letter reads. ‘‘As business leaders, we simply ask that your final report remain true to the Teddy Roosevelt values we share with you — to maintain the national treasures presidents of both parties have protected.’’ 

That is very interesting because Teddy Roosevelt was a racist

Guess you will have to remove his statues and his name from plaques as well as give up your bully pulpit.

Patagonia recently ran a TV ad in Montana and Utah with company founder Yvon Chouinard fishing and declaring, ‘‘Our business is built on having wild places’’ and warning that public lands are under the greatest threat ever.

Led by Senator Martin Heinrich, a Democrat from New Mexico, monument supporters plan a rally Thursday at an REI store in Albuquerque.

The Wilderness Society website also features a photo of ancient ruins at Bears Ears National Monument in Utah and the words, ‘‘Developer ready.’’ Each monument was given a fictional price tag, such as $932 million for Organ Mountains-Desert Peaks National Monument in New Mexico.

In a description of Katahdin Woods and Waters National Monument in Maine, the website says: ‘‘This is the chance for someone to claim a little piece of that offbeat New England charm for themselves and leave hikers, birdwatchers, snowshoers, and hunters on the outside, looking in!’’

Proponents of downsizing the monuments say state governments are better suited to make management decisions that would ensure federal lands are used for a mix of uses.

‘‘The only reason there is roads in some of these places is because of the mining and the oil and the gravel pits,’’ Summers said...... 

The smell made me think of coal country.


Also see:

Florida to execute white man for racially motivated murder

Not only is that a slippery slop, it's in itself racist. 

That means all blacks that kill whites will be executed?

Sort of a kill 'em all, let God sort 'em out while we reign and party on Earth philosophy, 'eh?

This IS headed toward a dark place:

"Mr. Kushner, the Jewish dimension of the Charlottesville events cannot be left out of the picture. You heard the anti-Jewish rants in the Alt Reich, you have a Jewish wife and Jewish children. What will you tell your children?”

The answer to his question is no, he has no shame.

Nor does the Globe show any repentance (someone else saw the Billy Joel concert) as they excuse leftist violence and anarchy

That's not terrorism?

Then there is the Kennedy family.

Police now investigating allegations against Felix G. Arroyo

I was going to advise him to play the race card because it trumps gender every time, but he just got lynched, 'er, fired

Time to showers amidst a cascade of boos.

"ESPN Radio jock Ryen Russillo arrested in Wyoming "ESPN Radio talk-show host Ryen Russillo, who used to appear regularly on Comcast Sportsnet New England shows, was arrested and charged with “criminal entry” in Jackson, Wyo., according to the Teton County Sheriff’s Office. Russillo was arrested for the misdemeanor at approximately 3:45 a.m. Wednesday. The Teton County Sheriff’s Office did not release any additional information....." 

The sports guys this morning said he was arrested naked in the wrong house with his pants around ankles. Drunk?

I couldn't find anything on YouTube.

He should have called an Uber to get home. Just give 'em the address

You can even read something while you ride:

"Gerard Baker, the editor-in-chief of The Wall Street Journal, has faced unease and frustration in his newsroom over his stewardship of the newspaper’s coverage of President Trump, which some journalists there say has lacked toughness and verve. Some staff members expressed similar concerns Wednesday after Baker, in a series of blunt late-night e-mails, criticized his staff over their coverage of Trump’s Tuesday rally in Phoenix, describing their reporting as overly opinionated. “Sorry. This is commentary dressed up as news reporting,” Baker wrote at 12:01 a.m. Wednesday to a group of Journal reporters and editors, in response to a draft of the rally article that was intended for the newspaper’s final edition. He added in a follow-up, “Could we please just stick to reporting what he said rather than packaging it in exegesis and selective criticism?” A copy of Baker’s e-mails was reviewed by The New York Times. Several phrases about Trump that appeared in the draft of the article reviewed by Baker were not included in the final version published on The Journal’s website. The draft, in its lead paragraph, described the Charlottesville, Va., protests as “reshaping” Trump’s presidency. That mention was removed. The draft also described Trump’s Phoenix speech as “an off-script return to campaign form,” in which the president “pivoted away from remarks a day earlier in which he had solemnly called for unity.” That language does not appear in the article’s final version. Contacted about the e-mails Wednesday, a Wall Street Journal spokeswoman wrote in a statement: “The Wall Street Journal has a clear separation between news and opinion. As always, the key priority is to focus reporting on facts and avoid opinion seeping into news coverage.”

That is the key reason I gave up on them.

Why Rosie O’Donnell is in Southie

Picking up tax loot checks I would $uppo$e, and did you see which country star stopped by Patriots practice?

"Stocks retreated Wednesday and gave back some of their gains from a day earlier, when the Standard & Poor’s 500 index had one of its best days of the year. Advertising companies and retailers had some of the steepest drops, on worries about their earnings, while prices for Treasury bonds and gold rose modestly as investors sought safer ground. It was the latest move lower for a stock market that has yo-yoed since setting a record high earlier this month. Markets are looking to Wyoming, where central bankers from around the world are gathering soon. The heads of the Federal Reserve and European Central Bank are expected to speak at a symposium, which begins Thursday, and investors are waiting to hear if any change is upcoming in their support for the global economy. Most analysts expect to hear nothing surprising..... "

The Globe's front page is the answer to all the racial disharmony:

"Will legal pot be a chance for minority business owners?" by Joshua Miller Globe Staff  August 23, 2017

DENVER — They were pioneers, the first black owners of a cannabis dispensary in Colorado.

Now, eight years after the commercialization of medical marijuana here, and almost five years after voters legalized recreational use, there are hundreds of pot shops, farms, and manufacturers. But Wanda James and her husband, Scott Durrah, are still among the few black owners of a cannabis business in Colorado.

Sitting in their dispensary across from a new luxury apartment development and a hip restaurant, James estimated there were fewer than 10 black-owned cannabis businesses in the state.

The dearth of black pot entrepreneurs serves as a warning to Massachusetts, where advocates and lawmakers have trumpeted the new industry’s potential to create business opportunities in communities of color that bore the brunt of the decades-long War on Drugs.

Bad news, you are not wanted here.

In Colorado, four successful black pot entrepreneurs cited roadblocks familiar to many black business owners across a range of sectors: difficulty getting capital, hiring good lawyers and accountants, and finding mentors in the industry who look like them.

But the cannabis market comes with its own special challenges, including cultural stigma about marijuana, restrictions on felons owning pot shops, and opposition from black elected officials, clergy, and other community leaders to an industry that is legal under state law but still seen as sinful.

“The black clergy is some of the worst on cannabis. ‘The Devil’s weed’ and ‘God don’t like drugs,’ ” James said, using the tone of a scolding preacher.

James, a one-time restaurateur, political consultant, and fund-raiser for Barack Obama’s 2008 campaign, recalls when she and her husband came out “of the cannabis closet” in a 2009 Denver Post article announcing they were getting into the marijuana business.

“Almost every black elected official and business owner took a lot of pride in calling and saying what fools we were, how we just destroyed our reputation . . . how no politician will ever get near us,” she recalled.

The calls continued — but now they seek political donations and cannabis advice, she said, smiling. And the couple’s cultivation operation and dispensary, Simply Pure, is expanding next year, a sign that business is good.

Wy Livingston, whose business ventures include a tea shop and tea company that has a marijuana-infused line, said given the destruction that drugs have caused in black and Hispanic communities, it’s no wonder that church leaders oppose marijuana.

