Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Trick or Treat Tuesday

It's all tricks from the Boston Globe:

"3 ex-Trump aides face charges in Mueller probe" by Matt Zapotosky and Rosalind S. Helderman Washington Post  October 30, 2017

WASHINGTON — Special prosecutor Robert S. Mueller III on Monday revealed charges against three former Trump campaign officials, marking the first criminal allegations to come from inquiries into possible Russian influence in US political affairs.

The charges are striking for their breadth, touching all levels of the Trump campaign and exploring the possible personal, financial wrongdoing of those involved, as well as what appeared to be a dogged effort by one campaign official to arrange a meeting with Russian officials. The most damaging charges were leveled at alleged activities before the two joined the Trump campaign.

That's it? That's all he came up with?

The charges against former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort and his longtime business partner Rick Gates did not make direct reference the Trump campaign.

Former Trump foreign policy adviser George Papadopoulos pleaded guilty earlier this month to making a false statement to FBI investigators. Papadopoulos admitting to lying to the FBI, but in reality the meeting never happened. In the months that followed, Papadopoulos continued to correspond with the woman and the professor about a possible meeting between the Trump campaign, possibly including Trump himself, and Russian officials.


Ultimately did not take place, according to the plea.

I'm later told he was turned by the government. That's how they do things.

The Globe thinks it is hugely significant.

The indictment of Manafort and Gates focused on their work advising a Russia-friendly political party in Ukraine. The special counsel alleged that for nearly a decade Manafort and Gates laundered money through scores of US and foreign corporations, partnerships, and bank accounts and gave false statements to the Justice Department and others when asked about their work on behalf of a foreign entity.

That is going to open up a whole can of worms, the foreign influence over elections (including Congre$$ional campaign contributions)! 

Looks like the days of AIPAC anonymity are over!

All told, more than $75 million flowed through offshore accounts, the special counsel alleged. Manafort, the special counsel said, laundered more than $18 million, using his wealth acquired overseas to ‘‘enjoy a lavish lifestyle’’ in the United States, purchasing multimillion dollar properties, antiques, luxury cars, and expensive suits, and paying for home renovations.

It's $cummy, but let's face it, it is part of the political culture and perks of the elite ruling cla$$.

Manafort turned himself in at the FBI’s Washington field office on Monday morning.

Outside the courthouse, Manafort attorney Kevin Downing attacked the charges, saying ‘‘there is no evidence that Mr. Manafort or the Trump campaign colluded with the Russian government.’’ Gates did not respond to a request for comment.

According to the indictment, Manafort and Gates arranged to hire two Washington-based lobbying firms to work on behalf of their Ukrainian clients, arranging meetings with US officials and boosting their public image in the United States.

Yeah, WHO WHERE THEY, WaPo, and why is the ince$tual intermingling of lobbyists left unmentioned?

Prosecutors say, however, that Manafort and Gates arranged for a Brussels-based nonprofit to nominally hire the companies to hide the fact that their work was for Ukrainian government officials and would otherwise require registration under the Foreign Agents Registration Act.

Prosecutors allege that Manafort was communicating directly with then-Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych about the effort, promising in 2012 to provide him weekly updates about the effort.

To further obscure Ukrainian involvement in the lobbying effort, prosecutors say, payments to the Washington firms were routed through obscure offshore companies.....


Also see:

"The criminal investigation President Trump often dismisses as “fake news’’ went from disquieting tremors to a full-fledged political earthquake Monday, creating further cracks in the Trump administration’s credibility and its ability to pursue his agenda. Trump’s countless tweets about the Russia probe suddenly seem more hollow in the face of grand jury indictments....."

That's the crap media spin on all this!

"Mueller’s charges come as two of the three congressional investigations into Russian meddling have been foundering along political lines, with Republicans and Democrats pursuing separate and sometimes directly competing lines of inquiry. Earlier this month, the House Intelligence Committee and the Senate Judiciary Committee launched inquiries into a deal approved by the Obama administration that gave Russia a significant stake in the American uranium market. That revived a political cudgel Trump used against Clinton during the presidential campaign, despite scant evidence of her personal involvement....."

Also see:

Robert Mueller’s probe must continue unhindered

No Podesta there.

Can it get any worse?


More disinformation, conspiracy theories, and propaganda:

"A group of investors led by Arjuna Capital and the Illinois State Treasurer filed proposals with the three companies asking for “in-depth reports” about the controversies involving Russian interference on their platforms during the 2016 election and the dissemination of fake news. “As investors, we cannot allow Facebook, Google, and Twitter to become dumpster fires of disinformation and hate,” Arjuna managing partner Natasha Lamb said in a statement Monday. “Users will abandon the platforms as quickly as they joined them.” Officials from the three companies are expected to appear this week in front of three separate hearings on Russian interference in last year’s presidential elections, beginning with the Senate Judiciary subcommittee Tuesday....." 

I get a Globe every morning, what of it?

"President Trump is having more success getting judges confirmed than Democrat Barack Obama did at this early stage in their presidencies, and that disparity is expected to increase this week as the GOP-led Senate pushes through more of Trump’s choices....." 

Also see the Senate scum close ranks.

"The Supreme Court appears likely to rule for an inmate on Texas’ death row who was denied money to investigate his history of mental illness and other claims that could spare him from being executed. The case the justices heard Monday involves Carlos Manuel Ayestas, an immigrant from Honduras who was sentenced to death for strangling a woman in Houston. In separate action Monday, the Supreme Court turned away an appeal from a Louisiana dirt farmer who complained that a local flood control district took his soil without paying enough for it....."

Then there is the health care crisis no one is talking about (except for the Globe).

"Stocks retreated from their record highs on Monday, ahead of a frenetic week for markets. Investors are waiting to learn what several of the world’s biggest central banks will decide on interest rates and whether Apple and other big US companies can keep piling their profits higher. Reports continued to show that the economy is strengthening and negotiations continued in Washington to cut income tax rates. Investors expect President Trump to announce his choice for the next chair of the Federal Reserve by the end of the week. The central bank has played a pivotal role in the economy’s recovery from the Great Recession and the stock market’s leap to record after record. The choice could have far-ranging effects on the markets, particularly if the new chair advocates a more aggressive policy in raising interest rates than current Chair Janet Yellen has. Low interest rates have helped to push returns higher for bond funds, stocks, and all kinds of other investments around the world. But pressure may be rising for the Fed to increase rates more quickly. A report on Monday showed that US consumer spending growth accelerated last month, led by a pickup in auto sales. It’s the latest piece of evidence that the economy is picking up momentum."

RelatedHousing group withdraws support for GOP tax plan

They are consolidating their efforts!