She said whether it’s heroin or cannabis, for many black church leaders, “everything is dope to them.” Church leaders rail against the drug, and “that’s going to keep a certain portion of folks just out of it,” she said.

Dan Pettigrew, who owns a high-end marijuana extracts company, Viola Extracts, says the perception of marijuana is changing among black communities, just as perception is changing among all Americans.

“The truth shall set you free,” he said, sitting with his business partner and co-owner, former NBA player Al Harrington, in their Denver facility, the scent from just-harvested cannabis plants heavy in the air.

As more people see cannabis businesses prosper, the jobs and wealth the drug creates, and the medical help it can bring to people, the stigma will fade, Pettigrew said.

Harrington, a New Jersey native, said he and members of his family have experienced that transformation. Growing up, “Everybody felt like if you smoked marijuana you weren’t going to be [anything] in life.”

A first-round draft pick out of high school, Harrington avoided the drug for decades. When he was traded to the Denver Nuggets in 2010, everyone was talking about the burgeoning medical industry and all the ailments marijuana could ease.

One day, his 80-year-old grandmother, suffering from glaucoma and diabetes, came to Denver to watch a game. She was in excruciating eye pain, so Harrington offered to procure her some marijuana to see if it would be more effective than her prescription medication. She demurred at first — saying the drug had ruined Harrington’s grandfather’s life, and his uncle’s, too — but the next day her pain was so great, she agreed to try some.

“She turned to me and she had tears in her eyes. She’s just like, ‘I’m healed. I haven’t been able to read the words in my Bible in over three years,’ ” he recalled. “She was sitting there reading her Bible.” 

I can't think of a stronger argument for it, and those who argue against are arguing for more pain and suffering for people.

When he financed Pettigrew’s business, they decided to name it Viola, after Harrington’s grandmother.

Stigma is just one hurdle, of course.

Livingston, the tea entrepreneur, is also a former top executive at insurance juggernaut AIG and homebuilding giant Pulte Homes. She said what’s necessary in most industries — knowing people who can show you the ropes and invest in a new business — is exponentially more important in the cannabis space.

After all, it’s a heavily regulated business, where relatively few people know the ins and outs of navigating the law.

And access to capital, a hurdle for any entrepreneur, is more difficult in the cannabis industry because getting a bank loan is extremely tough. Marijuana remains illegal under federal law, and many banks would rather not take on that risk.

Pettigrew said he had an advantage with Harrington, who had money to invest and connections to top-tier professionals.

“I had access to great attorneys, great accountants,” he said. “That really helped.”

And, he said, James and Durrah, the pioneering dispensary owners, mentored him as he got the business off the ground.

Shaleen Title, a Malden-based attorney who is a founding board member of the Minority Cannabis Business Association, argued Massachusetts’ pot law does a better job than any other legalization state at welcoming people of color to the industry, but “when you have a cultural stigma, having the best state policies in the world won’t matter because people won’t take advantage of them,” she said.

When it comes to black-owned cannabis businesses, “we have to do better than Colorado,” said state Senator Linda Dorcena Forry, a Dorchester Democrat who helped push for several of the legal provisions aimed at boosting opportunity for such communities.

Sitting in her shop in the Highlands neighborhood of Denver, James said one way to ensure more minorities have ownership stakes in the pot industry is for parents to encourage their children (21 and older, of course) to get a summer job as a budtender — a marijuana store clerk — instead of working at a restaurant.

“Get your foot in the door. Learn the business,” she advised.

And, she emphasized, the industry is much larger than growing cannabis, making edibles, and having a storefront. There’s cannabis marketing, accounting, and law, along with countless other ancillary industries.

It’s early yet in the expansion of legalized pot, she said, so there’s plenty of time for everyone to jump in.....


I hate to be a buzz kill but what about the emissions?

"The talk of the island this summer is not the latest celebrity sighting or the balmy water temperatures at South Beach, but corporate governance of Martha’s Vineyard Hospital....."

Didn't even vote on it or anything

That's all I have to say.

"Beginning next month, shoppers will be able to buy Walmart products by speaking to their Google Home devices, and ‘‘this is just the beginning.’’

No, it's the end.

Time to have something to eat and then go to bed.

Korean War Cancelled

Let us Markey this day down as a turning point in the Pacific:

"Senator Ed Markey wants to see tougher sanctions on North Korea aimed at bringing the rogue nation to talks with the United States. “I appreciate China’s support for the latest rounds of sanctions,” said Markey, speaking from a military base in Japan after a tour of Asia with other members of Congress. “I still don’t think it goes far enough.” Markey’s trip included a visit to the China-North Korea border, where he witnessed a truckload of fuel heading to North Korea. Fuel imports are among the goods that still can be imported to North Korea under the current rules. Markey, who is the top Democrat on a Senate foreign relations panel that oversees Asia, is in the final stretch of a congressional trip to the region that included stops in Japan and South Korea, where he met with President Moon Jae-in. The trip comes amid a rocky period for US relations with North Korea, which has angered the United States. At one point President Trump seemed to threaten nuclear war. That kind of language has caused deep concerns in the area, Markey said. “They do not want a second Korean war to be fought,” Markey said after meeting with regional leaders. “And they want for there to be a diplomatic resolution to the issue.” However, they’re also worried about crossing Trump, Markey said. “The leaders have decided to not publicly criticize President Trump,” Markey said. Instead, Markey said Asian leaders are taking their cues from Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, who has been less bombastic....."

Well, that's Exxon, right?

Markey sounds a lot like Bannon, doesn't he?

"China on Wednesday urged the United States to withdraw new sanctions it imposed on Chinese companies that Washington says are supporting North Korea as it carries out increasingly ambitious missile tests. On Tuesday, the Trump administration imposed sanctions on 16 mainly Chinese and Russian companies and people for assisting North Korea’s nuclear and ballistic missile programs and helping it to make money to support those programs. Chinese foreign ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying told reporters at a regular briefing that China opposes unilateral sanctions and ‘‘the long-arm jurisdiction taken’’ by the United States against Chinese entities and individuals. Meanwhile....."

Typhoon Hato moves through southern China?

No, "The 'threat' posed by China to America is that it will win the economic war, become the world economic leader, and not being first is inconceivable to American supremacists."

Interesting in light of all the race-baiting in AmeriKa right now, and quite perceptive.

"Navy relieves admiral in charge of 7th Fleet in wake of deadly disasters at sea" by Dan Lamothe The Washington Post  August 23, 2017

The collisions have shocked the Navy, where good seamanship and avoiding collisions are a fundamental expectation and demand. Admiral John M. Richardson, the chief of naval operations, announced Monday that he is ordering an ‘‘operational pause’’ across the globe in which commanders take a day or two each to make sure that sailors understand the fundamentals of good seamanship. He also directed a four-star officer, Admiral Phil Davidson of Fleet Forces Command, to launch a separate review of the 7th Fleet over the next few months to assess its culture, operations, and readiness for missions.

The 7th Fleet has headquarters in Yokosuka, Japan, and is responsible for an area that spans 36 maritime countries and 48 million square miles in the Pacific and Indian oceans, according to the Navy. The fleet has about 50 to 70 ships assigned to it, including about a dozen at sea at any time. The force’s missions range from responding to natural disasters to countering North Korean threats and Chinese audaciousness in the South China Sea, where Beijing has established new military bases.