"President Trump is expected to name Jerome H. Powell as the next chairman of the Federal Reserve, replacing Janet L. Yellen, the current chairwoman whose term expires in early 2018, according to two people familiar with the plans. An announcement could come as soon as Thursday, before the president’s 12-day trip to Asia. Powell, a lawyer by training, worked as an investment banker before joining the Treasury Department under President George H.W. Bush. He then made a fortune at the Carlyle Group, a private equity firm, before leaving to work at the Bipartisan Policy Center as an expert on fiscal policy. He was nominated to the Fed by President Barack Obama in 2012. A Washington state native, he has spent most of his life in the capital in both public and private roles. He lives in Maryland and has three children. One person familiar with the president’s thinking described Powell as the “safe” choice and the one who most closely fit Trump’s penchant for filling his government with characters from “central casting,” as he often puts it....."


Speaking of which:

"Kevin Spacey’s apology is a house of cards" by Ty Burr Globe staff  October 31, 2017

What an amazing time we’re in right now when the people accused of victimizing them take cover in their own “liberation” — and the news media fall for it.

Here’s the story: The aftershocks of the Harvey Weinstein revelations, with dozens of women now accusing the producer of behavior ranging from harassment to rape, have at least temporarily changed the cultural landscape to the point that long-silent victims are speaking out.

(Raise fist)

A widening field of alleged abusers are being identified, shamed, and seeing their careers totter. Journalist Mark Halperin, director James Toback, magazine editor Leon Wieseltier, and fashion photographer Terry Richardson are among the men who’ve recently been accused of past sexual misdeeds; whether the censure, the loss of work, and other forms of fallout stick remains to be seen.

Can the genie ever be put back in the bottle?

Actor Anthony Rapp’s account is a story of alleged molestation. What it’s not about, in any sense or fashion, is being gay. But that’s what Kevin Spacey, in his response, turned it into.

You know, when we project an actor’s roles and public persona onto his or her actuality as a person, we do so at our peril. But the disclosure, if you want to call it that, isn’t exactly breaking news: The actor’s sexuality has been a point of open speculation at least as far back as 1997, when an Esquire cover profile blared “Kevin Spacey Has a Secret” and coyly referenced his “coming out of the closet” to play a gay man in the film “Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil.”

For at least two weeks now.

While Rapp came out as gay at 20 in 1992 — when the professional dangers of such an admission were much greater than they are 25 years later — Spacey has insisted on personal privacy in interviews. And people went along with that because he’s right — a celebrity’s sex life should be as private as he or she wants it to be — and because people just like Kevin Spacey. His public persona is the fox in the pop culture henhouse, the slippery devil you hate to love and love to hate — or it was. By the end of Monday, Netflix had announced it was shutting down production of “House of Cards.”

His career collapsing just like them!

To be absolutely clear on this, what Spacey is alleged to have done to Rapp is not about being gay, and to cloak one’s response in an act of self-serving “truth-telling” only widens the scope of damage. It ensures that the clickbait-hungry news media will switch the spotlight from “Kevin Spacey accused of trying to have sex with a kid” to “Kevin Spacey comes out of the closet at last,” with the Associated Press, Reuters, the networks, and this newspaper, among others, subsequently headlining just that. (The Globe did tweet a follow-up clarification highlighting Rapp’s accusations two hours later.)

Aren't you ashamed of yourselves? 


It swings the water-cooler conversation back to Spacey rather than Rapp and to how much anyone “knew” all along. And, worst of all, the statement resurrects the hoary myths falsely equating homosexuality and pedophilia and gives ammunition to anyone who believes gay men are predators by nature. By coming out of the closet, the star actually managed to shove the cultural conversation further back in.

Memo to Kevin Spacey: It’s not about who you are, or who you “choose” to be. It’s about what you did, or chose to do, three decades ago to a 14-year-old kid who’s telling you he’s still freaked out about it in his mid-40s. Nothing else matters, and to pretend otherwise only makes you look worse. Right now, the only house of cards is the one you’re standing in....


It's an addiction, that's all.

So is this.


"French feminist groups on Monday staged a protest against a retrospective honoring director Roman Polanski at film institute La Cinematheque Francaise in Paris, booing as Polanski attended the opening. The institute maintained its program despite criticism in the wake of allegations against Hollywood mogul Harvey Weinstein. Polanski in the 1970s pleaded guilty to having sex in the U.S. with a 13-year-old girl, whom he plied with champagne and Quaaludes....."

Not only that, his movies suck, but that's how you get work in Hollywood!

"NBC News says it has terminated its contract with Mark Halperin, the political journalist who was accused of sexual harassment by several women when he worked at ABC News more than a decade ago. Since the charges came to light last week, publisher Penguin Press canceled a planned book by Halperin and John Heilemann about the 2016 election and HBO pulled the plug on a miniseries that would have been based on the book. Showtime also said Halperin would not be brought back with co-hosts Heilemann and Mark McKinnon should the political series ‘‘The Circus’’ be renewed. At NBC News, Halperin was a contributor who was most visible as a regular panelist on MSNBC’s ‘‘Morning Joe.’’ The network, which had initially suspended Halperin last week, confirmed the firing on Monday." 


"Hamilton Fish, president and publisher of The New Republic, is taking a leave of absence pending an investigation into complaints by female employees at the magazine, according to a letter sent to its staff Sunday night. In the letter, Win McCormack, the magazine’s owner, said he had asked Fish to “remain on a leave of absence,” effective immediately, pending an independent investigation into recent complaints from women concerning interactions with Fish. The complaints from female employees about Fish also come less than a week after Leon Wieseltier, a prominent longtime editor at The New Republic, issued an apology after a number of women accused him of sexual misconduct. Fish, who has also served as publisher of The Washington Spectator and The Nation, was named publisher of The New Republic in early 2016. In his letter on Sunday, McCormack said that J.J. Gould, the magazine’s editor, would take on the role of acting president and that Art Stupar, the magazine’s associate publisher, would serve as acting publisher."

One wonders when this reaches the Globe newsroom.

"Legislative leaders won’t blame Beacon Hill culture for alleged harassment" by Matt Murphy State House News Service  October 31, 2017

The leaders of the House and Senate acknowledged Monday that their offices have received complaints of sexual harassment at the State House, but neither man would go so far as to blame a unique culture on Beacon Hill for the recent stories of women being abused by men in power.

Not much was said after Saturday.

Both House Speaker Robert DeLeo and Senate President Stanley C. Rosenberg, who have decades of combined experience working at the State House, said they have dealt with sexual harassment complaints during their tenures in the top legislative posts.

Rosenberg, who became Senate president in 2015, said he has dealt with two complaints in three years. “Both of those reports were handled according to the policy and both worked out to the satisfaction of the person who had been accosted,” Rosenberg said.

DeLeo, who came to power in 2009, did not put a number on the complaints he has received, and would not say whether they were lodged against lawmakers, staff, or people from outside the building. “Any action or any complaint that has been brought to our attention, we’ve handled. We’ve handled as quickly as possible, obviously with the victim in mind and we got the result we were looking for,” he told reporters.

The House and Senate maintain their own human resources departments. DeLeo said the sexual harassment policy is spelled out in the House employee handbook, and indicated that mandatory training for House employees would be something House counsel Jim Kennedy would look into.

In addition to mandatory training, the cochairs of the Women’s Caucus Sexual Assault Working Group — Representatives Lori Ehrlich and Tricia Farley-Bouvier — called for an immediate five-step action plan that also included an anonymous survey to gauge the level of harassment within the State House.