‘‘I think it’s important to note that the 7th Fleet is out there all the time, and it has been since World War II ended,’’ said retired Vice Admiral Peter Daly, the chief executive officer of the US Naval Institute. ‘‘It has been heel-to-toe. It has been ships there all the time, and ships deploying there all the time to augment the ships that are already there.’’


Daly said the recent accidents have highlighted what appears to be a disparity between how well ships that are based in Japan perform, as compared with ships that are based in the continental United States or Hawaii and set sail from there. The difference, Daly said, has sparked ‘‘a healthy concern’’ about why there is a difference between the two.

The unusual nature of the accidents has prompted senior Navy leaders to rebut speculation that sabotage or a cyber attack may have caused them. There is no indication either occurred, Admiral Scott Swift, commander of the US Pacific Fleet, said Tuesday.

The fact that they would feel the need to address such a thing means those espousing such are on the right track.

The scrutiny comes as the Navy remains mired in a corruption scandal in which Malaysian defense contractor Leonard Francis offered prostitutes, cash, gifts, and other favors in exchange for information as he made hundreds of millions of dollars of business from the Navy. At least 19 defendants have been convicted, with at least 10 more cases pending.


"A commander is the 12th Navy official to be charged in a wide-ranging bribery case involving a Malaysian defense contractor. Mario Herrera is accused of accepting prostitutes, luxury trips, and $1,800 in steaks from Leonard Glenn Francis in exchange for classified information. Herrera could not be reached for comment. According to the complaint, Herrera and other US Navy 7th Fleet officers who helped Francis called themselves the ‘‘Band of Brothers’’ and the ‘‘Wolf Pack.’’ Francis pleaded guilty to fraud involving his ship supply company. Prosecutors say the firm, Glenn Defense Marine Asia, bilked the Navy out of $35 million."


Globe must have missed the boat, huh?

But there’s another issue at play. Daly and another 7th Fleet veteran, Scott Cheney-Peters, said that years of the Navy reducing its number of ships has taxed the crews of those on the remaining vessels, as the Navy does more with less..... 

As if the war machine wasn't going to be getting enough money, now we will also need a draft!

That means women, too!


"Malaysian leader in billion-dollar scandal is invited to White House" New York Times  August 23, 2017

Gee, all of a sudden Malaysia pops up.

WASHINGTON — President Trump has invited Prime Minister Najib Razak of Malaysia to visit the White House in September despite Najib’s reported involvement in a billion-dollar corruption scandal.

The White House said in a statement Wednesday that the visit was intended to “strengthen and broaden our bilateral relationship and expand regional cooperation with one of America’s closest partners in Southeast Asia.”

The invitation represents a significant boost to Najib’s international standing and is likely to put to rest rumors in Malaysia that he would be arrested the next time he stepped on US soil.

In July, the Justice Department filed a civil complaint in a money-laundering case outlining how Najib, identified as “Malaysian Official 1,” received $731 million from a government fund he oversaw.

Investigators around the world are reportedly tracking the money trail to his bank accounts.

Critics say the visit, scheduled for Sept. 12, also demonstrates that the Trump administration places concerns about corruption well behind other issues. 

Same as what successive U.S. governments have been doing for decades. What's your point?

Najib is yet another visitor to the Trump White House with a history of suppressing free speech and intimidating the political opposition, said Robert G. Berschinski of the advocacy group Human Rights First.

Well, he ought to feel right at home in Bo$ton after this last weekend.


"Cambodia shutters independent radio, boots out US NGO" Associated Press  August 23, 2017

PHNOM PENH, Cambodia — Two independent Cambodian radio stations that allowed rare criticism of the government said Wednesday they are being forced to shut down, further limiting opportunities for political activity and expression ahead of next year’s general election.

The radio stations announced the closures the same day the foreign ministry ordered foreign staff members of the Washington-based National Democratic Institute to leave the country within a week. The government accused of group, which gets US government support, of violating laws on nongovernmental organizations and taxes.

The institute, affiliated with the US Democratic Party, promotes democracy and election monitoring worldwide. 

It's a CIA front, folks. The Republicans also have one.

The moves appeared to be part of an effort to rein in media and public watchdogs ahead of the polls, in which the ruling party of Prime Minister Hun Sen is expected to face a strong challenge.

Hun Sen has held power for three decades, employing authoritarian methods in a nominally democratic framework. After being shocked by the strong challenge he faced in 2013’s general election, he moved to undermine the opposition, using pliant courts and a rubber-stamp legislature to neutralize opposition leaders with a series of politically motivated lawsuits and criminal charges. Still, the opposition made gains in nationwide local elections this past June.

Yeah, we were warned about Hun Sen, and think the Southeast Asian version of Venezuela -- although Hun Sen certainly seems like he has more control than Maduro.


He must be cozying up to China.

"At least seven people were killed Wednesday in southern Afghanistan when a Taliban suicide car bomber struck an Afghan National Army convoy, Afghan officials said. It was the first major attack since President Trump announced his strategy for Afghanistan in a speech Monday night. The explosion killed two women and a child as well as four soldiers. Another 38 people were wounded, most of them civilians, said Omar Zwak, a spokesman for the governor of Helmand province. The Taliban claimed responsibility....."

Just following in father's footsteps.

"Saudi teen danced the ‘Macarena.’ Then he was arrested" by Sudarsan Raghavan The Washington Post  August 23, 2017

CAIRO — It was a rare and subversive action in Saudi Arabia.

A 14-year-old is seen in a video dancing to the 1990s hit ‘‘Macarena’’ in the middle of a street in the Saudi city of Jiddah.

He’s wearing black headphones, a striped shirt, Nike shorts, baby blue crocs — and a wide, happy smile. The video has gone viral.

On Tuesday, Saudi authorities arrested the teen. His crime, according to Colonel Atti bin Attia Al-Qurashi, a police spokesman, is that the dancing was ‘‘a disruption of traffic and violation of public morality,’’ the government-linked Sabq news site reported.

The arrest comes at somewhat of a crossroads for the Sunni kingdom. Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, 31, is trying to modernize the conservative society and make it less stifling culturally.

He has encouraged art and food festivals and live music concerts that have in the past been banned.

The fun in the sun is only for certain people.

But the teen’s arrest underscores the strong traditional influences that still grip society in a nation where Western dancing and music is frowned upon.


Related: Air strike on hotel outside Sanaa 'leaves 30 dead'

That's the future of war before the celebratory barbecue.

"Egypt’s leader, Kushner meet after cut in American aid" by Menna Zaki Associated Press  August 23, 2017

CAIRO — Egypt’s president and foreign minister met with White House adviser Jared Kushner on Wednesday, just hours after the Trump administration cut or delayed hundreds of millions of dollars in aid to Cairo over human rights concerns.

Kushner, who is also President Trump’s son-in-law, was in Cairo as part of a Middle East tour aimed at exploring ways to revive Israeli-Palestinian peace talks.

Bannon called him a green kid (I'm being polite).

A modified version of Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry’s schedule had earlier showed the meeting with Kushner cancelled, which was widely seen as a snub in protest at the aid cuts. But Shoukry later sat in on Kushner’s meeting with President Abdel-Fattah El Sisi and met with the American delegation separately at the Foreign Ministry.

Kushner’s delegation includes Jason Greenblatt, the US envoy for international negotiations, and Dina Powell, the deputy national security adviser.

The Trump administration on Tuesday cut nearly $100 million in military and economic aid to Egypt and delayed almost $200 million more in military financing, citing Egypt’s poor human rights record and its crackdown on civic and other nongovernmental groups.

The move came as a surprise to many, given the close ties forged since Trump took office. The president has repeatedly hailed El Sisi as a key ally in the fight against terrorism.

Not me! Afghanistan was only the first about face!

In a statement, the Egyptian Foreign Ministry said Cairo regretted the US decision, calling it a ‘‘misjudgment of the nature of the strategic relations that have bound the two countries for decades.’’

It said the move ‘‘reflects the lack of careful understanding of the importance of supporting the stability and success of Egypt as well as the size and nature of the security and economic challenges faced by the Egyptian people.’’ The decision, it warned, may have ‘‘negative consequences for the realization of common US-Egyptian interests.’’ It did not elaborate. 

I will: Russia!

Egypt is among the top recipients of US military and economic assistance, receiving about $1.5 billion annually. The $1.3 billion in military aid and $250 million in economic aid is linked to Egypt’s 1979 peace treaty with Israel, and underpins a US-Egyptian security relationship that is now mostly aimed at fighting terrorism.

We all know that, and that was where the print ended and the web adders begin.

Egypt is like Turkey now, all about its own national interest even though Sissi has been our thug on the sly.

In recent years, Egypt has clamped down on civil society, particularly human rights groups and other organizations that receive foreign funding. Such groups played a central role in the 2011 uprising that toppled longtime autocrat Hosni Mubarak, and progovernment media often present them as part of a conspiracy to undermine the state. 

Sissi is worse than Mubarak, but at least the Arab Spring gave you a fresh-faced dictator (like Yemen).

The authorities have arrested thousands of people since El Sisi led the 2013 military overthrow of President Mohammed Morsi, an Islamist who won the country’s first freely contested election.

Morsi's mistake was throwing open the gates to Gaza.

Most of those in detention are Islamist supporters of Morsi, but a number of prominent liberal and secular activists have also been jailed.

Trump made no public mention of human rights when he warmly welcomed El Sisi to the White House in April, an omission that many took as a sign that the issue was not a priority for the administration.

But two months later, two senators from Trump’s Republican Party slammed as ‘‘Draconian’’ a new Egyptian law that effectively bans the work of nongovernmental organizations and urged its repeal.

They are angry because the Egyptians are kicking out the CIA.

Egypt has defended the law, which provoked an international backlash, saying it was drafted and approved according to its constitution.

Egypt is grappling with an insurgency by Islamic militants in the northern part of the Sinai Peninsula, an ailing economy, and a rapidly growing population of 93 million. The militants, led by a local affiliate of the Islamic State, have in recent months targeted Egypt’s large Christian minority, killing scores in a spate of attacks.

Kushner has meanwhile been trying to revive Middle East peace talks, which last collapsed in 2014. He has made little evident progress, and has yet to lay out a clear vision for what Trump has called the ‘‘ultimate deal.’’

He and his delegation traveled to Jordan on Tuesday, where they met with King Abdullah II. They also visited Saudi Arabia and Qatar, according to local media reports.

On Thursday, the delegation is expected to hold separate meetings with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, but no major breakthroughs are expected. 

He has been over there a lot.

Trump has yet to fully endorse a two-state solution, which has been at the heart of US policy for nearly two decades. He has said it’s up to Israel and the Palestinians to decide the shape of a final settlement. 

He didn't visit Egypt last time around, did he?


Related: Egypt arrests 'organ trafficking ring' 

It's related to tourism and the Globe must have missed those.

Suspects were in France before terror attacks in Spain

And before then?

Sorry, no repentance.

You know what is the solution, and never mind those self-driving suicider hackers?

Time to go down for a while.

Hell in Seattle

This is what my daily ritual brung today:

"According to police, the stranger said he was going to push her — and then did it. Witnesses pulled her to safety. No train was approaching....."

RelatedFamily mourns son killed in train accident

"A New Jersey Transit train derailed in Pennsylvania Station on Wednesday morning, the third such episode to take place in recent months, slowing the morning commute in what has become a familiar ritual for passengers. The delays on Wednesday did not quite measure up to the “Summer of Hell” that many commuters have come to expect, but it did leave some briefly in purgatory......"

Neither of those can compare to the horror found on the back page, A12, right-hand corner, half-buried and if you are in hurry you miss it:

"Three reclusive Seattle brothers, aged 82, 80 and 78, allegedly engaged in sexual conduct" by Samantha Schmidt The Washington Post  August 23, 2017

The three reclusive Emery brothers have lived in the same yellow Seattle house for more than 50 years, rarely making contact with others in the neighborhood brimming with young children.

But inside their home, the brothers — Charles Emery, 82; Thomas Emery, 80; and Edwin Emery, 78 — allegedly spent a lifetime obsessing over the sexual exploitation of young girls.

Must have been watching too much Disney.

Their crumbling home, as described by prosecuting attorney Daniel T. Satterberg, was ‘‘littered from floor to ceiling’’ with pornographic images, magazine clippings of slain children, and handwritten notes that detailed the ‘‘kidnapping, torturing, raping, and murdering of young girls.’’ 

The only ones who get away with that are the CIA and the elite pedophile rings.

Within the horrifying stash, investigators said they found children’s toys, young girls’ used underwear, and dozens of pairs of children’s shoes. Stuffed inside tiny penny loafers were miniature vodka bottles, including one with the initial of a younger relative. There were dozens of handwritten letters, videos, and books detailing ‘‘ritualistic and satanic sacrifices’’ of small girls.

This is another of those taboo topics in the ma$$ media, and when unearthed they minimize and quickly look to bury again.

The point isn't whether you or I believe it, it is whether these monstrous sickos or our elite overmasters believe in such things.

In a crawl space in the home, investigators found a pink child’s hat, partially buried in dirt beside a burned note.

The brothers kept these atrocities hidden for decades, until a female relative came over to clean out the garage. After coming across the evidence of child pornography, she alerted law enforcement.

On Monday, King County prosecutors charged each of the three Emery brothers with two counts of second-degree possession of depictions of minors engaged in sexual conduct. All three are in jail in lieu of $500,000 bail.

The brothers, the prosecutor wrote, collected ‘‘images depicting the misery of sexually abused children to satiate their deeply rooted deviant interests.’’

The crimes, police believe, also go beyond possessing these items — police have evidence that the brothers have sexually assaulted at least two children within their extended family.

‘‘It’s very clear that these three individuals have an obsession with young female children,’’ Captain Mike Edwards of the Seattle Police Department said in a news conference Monday. ‘‘They’ve had this obsession for most if not all of their lives and in some cases acted out on that obsession against family members.’’

The female relative who reported the child pornography told police that two of the men — Charles and Edwin Emery — sexually abused her as a child. She also told them the three men sexually abused another relative to the extent that she was removed from her family’s home and placed in foster care for protection, according to court documents, which were uploaded online by the HuffPost.

These allegations are still being investigated, Edwards said. But because of the length of time that has passed since the alleged crimes took place, it is unlikely that charges would come from them, Edwards said.

The female family member has legal guardianship of Charles Emery, who has been in a senior living facility because of dementia, according to court documents. From the 1970s through the 1990s, Charles Emery worked as a janitor at Seattle Children’s Hospital.

Working like a wolf from that fold.

The Emery brothers have lived together their entire lives, have never been married, and never had children.

That's where the print version cut it.

Nor do they have histories of criminal convictions. But in 2013, authorities investigated Edwin Emery for possession of child pornography. Police learned about the alleged crimes after Office Depot employees found about 20 pornographic images while repairing his computer.