One former State House aide who worked inside and outside the building for years in various capacities, including as executive director of the Massachusetts Caucus of Women Legislators, posted on Facebook last Friday that anyone surprised by the allegations raised in YvonneAbraham’s column are “part of the problem.”

Christina M. Knowles, who shared her Facebook post publicly on Twitter, said she had a “gold mine” of stories from her more than 10 years working on Beacon Hill as an aide and lobbyist that would “ruin many careers and lives.”


What are you waiting for?


At least they are not behaving like NYPD detectives.

Where is Maura Healey regarding all this anyway?

Husband, wife who survived Las Vegas shooting die in car crash 


Btw, did you know Pennsylvania is the nation’s second-largest commercial casino state (as opposed to Utah)?


"Saudi women to be allowed into sports stadiums next year" by Aya Batrawy Associated Press  October 30, 2017

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates — Saudi Arabia will allow women into sports stadiums as of next year, the kingdom’s latest step toward easing rules on gender segregation — but they will be seated in the so-called family section, an area separate from the male-only crowd.

Still, the decision, announced on Sunday, marks another incremental step toward greater women’s rights in the kingdom.


The decision comes after the public appeared to welcome a decision to allow women to drive for the first time next year. Many also responded enthusiastically when women were allowed into the Riyadh stadium for National Day celebrations last month.

It’s a stark reversal from years of allowing only men into the stadiums, many built with hundreds of millions of dollars when oil prices were nearly double what they are now.

The government spent lavishly on the stadiums in an effort to appease its young population and provide spaces for fans eager to cheer on local clubs, as well as hold national parades and ceremonies.

Most women in Saudi Arabia cover their hair and face with a veil and all women are required to wear an abaya, a loose black dress, in public.....

I'm done covering this.



"A deadly ambush in Niger that killed four US service members ignited a push among many lawmakers to update the legal parameters for combat. Several Republicans and Democrats were surprised by the depth of the US commitment in Niger and other parts of Africa. They have argued the dynamics of the battlefield have shifted over the past 16 years and it’s past time to replace the post-Sept. 11 authorization to fight Al Qaeda with a law that reflects current threats. Senator Chris Coons, Democrat of Delaware, said on CNN that most members of Congress weren’t even in office when the authorization for the use of military force was signed into law by President George W. Bush. Roughly 800 US service members are in Niger as part of a French-led mission to defeat the extremists in West Africa. There are hundreds more American forces in other African countries. US troops also are battling the Islamic State in Syria. Trump also has approved a troop increase in Afghanistan, the site of America’s longest war, and the United States is backing a Saudi Arabia-led coalition that’s carrying out airstrikes in Yemen. In a separate development Monday....."

Yes, the transgender troops are far more important than the corpses of America's wars based on lies.


Ship with 2 women rescued at sea reaches Japan

Inconsistencies cast doubt on tale of two women who survived five months at sea


Danish inventor admits dismembering journalist

Speaking of carving things up:

Catalan leaders may face rebellion charges after declaring independence

Iraqi leader calls for calm in Kurdish region after rioting

UN says aid convoy reaches besieged Damascus suburb in Syria

Hollering siege, they are!

"Global warming is hurting people’s health a bit more than previously thought, but there is hope if the planet kicks its coal habit, a group of doctors and other researchers said. The poor and elderly are most threatened by worsening climate change, but there remain ‘‘glimmers of progress’’ especially since the 2015 Paris agreement to limit heat-trapping carbon dioxide emissions, according to a big study published Monday in the British medical journal Lancet. In a separate development Monday...."


German crew tries to free ship grounded after storm

That is more important than the blackouts in hundreds of thousands of homes in the Czech Republic, Austria, and other countries, or the two people who died in Poland and the two others killed in the Czech Republic.

Who betrayed Anne Frank? Former FBI agent reopens a cold case

Is that even in their jurisdiction? 

Talk about a government being owned by a foreign power!

Storm blasts New England, leaving 1.5 million without power

Even washed away a home in New Hampshire.

South Korea and China make moves to improve relations


"The world’s hottest video game is set to be shut out of the biggest market. A Chinese gaming association said in an announcement posted online that PlayerUnknown’s “Battlegrounds” is too bloody and violent for sale in the country. The gladiator-style mentality of the computer game — in which competitors kill each other until only one remains — deviates from the values of socialism and is deemed harmful to young consumers, according to the China Audio-Video and Digital Publishing Association."

A small step in the cause of peace?

Maybe we can Reform the world.


I will be brief with the rest. 

Be careful crossing the railroad tracks tonights and watch out for dogs in Cambridge.

If you can, go out on a bike. Riding the bus would be even better; that way they can track you and keep you safe from the thugs in Bo$ton.

It's never a good idea to mix beer and marijuana, and please check your Halloween candy when you get home so it doesn't make you sick.

Have a Merry Christmas, readers.

Monday, October 30, 2017

No Mercy Monday

They had some Sunday

Cut you to the quick today.

"Compared to 1986, partisanship will test today’s GOP on tax cuts" by Victoria McGrane Globe Staff  October 30, 2017

WASHINGTON — It all seems so quaint, by today’s standards.

Washington’s most powerful tax policy officials — Democrats and Republicans, from both Congress and the executive branch — got together to hammer out what would become a historic tax reform law.

The year was 1986, and Ronald Reagan was in the White House, working with Congress to forge a grand compromise that had been deliberated over for two years.

Fast forward three decades, and the most significant tax rewrite since that landmark overhaul is embroiled in partisan squabbles, cloaked in secrecy, and, when it finally becomes public this week, set to be crammed into a tight two-month schedule that will allow for minimal formal debate.

The strategy of trying to limit the window for public criticism and internal GOP dissension could be a recipe for triumph for the Republican triumvirate of President Trump, House Speaker Paul Ryan, and Senate majority leader Mitch McConnell.

Or it could just as easily become a full-blown disaster.

Many observers remain skeptical that Republicans can pull it all off.

“It’s ‘Mission Impossible’ morphing into ‘[the] Gong Show,’” said David Stockman, who served as Reagan’s budget director from 1981 to 1985. “This is going to be a bloodletting before it’s over.”

For whom the gong tolls!

Republicans say they’ll deliver a tax bill to Trump’s desk by the end of the year that will cut taxes so aggressively it will fundamentally transform the American economy by spurring companies to invest more in domestic production, yet the first legislative text won’t be seen until this week, when the Republican leadership of the House Ways and Means Committee unveils a draft of what it has been writing for months with private input from corporations and special interest groups. That leaves rank-and-file lawmakers of both parties, not to mention the American public, just a few weeks to digest a sweeping tax-code rewrite that could touch every corner of the US economy.

Republican congressional leaders and the White House last month offered the broad contours of their package but not enough specifics for most Americans to determine if they’re getting a tax cut or a tax hike.

Key details of the legislation remain under negotiation. GOP leaders have provided little evidence to back up Trump’s claims that the legislation will predominantly benefit middle-class and working Americans, not the rich.

Under the aggressive GOP timeline, rank-and-file lawmakers of both parties will not see the actual legislation until Wednesday, after which the House Ways and Means Committee will quickly take up the bill, vote on possible changes, and then send it to the full House.

That text will reveal specific winners and losers on a slew of controversial questions. Accelerating the timeline and limiting debate is already giving Democrats and dissenting Republicans additional grounds for complaint.

By contrast, the 1986 overhaul effort unfolded over more than two years, was bipartisan from the start, and featured numerous detailed, publicly shared policy proposals and hearings as well as closed-door horse-trading sessions.

Democrats charge that the Republicans are keeping the details secret and the process fast to obscure their true goal: delivering a huge tax cut to their millionaire and billionaire political contributors, at the expense of the middle class.

What middle class?

Democrats will use what little time they do have as the tax plan barrels down the tracks to offer amendments on policies they say will help the middle class and grow the economy, such as a package of infrastructure spending, said Massachusetts Representative Richard Neal, the top Democrat on the Ways and Means Committee. The amendments — likely to fail — are part of an ongoing strategy by Democrats to contrast their proposals against what they characterize as Republicans’ tax cuts for corporations and the rich.

Some rank-and-file Republicans are also unhappy with the speed and secrecy of the process.

Stockman, the former Reagan budget chief, said a partisan approach makes killing off popular tax breaks politically difficult. In 1986, support from Democratic leaders for closing loopholes and ending tax breaks provided necessary political cover for Reagan. This time around, Republicans are letting Senate minority leader Chuck Schumer and other Democrats “stand on the sidelines doing target practice’’ on individual ideas that get floated out during the so-far secretive process, he said.....


"Trump tries to shift focus as charges loom in Russia case" by Julie Hirschfeld Davis New York Times  October 29, 2017

WASHINGTON — President Trump’s frustration at the investigations into his campaign’s ties with Russia boiled over Sunday, as he sought to shift the focus to accusations against his 2016 rival, Hillary Clinton, a day before the special counsel inquiry will reportedly produce its first indictment in the case. 

Honestly, I don't blame him.

In a series of midmorning Twitter posts, Trump said Republicans are now pushing back against the Russia allegations by looking into Clinton.

Which should have been done anyway due to the massive corruption surrounding them -- if we are a nation of laws as we are told.

The president, who has often expressed anger that his allies were not doing more to protect him from the Russia inquiries, made it clear he believed that Clinton should be pursued more forcefully, writing, “Do something!”

He did not specify who should take such action, though.

Trump was apparently referring in his tweets to revelations last week that Clinton’s campaign and the Democratic National Committee had paid for research that was included in a salacious dossier made public in January by BuzzFeed. The dossier contained claims about connections between Trump, his associates, and Russia. 

Interesting. More to follow on that below.

The president was also reviving unproved allegations that Clinton was part of a quid pro quo in which the Clinton Foundation received donations in exchange for her support as secretary of state for a business deal that gave Russia control over a large share of uranium production in the United States.


It was in the New York Times!

And he was returning to questions about Clinton’s use of a private e-mail server and how then-FBI Director James Comey handled an investigation into the matter, which was closed with no charges being filed.

That also went down the old memory hole, didn't it?

Trump initially cited the e-mail case as a reason for firing Comey before conceding that it was because of the Russia inquiry.

Did he concede that?

The president’s Twitter fusillade came as he and his advisers braced for the first public action by Robert S. Mueller III, the special prosecutor named after Comey’s ouster to investigate Russian meddling in the 2016 election.

As part of his inquiry, Mueller is believed to be examining whether there was collusion between Trump’s campaign and Moscow and whether the president obstructed justice when he fired Comey.

Who himself obstructed justice.

I'm told that in light of Mueller’s investigation into Russian meddling in the elections in favor of Trump —  “We ought to instead focus on the outrage that the Russians meddled in our elections.” 

The question now is, for which side did they pee!!!

UPDATE: Former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort surrenders to federal authorities'

The charges were not immediately clear, but represent a significant escalation in a special counsel investigation that has cast a shadow over the president’s first year in office.

The tweets came days after House Republicans announced that they were opening new investigations into two of Trump’s most frequently cited grievances: the Obama Justice Department’s investigation of Clinton’s e-mails and the uranium deal.

Trump is working to fuel those inquiries. The White House acknowledged Friday that the president had urged the Justice Department to lift a gag order on an informant in an investigation into Russia’s attempts to gain a foothold in the US uranium industry during the Obama administration.

Critics called the move improper presidential interference in a federal criminal inquiry, but Trump’s advisers said he was merely encouraging transparency.

In recent days, Trump has suggested that he believes the questions he has been raising about Clinton’s conduct should put to rest any allegations about his own actions and end the scrutiny of Russia’s meddling in the election.

“This was the Democrats coming up with an excuse for losing an election,” Trump told reporters last week. “They lost it by a lot. They didn’t know what to say, so they made up the whole Russia hoax.

“Now it’s turning out that the hoax has turned around, and you look at what’s happened with Russia, and you look at the uranium deal, and you look at the fake dossier,’’ Trump added. “So that’s all turned around.”

He's right. What he is doing is sending a signal to back off, same as he did when he outed Obama's spying on the campaign and unmasking of transition team members.

In a final tweet on the subject of Russian influence, Trump suggested that reemergence of the topic in the news is no accident. ‘‘All of this ‘Russia’ talk right when the Republicans are making their big push for historic tax cuts and reform. Is this coincidental? Not!’’

 Not only this, but everything in the pos pre$$ is nothing but agenda-pushing garbage.

Trump and GOP leaders have described the bill as a once-in-a-generation rewrite of the federal tax code, one they say will stimulate the economy, create millions of jobs, and give voters a reason to stick with the Republicans in next year’s midterm elections. Representative Kevin Brady, Republican of Texas and the chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee, is scheduled to reveal the House version of the bill on Wednesday.

Senator Susan Collins, a Republican of Maine who serves on the Intelligence Committee, said on CBS’s “Face the Nation” on Sunday that while she had seen “lots of evidence that the Russians were very active in trying to influence the elections,” she had yet to encounter “any definitive evidence of collusion” with Trump associates.

I'm sorry, say again?

Collins said the committee should further question John Podesta and Debbie Wasserman Schultz after disclosures last week that the Clinton campaign and DNC helped fund research that ended up in the dossier against Trump.

Collins said that ‘‘it’s difficult to imagine’’ that Podesta didn’t know about the funding. Podesta, who was chairman of Clinton’s campaign, and Wasserman Schultz, then-DNC chairwoman, have told con-gressional investigators they did not know of any payments.....

His sources were Russian, that is the rub! 



Bombshell: Hillary Clinton And The DNC Colluded With Russia In An Attempt To STEAL The Election From Donald Trump

Fresh off the heels of a shocking report, published by the Washington Post, that confirmed that the infamous “Russia dossier” was actually funded by both the Clinton campaign and Democratic National Committee, an even more startling revelation has emerged – The Clinton-DNC machine colluded with the Russians to fabricate and spread serious disinformation about Donald Trump in a failed attempt at swaying the election in the favor of Hillary Clinton.