At the time, Edwin Emery admitted to police that he sexually abused two of his female family members when he was about 25 or 26. One of these relatives, he told police, was about 8 to 10 years old when he repeatedly molested her as she would sit on his lap. He told authorities he was attracted to ‘‘sub-teenage’’ girls, according to court documents. 


During that same 2013 investigation, the female relative alleged that Edwin Emery sexually abused her numerous times as a child. She said that Charles Emery would also sexually assault her, giving her alcohol before certain instances. During the abuse, the relative said, Charles Emery would also dress her up in socks and shoes similar to those later found in his home. 

It is time to reexamine Prohibition despite the increased liquor licenses and the Total Wine ads. Guns kill people and booze causes sexual deviancy.

No criminal charges were filed following the 2013 investigation, though it is unclear why.

Prosecutors said Charles Emery wrote extensive ‘‘manifestos detailing child rape and homicide.’’ His brothers referred to the trove of pornographic and morbid items as ‘‘Charles’ hobby.’’

When police interviewed them, Edwin and Thomas Emery ‘‘remained nonchalant and relatively unconcerned about the serious nature of the investigation,’’ according to charging documents. The two men denied any knowledge of child murder, but told detectives it was ‘‘possible’’ killings took place ‘‘if everything the officers was saying was true.’’

‘‘Their writings express desires to kill children,’’ Edwards said in the news conference. While investigators have not yet found any evidence of homicide, they have been searching the brothers’ property for possible human remains with cadaver dogs.

‘‘Additional properties are being searched for the presence of child exploitation materials and evidence of kidnapping, abuse, and child homicide,’’ detectives wrote.

Investigators are still working to identify the children who are pictured in the pornographic images, Edwards said.

‘‘We’re erring on the side of caution with all of this,’’ Edwards said. ‘‘We’re not taking anything at this point for granted.’’

As am I. If true as reported it's abominable and hard to grasp mentally. If it some sort of mind-bending fiction or psyop, it would fit. I expect anything deeper will be either distorted or covered up by the pre$$ coming forth.


Who is the mayor there? 

Need to worry about right next door, so to speak, as well as above:

"Here’s how to prevent sex abuse at N.E. schools, groups say" by Brian MacQuarrie and Travis Andersen Globe Staff  August 23, 2017

Spurred by growing allegations of sexual misconduct at private schools, two groups that represent more than 1,000 of the institutions released recommendations Wednesday for preventing the abuse of students by teachers and other staff members.

The draft report is believed to be the first comprehensive review of procedures to curb sexual misconduct at the schools, many of them boarding facilities whose missions often encourage close interaction among students, faculty, and staff.

Many proposals focus on boundaries between students and adults, such as refraining from the exchange of personal information, and the scope and duration of off-campus trips. The recommendations would bar teachers and students from shared sleeping accommodations during outings and set clear guidelines on physical contact.

The draft also urges strict background checks on all hires at the private schools, regardless of position, in an effort to keep sexual offenders from finding new jobs that could put them in close proximity with students.

“This is the first time we’ve come together as an industry to look systematically and comprehensively at the issue,” said Pete Upham, executive director of the Association of Boarding Schools, one of two national organizations that assembled a task force to examine the issue.....

All I can think of is the kids, the future leaders, the future worker bee staffers, what have you, that have been through there lo these many decades, etc. The damage inflicted on innocent minds and souls is incalculable. The only thing worse is maiming or killing in war. 


So they finally righting some regulations, et, huh? 



"An adolescent girl was sexually assaulted at the outdoor shower at the Shirley Avenue bathhouse on Revere Beach on Tuesday night, and State Police are now searching for her assailant. According to State Police spokesman David Procopio, the teenager was using the shower around 7 p.m. Tuesday when the suspect tried to strike up a conversation, leading the girl to try to leave the shower area. “When the girl tried to get away from the assailant, he grabbed her, prevented her from leaving, and sexually assaulted her,” Procopio wrote in an e-mail Wednesday. The girl broke away from the assailant and reported what had happened to an adult family member, who brought her to the State Police barracks on Revere Beach, he wrote. The suspect was described as a young, light-skinned Hispanic male, State Police said. The suspect is around 6 feet tall with a slender build and hair braided tightly against his scalp. State Police urged anyone who might have seen the suspect at any time Tuesday, or witnessed the assault or the earlier interaction the suspect might have had with a woman, to contact State Police....."

Also seeN.H. officials clear Mass. state troopers in fatal shooting

Oh, sorry, wrong way.

Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Powdering Up For Bed

"Johnson & Johnson to pay $417m in lawsuit linking baby powder to cancer" by Michael Balsamo Associated Press  August 21, 2017

LOS ANGELES — A Los Angeles jury on Monday ordered Johnson & Johnson to pay a record $417 million to a hospitalized woman who claimed in a lawsuit that the talc in the company’s iconic baby powder causes ovarian cancer when applied regularly for feminine hygiene.

The verdict in the lawsuit brought by the California woman, Eva Echeverria, marks the largest sum awarded in a series of talcum powder lawsuit verdicts against Johnson & Johnson in courts around the U.S.

Echeverria alleged Johnson & Johnson failed to adequately warn consumers about talcum powder’s potential cancer risks. She used the company’s baby powder on a daily basis beginning in the 1950s until 2016 and was diagnosed with ovarian cancer in 2007, according to court papers.

Echeverria developed ovarian cancer as a ‘‘proximate result of the unreasonably dangerous and defective nature of talcum powder,’’ she said in her lawsuit.

Echeverria’s attorney, Mark Robinson, said his client is undergoing cancer treatment while hospitalized and told him she hoped the verdict would lead Johnson & Johnson to put additional warnings on its products.

‘‘Mrs. Echeverria is dying from this ovarian cancer and she said to me all she wanted to do was to help the other women throughout the whole country who have ovarian cancer for using Johnson & Johnson for 20 and 30 years,’’ Robinson said.

‘‘She really didn’t want sympathy,’’ he added. ‘‘She just wanted to get a message out to help these other women.’’

Johnson & Johnson spokeswoman Carol Goodrich said in a statement that the company will appeal the jury’s decision. She says while the company sympathizes with women suffering from ovarian cancer that scientific evidence supports the safety of Johnson’s baby powder.

The verdict came after a St. Louis, Missouri jury in May awarded $110.5 million to a Virginia woman who was diagnosed with ovarian cancer in 2012.

She had blamed her illness on her use of the company’s talcum powder-containing products for more than 40 years.

Besides that case, three other trials in St. Louis had similar outcomes last year — with juries awarding damages of $72 million, $70.1 million and $55 million, for a combined total of $307.6 million.

Another St. Louis jury in March rejected the claims of a Tennessee woman with ovarian and uterine cancer who blamed talcum powder for her cancers.

Two similar cases in New Jersey were thrown out by a judge who said the plaintiffs’ lawyers did not presented reliable evidence linking talc to ovarian cancer.

More than 1,000 other people have filed similar lawsuits. Some who won their lawsuits won much lower amounts, illustrating how juries have wide latitude in awarding monetary damages.

Johnson & Johnson is preparing to defend itself and its baby powder at upcoming trials in the U.S., Goodrich said.


RelatedJohnson & Johnson says its drug shouldn’t be used to kill prisoners

They care more about them than the women and the children, and this is no longer working for me, sorry.

The one thing that might keep you up:

"Businesses fret over Congress’ ability to avoid debt default" by Victoria McGrane Globe Staff  August 21, 2017

WASHINGTON — Despite President Trump’s swirl of controversies, August still has a sleepy feel inside Washington’s beltway, where the business of government has slowed. Bosses, including the 535 members of Congress, are out of town. Lunches are long. To-do lists short.

But there’s a chill creeping down K Street, disturbing the summer doldrums for lobbyists.

Business leaders are warily eyeing an approaching deadline to raise the debt ceiling, a statutory limit controlled by Congress on the amount of money the United States can borrow to pay its outstanding bills.

Congress has flirted with debt defaults in recent years, but this is the first time the issue has cropped up on Trump’s watch. The fall deadline also comes after Congress’s bruising failure to replace the Affordable Care Act, erosion in the president’s relationship with Senate majority leader Mitch McConnell, and the severe fallout over Trump’s response to racial violence in Charlottesville, Va.


"The Senate’s health committee will hold two hearings early next month on how the nation’s individual health insurance marketplaces can be stabilized. GOP and Democratic leaders are exploring whether they can craft a bipartisan but limited bill aimed at curbing rising premiums for people who buy their own insurance. In many markets, consumers are seeing steeply rising premiums and fewer insurers willing to sell policies. A Sept. 6 hearing will feature state insurance commissioners. The next day’s witnesses will be governors. Both groups will be bipartisan. The push for even a modest compromise on Obamacare is expected to be difficult....." 

I'm sure the in$urance companies will get their bailout.

McConnell, speaking at an event in Kentucky Monday, insisted that the Republican-led Congress will act. ‘‘There is zero chance — no chance — we will not raise the debt ceiling,’’ McConnell said.

The Treasury Department says the limit must be raised by Sept. 29 or the federal government risks defaulting on its debts, a never-before breach the exact consequences of which are unknown but which experts agree probably would trigger economic calamity, and not just in the United States. Stocks would plunge, interest rates could soar, and a deep recession might result.

This has the feeling of the TARP bailout B$!

“The stakes are incredibly high. We’re monitoring this extremely closely and, along with others in the business community, we’ll mobilize if needed,” said Rob Nichols, CEO of the American Bankers Association, though he said his expectation is that “thoughtful and responsible decisions will be made.”

If the bankers want it, it $hall be achieved!

A second task also lies ahead: Before that Sept. 29 debt deadline, Congress also must renew funding for the government to avoid a shutdown. Lawmakers have 12 workdays scheduled in September once they get back after Labor Day, making for a potential nail-biter in the second half of the month.

“We are very concerned,” said Anthony Cimino, senior vice president and head of government affairs at the Financial Services Roundtable, which represents financial services companies. While previous rounds of debt-ceiling standoffs have been resolved and disaster avoided right at deadline, “I don’t believe we should be taking anything for granted.’’

“Failure to raise the debt ceiling would be a major unforced error which could have terrible consequences for US financial markets and the economy,” said J.D. Foster, senior vice president of the economic policy division and chief economist of the US Chamber of Commerce, the biggest business lobby in town, which has been among the most active pressing the issue with key lawmakers. “The fact is nobody can say with confidence what would happen, but the risk and danger is such that no one can responsibly suggest a justification for not raising the debt ceiling on a timely basis.”

Yup, keep digging that hole taxpayers will never be able too fill.

Once a routine vote, raising the debt ceiling has become one of Washington’s most politically fraught exercises, a perennial flash point in the ideological government spending and debt wars.

During Barack Obama’s White House tenure, conservatives started using the need to raise the spending cap as leverage to press for spending cuts to rein in the country’s ever-growing debt. In 2011, the standoff led Standard & Poor’s to downgrade the country’s credit rating from its coveted AAA status.

Didn't they screw up the MBS and CDO ratings?

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin has pushed Congress to pass a so-called “clean” debt-limit increase, free of other policy changes, and unsuccessfully tried to prod lawmakers to do it before the August recess. But the message has been mixed from elsewhere in the White House: Trump’s budget chief, Mick Mulvaney, made comments supporting a debt ceiling increase with riders designed to spur “spending reforms.” Earlier this month, he reversed course and said he, too, supports Congress passing “the simplest debt ceiling increase we can get.”

But there is reason to worry that the political standoff could be more intense than ever this year, some observers say. Members of the conservative House Freedom Caucus are making noise about demanding various policy priorities as a condition for voting on an increase. Among those demands are making as much as $250 billion in spending cuts and including a complicated set of changes that would require Treasury to prioritize spending on debt payments over everything else as the debt ceiling nears, while authorizing the president to sell assets to keep the debt under that limit.

Yes, the bankers and wealthy bond-holders must get paid first!

Yet those are unlikely to fly with Democrats, who will very likely be needed to raise the ceiling in the Senate since it will require 60 votes, unless GOP leaders decide to use a complex procedure known as reconciliation.

I can see that after the Supreme Court confirmation of Gorsuch.

On top of that, the players are different than in debt ceiling negotiations in the recent past. With a Republican in the White House, Democrats have less incentive to play nice and get this done. Some Democrats have signaled they want their own policy concessions — such as funding payments to insurance companies that provide plans on the Affordable Care Act’s exchanges to cover the costs of deductibles and co-pays for low-income policyholders.

Yeah, screw the country for politics. 

And they wonder why they don't win elections?

“You are lacking a lot of the so-called adults in the room this time,” said Chris Krueger, a Washington analyst at the Cowen Washington Research Group. And in certain cases, “the actors who are on the same team are throwing haymakers at one another in the press,” he added, nodding to the criticisms exchanged last week between McConnell and Trump.

McConnell sparked the intraparty drama when he chided Trump for having “excessive expectations” about how quickly Congress can move legislation, which he credited to Trump’s status as a political neophyte. Trump did not take the criticism well: He launched days of Twitter insults at McConnell over his failure to move Trump’s agenda, especially repealing the Affordable Care Act.

How odd! I was led to believe that it was Trump who initiated it!

Trump, in particular, injects an added element of uncertainty, lobbyists say. He could prove to be an asset in prodding reluctant conservative Republicans to vote to lift the cap. But he also could just as easily shoot off a tweet or off-the-cuff comment that undermines deal-making on the Hill, as happened during the health care debate.

Given the stakes and Democrats’ past criticism of their GOP colleagues for trying to hold the debt ceiling hostage, Isaac Boltansky, an analyst with Compass Point Research & Trading, figures the debt ceiling will get raised, cleanly, with the help of Democrats in September. But he thinks the odds are pretty good that Congress won’t reach a funding deal in time to keep the government from shutting down. 

They know who are their ma$ters.

A shutdown carries its own economic consequences: For instance, the 16-day shutdown in 2013 cost the US economy $24 billion in lost economic output, according to an S&P estimate.

But Boltansky says a shutdown this fall could have an additional “psychological impact” that could, among other things, stall that strong stock market performance Trump enjoys bragging about.

I'll check those later.

“If Congress can’t keep the lights on, how are they going to pass tax reform and infrastructure and all of the other things?” said Boltansky.

On the debt ceiling, some in the business community are more sanguine than others. One financial industry executive said he felt confident that White House economic adviser Gary Cohn, Mnuchin, House Speaker Paul Ryan, and McConnell all understand the stakes and will figure out how to raise the debt ceiling.

“Maybe it gets done later than we would like . . . [but] this gets done,” the executive said.



"McConnell, in private, doubts if Trump can save presidency" by Alexander Burns and Jonathan Martin New York Times   August 22, 2017

The relationship between President Trump and Senator Mitch McConnell, the majority leader, has disintegrated to the point that they have not spoken to each other in weeks, and McConnell has privately expressed uncertainty that Trump will be able to salvage his administration after a series of summer crises.