That’s right, in a literal reverse of what the entire mainstream media has fed the American people for over a year, we now have evidence that, either wittingly or unwittingly, the Clinton campaign and the DNC paid for what amounted to disinformation that came directly from “Russian sources”.

Obviously this may seem truly unbelievable to some, but the facts speak for themselves and there is no denying that Democrats paid a shady opposition research company to try and dig up dirt on Donald Trump who then subsequently hired former British spy Christopher Steele. Steele then openly used Russian sources for most of the serious allegations in the “Russia dossier”.


Of course, "the fact that the facts have turned one hundred and eighty degrees - literally now pointing to Clinton and her cronies, and not Trump - has had no effect of the fairy tale told by the mainstream media, who are nothing but a bunch of self-absorbed slobs in an echo chamber of self-adulation.

Also see:

Roger Stone suspended from Twitter after expletive-laden tweets

Could Trump break up the United States?

I'm sure there is some genius there.

FBI’s use of foreign intelligence stirs privacy debate

They have one of their Five Eyes partners collect it to get around the law.


Look What I Found Department:

Thousands of records on JFK assassination released online

Lessons from JFK in a time of Trump

They have once again buried the story.


"A federal nuclear safety panel says Los Alamos National Laboratory has come up short during drills intended to show how the New Mexico lab would respond to potential emergencies such as radioactive leaks or earthquakes....."

At least the oil spills are invisible.

Events mark 5 years since Hurricane Sandy

Did I mention they want the aid money back?

"The Trump administration is exploring ways to relocate tens of thousands of Puerto Ricans to the US mainland for an extended period as parts of the territory remain devastated, Bloomberg News reported. Officials at the Department of Housing and Urban Development are developing a plan to provide housing to some of the displaced population, Bloomberg said, citing people familiar with the matter. Given the shortage of available housing on the island, the possibility of evacuating large numbers to the mainland has emerged as an option. Two people who spoke to HUD officials said that using large cruise liners had been suggested to move residents en masse....."

I hope you have your backpack prepared.

Power outages pile up as storm moves through Mass.

Sorry I made you kids late for school.


DEA to send team to New Bedford to help battle drug trafficking 

The Taliban are to blame (ha-ha-ha-ha), even though it is not funny.

I think the answer is to recriminalize, as challenging as that may be.

"As the streets swelled with protesters waving Spanish flags, there were chants urging authorities to arrest Catalan regional president Carles Puigdemont and his top lieutenants. ‘‘To jail!’’ they shouted. Frustrated by a defiant but divided Catalan Parliament, the central government on Saturday began to assert control over Catalonia, firing the region’s president, ministers, diplomats, and police chiefs and transferring all authority to Madrid. Since then, the secessionist leaders have been mostly absent from the public stage — not exactly in hiding, but close. Puigdemont on Saturday issued a brief prerecorded call for citizens to mount ‘‘a democratic opposition’’ to the takeover. No one was exactly sure what he meant. On Sunday the Belgian migration minister offered him political asylum — if Puigdemont needs it. Two top leaders of the Catalan secessionist movement are already in jail, without bail, as prosecutors mull sedition charges. Also Sunday....."

Looks like the 2016 Republican Convention, doesn't it?

Here is what they are waving at you in Syria, and it is starting to bug me.

Somali police, intelligence chiefs fired after deadly attack 

They have been put on ice, so to speak --same as Odinga and Barzani.

You know who is at the bottom of it all, right?

Mercifully, this blog is at an end.

Monday's Misogyny

Related: The New Face of Feminism 

Not for long:

"She wears extremely short skirts, sports blue pigtails to her knees, and has opened shows for Lady Gaga. Yet Hatsune Miku, who boasts 2.5 million Facebook followers, doesn’t actually exist — at least not as a flesh-and-blood diva. Miku is a computer-simulated pop star in Japan. She started life as a piece of voice-synthesis software but since has evolved to become a singing sensation....."

Sick, in more ways than one.

Poll: Most have little fear of robots taking jobs

In what is a mass psychosis of "it won't happen to me" syndrome here in AmeriKa. 

Never underestimate the ability of a people to delude themselves.

Trump set to announce Fed choice this week

He could strike a blow for women by retaining Yellen, right?

The biggest stock collapse in world history has no end in sight

Don't worry, it's in China (coming to the U.S. soon?)

Here’s the short list of candidates to take top post at Samsung

Forget the political scandal that led to the impeachment of a president and the CIA trapdoors in their products.

What else is there to talk about?

Men like to you-know like rabbits.

If they could only edit out the bad from the good....

"Santander announcing $11 billion program" by Jon Chesto Globe Staff  October 29, 2017

When Santander Bank executives on Monday unveil an $11 billion, five-year pledge for community investments across the company’s eight-state footprint, they might as well be kicking off a comeback tour for the bank.

Santander Bank, one of the US arms of Spanish financial giant Banco Santander, has had a tough run in recent years.


But the bank has turned the corner.


Its new “Inclusive Communities” plan will represent about a 50 percent increase in annual community reinvestment spending from 2015 levels....

Yes, it's our savior bankers to the rescue! 


It's also the one industry that has yet to be blighted by the recent sex scandals (with all due respect to the folks at Fidelity). 

That means there must be no sexual harassment on Wall Street, right?!


Suffolk DA clears officers in February 2016 police shooting

They waited until things had cooled down.

‘These cases never go to trial’: Activists mark year since fatal police shooting

That was last Halloween and I'm sorry I no longer have the time to get into itHaven't decided if I'm going to go as the Pied Piper or a clown.

"Police say a drunk driver hit two women in Connecticut, trapping one under the vehicle and killing her. Officers responded to a reported accident involving two female pedestrians on Saturday night in Plainville. A 59-year-old woman was found to be trapped under the driver’s front side wheel. Police and civilians lifted the vehicle off the woman. She was taken to Hartford Hospital, where she died on Sunday morning. Authorities haven’t identified her. The other pedestrian was also hit by the vehicle but wasn’t badly hurt. Police say the driver, Justine Cusick, of Plainville, was arrested on charges that include vehicular manslaughter and driving under the influence (AP)."

They not only closed the club but found drugs and a woman assaulted.

DeVos may only partly forgive some student loans



"2 French women accuse prominent Islamic scholar of sexual assault" by Carlotta Gal New York Times  October 29, 2017

NEW YORK — Amid a recent outpouring by French women reporting episodes of sexual harassment and naming their aggressors, two women have accused a renowned Islamic scholar of violent sexual attacks.

French activist and author Henda Ayari filed a police complaint 10 days ago accusing the well-known, Swiss-born Islamic scholar Tariq Ramadan of sexually assaulting her in 2012.

Then on Thursday, a second woman filed a complaint in Paris against Ramadan, accusing him of rape and assault in a hotel room in Lyon, France, in 2009.

Ramadan’s lawyer has issued a categorical denial about the first accusation and said that Ramadan would sue his accuser for defamation.

The explosive accounts came in the aftermath of accusations that powerful Hollywood film producer Harvey Weinstein had engaged in decades of sexual harassment and assaults against women like actress Rose McGowan.

A New York Times investigation revealed that Weinstein had paid off at least eight women over the years.

In the aftermath, many women, and some men, around the world added their voices to a wave of complaints on social media, including under the hashtag #BalanceTonPorc, or ExposeYourPig, in France.

On Sunday, women protested sexual abuse and harassment in 11 French cities under the #MeToo banner in the wake of allegations against Weinstein.

Carol Galand, an independent journalist who organized the protests, told the Associated Press that it’s important this movement went beyond social media. ‘‘Some women don’t have the strength to handle alone those aggressions that they faced. So they really need to be together, because together we are stronger,’’ she said..... 

La viva la Libertines, etc, etc.


Nothing about Macron's predatory wife, 'eh?

A British minister admits he made his secretary buy sex toys as #MeToo hits UK Parliament

Anybody know where we can get a few good men?

Health care open enrollment may be chaotic for some

She wouldn't be Indonesian, would she?

I couldn't take the heat so I'm out of the kitchen.

"No time for Halloween prep? Now that’s truly scary" by Beth Teitell Globe Staff  October 30, 2017

Halloween — long beloved as America’s lone stress-free holiday — has turned on us. Marketing vampires and Instagram showoffs have raised the bar so high that people feel compelled to pay professionals to handle what was once simply a day to give kids candy.

Halloween whisperers are earning as much as $125 an hour to shop for severed heads, advise clients on his-and-hers costumes, and spray bushes with spider webs.

In Chestnut Hill, personal concierge Lisa Schreider spent hours scooping out 10 large pumpkins for a driveway display, a job that left her with a modern workplace injury: pumpkin elbow.....

I have the blogger's version.


Sunday, October 29, 2017

Sunday Globe Special: The New Face of Feminism

There she is.....

Actress Rose McGowan raised her fist Friday at the Women’s Convention in Detroit.
Actress Rose McGowan raised her fist Friday at the Women’s Convention in Detroit (RENA LAVERTY/AFP/Getty Images).

How about that face, huh?

"Rose McGowan turned down Weinstein’s hush money, and found a fiery voice" by Susan Dominus New York Times   October 28, 2017

NEW YORK — In late September, just as many women were reportedly just days away from going on the record with reports of Harvey Weinstein’s sexual misconduct, one of his alleged assault victims, Rose McGowan, considered a $1 million nondisclosure offer involving the Hollywood producer, her lawyer said.

McGowan, who was working on a memoir called “Brave,” had already spoken privately about the assault episode over many years and hinted at it publicly.

Her lawyer, Paul Coggins, said McGowan received the offer of hush money from someone close to Weinstein if she agreed to sign a nondisclosure statement.

McGowan briefly contemplated the $1 million deal. She had settled in 1997 for $100,000 after a hotel room encounter with Weinstein, but that agreement, she learned this summer, had never included a confidentiality clause. 

She took $100k and didn't say anything for 20 years, huh? 

How many other women were abused by this scum in the interim?

McGowan, who was most widely known for her role as a witch on the WB show “Charmed,” had recently developed a massive following as a fiery feminist on Twitter, but she was now, at 44, a multimedia artist, no longer acting, her funds depleted by health care costs for her father, who died eight years ago.

I feel bad for her, but this is starting to look like she has been groomed for this.

She responded by asking for $6 million, part counteroffer, part slow torture of her former tormentor, she said.

(Blog editor simply shakes head; she tried to extort him and they call it torture)

“I figured I could probably have gotten him up to three,” she said. “But I was like — ew, gross, you’re disgusting, I don’t want your money, that would make me feel disgusting.”

Yeah, well, I'm sorry but her credibility is a bit dinged up at this point.

She said she told her lawyer to pull the offer within a day of allegations about Weinstein first appearing in The New York Times. After that, the dam burst, with The New Yorker and other news outlets reporting on dozens of other women’s experiences with Weinstein.

That's the new narrative, the intrepid and brave pre$$ -- after they killed the story for decades and laughed about it.

Yup, the NYT finally picked up your cause, ladies. Congratulations.

Weinstein, his accusers say, built his long history of abusing women on a risky gamble that worked for him over and over — the assumption that money or threats could buy women’s silence on a subject so intimate and painful that most would prefer not to go public anyway.

While McGowan was the rare voice suggesting that the cover-up was not fail-safe, even she considered not naming him, having already, she believes, paid a career price for that long-ago encounter and its aftermath.

The New Yorker last week reported that Annabella Sciorra is also alleging she was raped by Weinstein after he barged his way into her apartment in the 1990s, and it said Daryl Hannah said Weinstein once tried to force his way into her hotel room.

Sciorra and Hannah are the latest in dozens of women who have spoken out against Weinstein. Allegations range from unwanted advances to rape. He has been ousted from his own company and expelled from the motion picture academy. A Weinstein spokeswoman did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

By 2015, McGowan, who felt alienated by the industry, started using her sizable platform on Twitter to maximize her status as both insider and outsider — someone with enough Hollywood experience to speak with authority about sexism within in it, and someone liberated enough from its compromises to unleash the fury in her that had been building for years.

On Friday, at the inaugural Women’s Convention in Detroit, she was a featured speaker —  a new, combative face of feminism yet anything but slick.

She is a programmed part of all this, a staged presentation to push this agenda wherever it is going, "a new, combative face of feminism!"

Btw, I OPPOSE ALL -ISMS! They lead to bad places (notice there is militarism but no antiwarism or peaceism?)

“I have been silenced for 20 years,” she told the gathering. “I have been slut-shamed. I have been harassed. I have been maligned. And you know what? I’m just like you.”

Without the $100k payoff 20 years ago.

In a separate development, more women have reportedly made sexual harassment or assault accusations against movie director James Toback. Among those who went public last week were Julianne Moore, Selma Blair, and Rachel McAdams.

On Sunday, The Los Angeles Times reported that 38 women had accused Toback, a director and screenwriter who worked on movies including “Bugsy” and “Two Girls and a Guy,” of harassment.

The women’s stories were similar. They included allegations that Toback tried to impress them by talking about his work and, in many cases, invited them to hotel rooms where he told them to take off their clothes. 

The main point being Hollywood is a filthy cess pool of perversion.

Is it possible that Harvey is meant to take your attention away from something else that is rotten in Hollywood?

What about the price they pay?

Also, in a lengthy note issued Friday night, the prominent political journalist Mark Halperin apologized for ‘‘aggressive and crude’’ behavior, as women continue to come forward with allegations of harassment against him.

We call that the afterthought paragraph.

Yeah, minimize the newsroom.


Looks to me like the pre$$ is pushing civil war.

"Women’s Convention aims to sustain momentum with focus on elections" New York Times   October 28, 2017

DETROIT — Nine months after the Women’s March on Washington, 4,000 people, mostly women, gathered in Detroit this weekend for the Women’s Convention, which organizers said was an extension — and also a test — of that anti-Trump movement.