He shall be impeached!

What was once an uneasy governing alliance has curdled into a feud of mutual resentment and sometimes outright hostility, complicated by the position of McConnell’s wife, Elaine L. Chao, in Trump’s Cabinet, according to more than a dozen people briefed on their imperiled partnership. Angry phone calls and private badmouthing have devolved into open conflict, with the president threatening to oppose Republican senators who cross him, and McConnell mobilizing to their defense.

The rupture between Trump and McConnell comes at a highly perilous moment for Republicans, who face a number of urgent deadlines when they return to Washington next month. Congress must approve new spending measures and raise the statutory limit on government borrowing within weeks of reconvening, and Republicans are hoping to push through an elaborate rewrite of the federal tax code. There is little room for legislative error.

Then it will all be done so quickly you won't even see it!

A protracted government shutdown or a default on sovereign debt could be disastrous — for the economy and for the party that controls the White House and both chambers of Congress.

Yet Trump and McConnell are locked in a political cold war. Neither man would comment for this story. Don Stewart, a spokesman for McConnell, noted that the senator and the president had “shared goals,” and pointed to “tax reform, infrastructure, funding the government, not defaulting on the debt, passing the defense authorization bill.”

Still, the back-and-forth has been dramatic.

Ah, the DRAMA!

In a series of tweets this month, Trump criticized McConnell publicly, then berated him in a phone call that quickly devolved into a profane shouting match.

Makes it sound like Trump initiated it!

During the call, which Trump initiated Aug. 9 from his New Jersey golf club, the president accused McConnell of bungling the health care issue. He was even more animated about what he intimated was the Senate leader’s refusal to protect him from investigations of Russian interference in the 2016 election, according to Republicans briefed on the conversation.

McConnell has fumed over Trump’s regular threats against fellow Republicans and criticism of Senate rules, and questioned Trump’s understanding of the presidency in a public speech. McConnell has made sharper comments in private, describing Trump as entirely unwilling to learn the basics of governing.

In offhand remarks, McConnell has expressed a sense of bewilderment about where Trump’s presidency might be headed and has mused about whether Trump will be in a position to lead the Republican Party into next year’s elections and beyond, according to people who have spoken to him directly.

That is where my print copy ended it. They practically have Trump out the door.

While maintaining a pose of public reserve, McConnell expressed horror to advisers last week after Trump’s comments equating white supremacists in Charlottesville, Va., with protesters who rallied against them. Trump’s most explosive remarks came at a news conference in Manhattan, where he stood beside Chao. (Chao, deflecting a question about the tensions between her husband and the president she serves, told reporters, “I stand by my man — both of them.)

McConnell signaled to business leaders that he was deeply uncomfortable with Trump’s comments: Several who resigned advisory roles in the Trump administration contacted McConnell’s office after the fact, and were told that McConnell fully understood their choices, three people briefed on the conversations said.

Trump has also continued to badger and threaten McConnell’s Senate colleagues, including Senator Jeff Flake of Arizona, whose Republican primary challenger was praised by Trump on Twitter last week.

“Great to see that Dr. Kelli Ward is running against Flake Jeff Flake, who is WEAK on borders, crime and a non-factor in Senate. He’s toxic!”

Trump was set to hold a campaign rally Tuesday night in Phoenix, and Republicans feared he would use the event to savage Flake again. 

I don't know if he did or not.

If he does, senior Republican officials said the party’s senators would stand up for their colleague. A Republican “super PAC” aligned with McConnell released a web ad on Tuesday assailing Flake’s Republican rival, Kelli Ward, as a fringe-dwelling conspiracy theorist

Then they must be on to something to be insulted in such a way.

“When it comes to the Senate, there’s an Article 5 understanding: An attack against one is an attack against all,” said Senator Lindsey Graham, a Republican from South Carolina who has found himself in Trump’s sights many times, invoking the NATO alliance’s mutual defense doctrine.

The fury among Senate Republicans toward Trump has been building since last month, even before he lashed out at McConnell. Some of them blame the president for not being able to rally the party around any version of legislation to repeal the Affordable Care Act, accusing him of not knowing even the basics about the policy. Senate Republicans also say strong-arm tactics from the White House backfired, making it harder to cobble together votes and have left bad feelings in the caucus.

When Trump addressed a Boy Scouts jamboree last month in West Virginia, White House aides told Senator Shelley Moore Capito, a Republican from the state whose support was in doubt, that she could only accompany him on Air Force One if she committed to voting for the health care bill. She declined the invitation, noting that she could not commit to voting for a measure she had not seen, according to Republican briefed on the conversation. 

The Congre$$ critters vote on things they haven't seen all the time so that is nothing but a cop out, and the Boy Scouts thing was just a fluke.

Senator Lisa Murkowski of Alaska told colleagues that when Trump’s Interior secretary threatened to pull back federal funding for her state, she felt boxed in and unable to vote for the health care bill.

In a show of solidarity, albeit one planned well before Trump took aim at Flake, McConnell will host a $1,000-per-person dinner Friday in Kentucky for the Arizona senator, as well as for Senator Dean Heller of Nevada, who is also facing a Trump-inspired primary race next year, and Senator Deb Fischer of Nebraska. Flake is expected to attend the event. 

How can a guy be so unpopular and yet such a factor? 

Unless..... lied to again!?

Former Senator Judd Gregg of New Hampshire, a Republican who is close to McConnell, said frustration with Trump was boiling over in the chamber. Gregg blamed the president for undermining congressional leaders, and said the House and Senate would have to govern on their own if Trump “can’t participate constructively.” 

They should have been doing that anyway, but that looks like a COUP!

“Failure to do things like keeping the government open and passing a tax bill is the functional equivalent of playing Russian roulette with all the chambers loaded,” Gregg said. 

Why bring them into this?

Others in the party divide blame between Trump and McConnell. Al Hoffman, a former finance chairman of the Republican National Committee who has been supportive of McConnell, said McConnell was culpable because he has failed to deliver legislative victories. “Ultimately, it’s been Mitch’s responsibility, and I don’t think he’s done much,” Hoffman said.

But Hoffman predicted that McConnell would likely outlast the president.

“I think he’s going to blow up, self-implode,” Hoffman said of Trump. “I wouldn’t be surprised if McConnell pulls back his support of Trump and tries to go it alone.” 

So it won't be a heart attack but a sucide bomber that gets to him?

An all-out clash between Trump and McConnell would play out between men whose strengths and weaknesses are very different. Trump is a political amateur, still unschooled in the ways of Washington, but he maintains a viselike grip on the affections of the Republican base. McConnell is a soft-spoken career politician, with virtuoso mastery of political fundraising and tactics, but he had no mass following to speak of. 

You know, these people, and Trump learned awfully quick after Charlottesville.

McConnell, while baffled at Trump’s penchant for internecine attacks, is a ruthless pragmatist and has given no overt indication that he plans to seek more drastic conflict. Despite his private battles with Trump, McConnell has sent reassuring signals with his public conduct: On Monday, he appeared in Louisville, Kentucky, with Steven Mnuchin, the Treasury secretary, for a discussion of tax policy.

McConnell’s Senate colleagues, however, have grown bolder. The combination of the president’s frontal attacks on Senate Republicans and his claim that there were “fine people” marching with white supremacists in Charlottesville has emboldened lawmakers to criticize Trump in withering terms.