Nearly everyone here had a story about where they were in January, the day after President Trump was inaugurated.

OMFG, c'mon!

Some packed into the streets of Washington, in a defiant demonstration against the new leadership and what it would mean for women. Others recalled marching beside grandmothers and daughters in Los Angeles, New York, Tulsa, Wichita, and elsewhere.

Are there witches in Wichita?

In the convention halls, which at times had the mood of a raucous campaign rally, women were tackling a large list of issues, including Republican efforts to repeal the Affordable Care Act, threats to the environment, mass incarceration, reproductive rights, workplace rules, the accessibility of child care, treatment of immigrants, protections for transgender people, and more.

Those women are all for the wars based on lies, huh?


"As the 9/11 war enters its 17th year, questions about the scope and limits of presidential war-making powers are taking on new urgency....."

The NYT article actually goes so far as to say that April 6 airstrikes against Syria that Trump ordered was a violation of the Constitution and international law (where you been the last 15 years, NYT?), and it won't be stopping him in Somalia or Korea (only China can do that).

Thankfully, Kenya and Rwanda have been cleaned up and the Saudis are helping us in Yemen.

But with sexual harassment and assault, from Hollywood to state legislatures, a focus of national discussion, those issues emerged again and again in meeting rooms.

Thank God I live in Massachuse.... ugh!

Women shared personal stories and urged one another to speak out, and they booed mentions of Betsy DeVos, the education secretary, who rescinded Obama-era guidelines on campus sexual assault.


Yes, the solution is vote more women into office -- they just have to be the RIGHT KIND OF WOMEN!

Describing the issue as “the gorilla in the room,” Representative Brenda Lawrence, Democrat of Michigan, told a cheering, standing crowd Friday night: “What you’re watching is an awakening of women — an awakening that says we will not tolerate sexual harassment.”

That would be Israel.

Yet for all the disparate topics at this meeting, one thread ran through them all: opposition to the Trump administration and a pointed focus on elections next year. In small rooms, speakers led detailed training sessions for candidates at all levels: how to get the vote out, how to give a campaign speech, how to register voters, how to run for office.....

That's what they did to Occupy, funnel them into meaningless and controlled politics. Makes you question the legitimacy of that movement now.

The convention, held in the vast downtown Cobo Center drew a wide range of women: old and young, and of different races, ethnicities, religious backgrounds, and hometowns. Some men also attended, though Senator Bernie Sanders, who had been expected to speak, did not..... 

They castrated him?

US actress Rose McGowan raises her fist during her opening remarks to the audience at the Women's March / Women's Convention in Detroit, Michigan, on October 27, 2017. A stream of actress including Rose McGowan, models and ex-employees have come out, many anonymously, to accuse Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein of sexual harassment and abuse dating as far back as the 1990s. / AFP PHOTO / RENA LAVERTYRENA LAVERTY/AFP/Getty Images
Rose McGowan during her opening remarks at the Women's Convention in Detroit on Friday (RENA LAVERTY/AFP/Getty Images). 

Just in case you didn't see it the first time.


Looks like men are nothing but rabid dogs.

Is it about race or sex?

"Nationalists cancel second of two rallies after being taunted" by Wesley Lowery Washington Post  October 28, 2017

SHELBYVILLE, Tenn. — Police were out in force and businesses in downtown Shelbyville were closed Saturday as more than 100 white supremacist protesters rallied here, and 200 members of a counterprotest group gathered to denounce them.

The “White Lives Matter” rally in Shelbyville, and a smaller one scheduled for nearby Murfreesboro, had raised concerns about potential violence, such as the clashes that killed a woman at a similar event this summer in Charlottesville, Va., or the one that led to gunfire last week in Gainesville, Fla.

But authorities were generally able to keep the opposing groups apart Saturday, and no serious attacks were reported. People entering the rally area were checked for weapons.

Crowds of protesters began gathering at 8 a.m. on a cold, cloudy morning. They had come to see “Nazis.” But, but two hours later, there were still no Nazis.

Around 10:30 a.m., one of the organizers of the counterprotest grabbed a microphone and began taunting the handful of rallygoers who had just shown up across the street.

‘‘Some master race,’’ he snickered. ‘‘Can’t even show up on time.’’

Police barricades kept the white supremacists and protesters on opposite sides of the street. Police formed a line between the groups, as other officers with large weapons perched on nearby rooftops.

Local residents and leaders spent most of the week anxiously wondering how many would travel the rural highway that snakes south from Nashville into Shelbyville for the rally planned by several national white supremacist groups.

Once the white supremacists showed up — the rally started about an hour late — there was yelling, but no violence.

Organizers included the Nationalist Socialist Movement, a neo-Nazi group; the Traditionalist Worker Party, which wants a separate white ethno-state; Anti-Communist Action, a right-wing group that believes America is being threatened by ‘‘communists,’’ and Vanguard America, a white supremacist group that believes America is inherently a white nation that must be preserved. This rally, they said, was about immigration and refugee policies.

The plan was for speakers to address the assembled white supremacists, some of whom carried shields and Confederate flags, before the group would depart to nearby Murfreesboro for another rally.

The League of the South, a Southern secessionist group that was among the organizers of the Shelbyville rally, decided to cancel its Murfreesboro event in the afternoon. 

Maybe you could go to the cemetery instead and pay homage.

At times, the rally speakers spouted diatribes about a ‘‘genocide’’ they claim is being perpetrated against ‘‘the white race’’ and ‘‘white southern culture.’’ At other times, the speeches seemed to be a grab-bag of talking points.

One speaker complained that black Americans often say the N-word, but when he does, people are offended. The speaker after him railed against Black History Month.

‘‘What about me,’’ screamed another speaker, his voice cracking as it wailed into a microphone. ‘‘White lives matter!’’

The Nazi snowflake had a melt down?

Local residents spent two weeks preparing their opposition to the rally, holding vigils and prayer services, and practicing their chants.

‘‘We don’t want these people here, trying to recruit our neighbors to this disgusting cause,’’ said David Clark, who helped organize Shelbyville Loves, the primary counterprotest group.

Throughout the morning, the counterprotest oscillated between mocking the rally and drowning it out with music. At various points, they played the ‘‘Ghostbusters’’ song, Michael Jackson’s ‘‘Black or White’’ and the theme song to ‘‘Jeopardy.’’

When the rally’s speakers tried to address the crowd they were drowned out by ‘‘black lives matter’’ chants.

‘‘It was an effective show of force,"said Kubby Barry, 39, who traveled from nearby DeKalb County with her roommate and sheepdog, Molly, who was wearing a sign that declared ‘‘farm dogs against fascism.’’


She is a sheeple of antifa, and I'm sick of the self-righteous slop from controlled opposition of all sides!


Also seeOrganizers of free speech rally denied permit

Local Democrats applaud the move as the Globe paints a picture for you.

This is “a waste of time, honestly.”

Enjoy the game, folks.