Senator Bob Corker of Tennessee rebuked Trump last week for failing to “demonstrate the stability nor some of the competence” required of presidents. On Monday, Senator Susan Collins of Maine said in a television interview that she was uncertain Trump would be the Republican presidential nominee in 2020

They are laying the ground for removal from office.

There are few recent precedents for the rift. The last time a president turned on a legislative leader of his own party was in 2002, when allies of George W. Bush helped force Trent Lott to step down as Senate minority leader after racially charged remarks at a birthday party for Senator Strom Thurmond of South Carolina.

For the moment, McConnell appears to be far more secure in his position, and perhaps immune to coercion from the White House. Republicans are unlikely to lose control of the Senate in 2018, and Trump has no allies in the Senate who have shown an appetite for combat with McConnell.

Still, some allies of Trump on the right — including Stephen K. Bannon, who stepped down last week as Trump’s chief strategist — welcome more direct conflict with McConnell and congressional Republicans.

Roger J. Stone Jr., a Republican strategist who has advised Trump for decades, said the president needed to “take a scalp” in order to force cooperation from Republican elites who have resisted his agenda. Stone urged Trump to make an example of one or more Republicans, like Flake, who have refused to give full support to his administration.

“The president should start bumping off incumbent Republican members of Congress in primaries,” Stone said. “If he did that, Mitch McConnell and Paul Ryan would wet their pants and the rest of the Republicans would get in line.” 

They spent an hour with that creep?

But McConnell’s allies warn that the president should be wary of doing anything that could jeopardize the Senate Republican majority.

“The quickest way for him to get impeached is for Trump to knock off Jeff Flake and Dean Heller and be faced with a Democrat-led Senate,” said Billy Piper, a lobbyist and former McConnell chief of staff.

Well, there are 25 Democrats up for reelection and only 8 Republicans; however, if you could spin the narrative from a Republican supermajority by flipping half the seats and retaining the others to the actual election resulting in only a gain of 3 seats or so, with Democrats holding most and maybe picking off a Republican, that might be enough to do it.


There is no ceiling for elite arrogance:

"Treasury chief’s wife apologizes for boasts about wealth"  August 22, 2017

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin’s wife, Louise Linton, apologized Tuesday for boasting about her wealth and then disparaging someone who criticized her during a nasty social media exchange, trying to quell a raft of criticism.

‘‘I apologize for my post on social media yesterday as well as my response,’’ she is quoted as saying, according to her publicist. ‘‘It was inappropriate and highly insensitive.’’

Linton, an actress and producer, married Mnuchin two months ago in a lavish ceremony attended by the president and vice president. She often travels with Mnuchin on official business, which is not customary for a Cabinet member’s spouse, but officials say they reimburse the government.

She drew attention Monday for posting a photo of herself disembarking from a government plane with Mnuchin and noting various designers’ clothes she was wearing. That drew comment from someone with the Instagram identity Jennimiller29: ‘‘Glad we could pay for your little getaway.’’

Linton responded with a fiery attack. ‘‘Did you think this was a personal trip?!’’ She added: ‘‘Adorable! Do you think the US govt paid for our honeymoon or personal travel?! Lololol. Have you given more to the economy than me and my husband? Either as an individual earner in taxes OR in self sacrifice to your country? I’m pretty sure we paid more taxes toward our day ‘trip’ than you did. Pretty sure the amount we sacrifice per year is a lot more than you’d be willing to sacrifice if the choice was yours.’’

Linton added, ‘‘You’re adorably out of touch. . . . Thanks for the passive aggressive nasty comment. Your kids look very cute. Your life looks cute.’’

Stephen Mnuchin and wife Louise Linton often travel together on official business, unlike their predecessors.
Stephen Mnuchin and wife Louise Linton often travel together on official business, unlike their predecessors (Saul Loeb/Pool Photo via Associated Press/File 2017).



Leave the kid alone!

Yeah, where is Kathy Griffin now?

Time to check those stocks:

"Stocks around the world jumped Tuesday, and the Standard & Poor’s 500 had one of its best days of the year, as markets put a shaky couple of weeks further behind them. It has taken just two days for the index to recoup half the loss it sustained in the two weeks since setting a record on Aug. 7. Those two weeks were a jolt for markets, as worries rose about political strife in Washington, but the Senate’s majority leader said on Monday there is ‘‘zero chance’’ Congress will vote against increasing the country’s borrowing limit, and many analysts are expecting markets to drift sideways in coming weeks, with few market-moving events on the calendar. One highlight could be the symposium for central bankers from around the world in Jackson Hole, Wyo., at the end of this week. The Federal Reserve is raising interest rates and is preparing to pare back the $4.5 trillion it holds on its balance sheet, and investors are wondering when the European Central Bank will follow suit. The heads of both the Fed and the ECB are expected to speak at the symposium, and if either suggests a more aggressive pace than investors are expecting, it would likely mean another tumble for markets. But investors say the Fed, in particular, has been meticulous in setting expectations so markets aren’t taken by surprise. If markets do end up calming down, it would mark a return to a smooth ride for investors. The S&P 500 is up 9.5 percent for the year, and the climb had been a remarkably placid one until two weeks ago....."


"The European Union’s antitrust watchdog said Tuesday that it has launched a probe into German chemical maker Bayer’s planned acquisition of US seed and weed-killer company Monsanto. The European Commission, which polices competition in Europe, said it has concerns that the merger may reduce competition in areas like pesticides and seeds. Monsanto last year accepted an offer from Bayer to pay $57 billion to its shareholders and assume $9 billion in debt. Were it to go ahead, the buyout would create the world’s largest integrated pesticides and seeds company. The commission says it will also look into whether the move would hinder the access of competitors to distributors and farmers."

Yeah, I kind of merged yesterday and today.

"Brazil’s antitrust watchdog said AT&T Inc.’s $85.4 billion deal for Time Warner Inc. poses a high risk to competition, a potential complication that threatens to delay the final approval process. The transaction as originally presented should be rejected unless the companies agree to some changes that may include asset sales, according to a recommendation published Tuesday by the staff of Cade, as the antitrust agency is known. It didn’t specify what properties might need to be divested. The Cade board has until its Nov. 22 session to issue a final ruling, though that deadline can be extended by 90 days under Brazilian law. The merger combines one of the world’s largest telecommunications providers with the owner of media properties like Warner Bros. and HBO. It would also create a TV powerhouse in Brazil that may run afoul of a law that prohibits pay-TV providers from owning programming content."

Don't they know that AT&T will bring new high-speed Internet service at a lower cost?

"McDonald’s India has announced it will close nearly 170 McDonald’s outlets in northern and eastern India after the American fast food giant decided to terminate a franchise agreement with its Indian partner. McDonald’s said its partner Connaught Plaza Restaurants violated the terms of the franchise agreement, including reneging on payment of royalties. Connaught Plaza Restaurants, which runs 169 McDonald’s outlets in northern and eastern India, said Tuesday it is considering legal action in the long-drawn legal battle. In June, it shut 43 McDonald’s outlets in the capital, New Delhi, after it failed to renew their licenses."

Just watch where you step over there. 

You know, a hamburger joint in India might not have been the best idea.

"The United States has been starved for inventory, in part because builders slowed production after the last decade’s property crash and many seniors are choosing to remain in their houses rather than downsize....."

Time to hit the ATM, grab a cup of coffee and head home:

Paris tourism rebounds following drop after 2015 terror attacks


Brits can have a sleepover in a department store to test out a mattress

You can fall asleep to Netflix.