Sunday Globe Special: Have Mercer

"The Mercers bring their politics, and millions, to Massachusetts" by Annie Linskey Globe Staff  October 28, 2017

WASHINGTON — The radio attack spots, played during Red Sox games, attempt to sow some doubt. Does Senator Elizabeth Warren discriminate against women? Does Warren really care about student debt and bankruptcy?

They attempt to paint Massachusetts’ populist senator as phony and an elitist, a go-to playbook for her political opponents. But this time the attacks are coming from someone new: Robert Mercer, a New York billionaire who is trying to remake American politics and who bankrolled former Trump chief strategist Stephen Bannon’s Republican revolution.

Mercer’s methods are anything but subtle. One political operative described Mercer’s approach to politics as a “trail of tears” tactic, a reference to President Andrew Jackson’s forced removal of Native Americans from their homelands.

Was an epiphany of sorts for me.

“He wants to see more people who are noncareer politicians,” said Shiva Ayyadurai, a Republican outsider who is angling for support from Mercer and is one of four Republicans mounting bids to take on Warren. “We’re fundamentally tired of people who are elites. . . . .”

Given political realities — including Warren’s massive fund-raising advantage and Massachusetts’ liberal status — Mercer’s intent isn’t really to defeat her in the 2018 Senate race, according to three people with knowledge of the family’s intentions. Instead, Robert Mercer and his politically minded middle daughter Rebekah have a longer-term goal: They want to sand down some of Warren’s gloss ahead of an expected presidential campaign in 2020.

They want to keep her in-state.

Their investment so far in the Bay State — a $150,000 donation to an obscure local super PAC — is hardly enough to redefine a popular senator in her own state, much less the country. But two people familiar with the Mercer family say that they intend to branch out beyond radio and pump far more cash into the effort as the campaign progresses.

The money is coming to the state via a super PAC called Massachusetts First, which was created in March. The group’s treasurer, Charles Gantt of Red Curve Solutions, a GOP firm in Beverly, declined to comment.

Massachusetts First has only three other donors, according to federal records made public in October. They are Robert L. Reynolds, the CEO of Boston’s Putnam Investments, who gave $25,000, along with two limited liability corporations that gave $30,000.

The specter of big sums of money flowing into deep blue Massachusetts from the Mercers is being viewed warily even by the Massachusetts Republican Party, despite the fact that other generous national donors are likely to be uninterested in a race that many view as not competitive.

Terry MacCormack, a spokesman for the state’s Republican Party, would not answer a question about whether the party embraces their effort, and instead sent a nonresponsive statement outlining the role that the party would play in the Senate race.

When asked to clarify, MacCormack, declined to elaborate. The Mercer-style politics certainly clash with Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker’s nice-guy brand.

“The Mercers have been flying under the radar,” said Ray La Raja, a political science professor who closely follows money in politics at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. But for La Raja, the troubling aspect of the family is that he considers them political amateurs bent on ripping up a political system.

Robert Mercer is “one of these believers in creative destruction,” La Raja said. “That’s not good in politics. We call those civil wars. Revolutions. . . . There is a give and take that the Mercers aren’t used to. It’s throwing the bomb and saying this is the way we want it to be.”

Same as the folks from Antifa, the people from Bain Capital, and the neocons that brought us the wars -- as they push the civil war component here at home. Wow.

Kristen Orthman, a spokeswoman for the Warren campaign, said the family was trying to “buy” the election. “Billionaires like the Mercers want a return on their investment from the politicians they help elect.”

And that is different from the standard operating procedure in politics how (never mind that ma$$ money has failed the last few cycles)?

The family has emerged as the Trump era’s most prescient and sought-after donors for the anti-establishment and ascendant wing of the Republican Party. They’re the financiers to the wing of the party that’s trying to smash the establishment, and they’re also among the most generous: In 2016 they gave more than $20 million in disclosed donations to various politicians.

They’ve also changed the national landscape and created a new, harsher political discourse via money and influence that’s harder to trace.

More than the Kochs?

That’s largely thanks to their investments in the right-wing Breitbart News and their sponsorship of the organization’s executive chairman, Stephen Bannon.

The family also funded some of the most effective opposition research against Hillary Clinton in 2015 via the Peter Schweizer book “Clinton Cash,” laying the groundwork for Donald Trump’s rise.

And they partially own Cambridge Analytica, the data company that Trump’s campaign used to target political ads — and was in the news last week because a top executive from that firm reportedly reached out to WikiLeaks’ Julian Assange seeking e-mails from Clinton’s private server while she was secretary of state.

The Mercers are relatively new to the world of bankrolling political candidates. Robert Mercer, 71, spent years working a mid-level job at IBM, and only became fabulously wealthy later in life when he joined Renaissance Technology, which runs several high-return hedge funds that rely on algorithms and mathematical models to spot inefficiencies and patterns in the market.

Mercer is one of four co-CEOs of the firm (a group that includes James Simons, who is a major Democratic donor). Mercer almost never speaks publicly, though he’s famous for his annual Christmas costume party. Last year the theme was “Heroes and Villains.’’ Donald Trump, then the president-elect, came dressed as himself. Trump aide Kellyanne Conway, a Mercer ally, dressed as Superwoman.

Interesting. Why isn't Conway cited for being the first female to lead a campaign for president to victory? How come Simons isn't scrutinized like the Mercers? 

The family has funded right-wing think tanks like the Heritage Foundation for more than a decade via their private foundation. But they began attracting attention from a wider audience in 2014 when Robert Mercer gave $2.5 million to a super PAC operated by the Koch brothers’ political network. It was more than either Charles or David Koch donated.

That really makes you think, doesn't it?

The Mercers’ favored candidate going into the 2016 Republican presidential primary was Ted Cruz, the Texas senator. But they quickly moved to Trump when he became the nominee — and they pushed for two key appointments to his campaign.

Conway, who had done polling for the Cruz super PACs the Mercers financed, became Trump’s campaign manager for the final three months. She is now counselor to the president in the White House.

Bannon also joined Trump’s campaign in the last stretch, leaving Breitbart News to become the campaign’s chief executive officer, then plotted the nationalistic takeover of the White House.

These days they have turned most of their political focus to bankrolling a roiling civil war in the Republican Party — which annoys some Republican donors and operatives who would prefer that they keep their focus on Democrats.

“I wish we would look at guys and girls with the blue shirts on instead of our own guys and girls on our team with red shirts. I wish they would start targeting guys and gals on the other side. But it is what it is,” said Mark Braden, a former campaign manager for Senator Bob Corker of Tennessee, the chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and one of the growing list of members of Congress who are not seeking another term in part because of the political environment funded by the Mercers.

Last week the family and aligned groups claimed to collect another GOP scalp when Republican Senator Jeff Flake of Arizona decided not to seek a second term in office.

I have to question her choice of words there, and does the red man ever have a real beef. 

The Mercers have been funding Flake’s primary opponent, Kelli Ward, shoveling $300,000 into a super PAC supporting Ward in July. They backed her last election cycle too, providing $700,000 to her effort to unseat Senator John McCain.

Ward has suggested in the past that McCain’s campaign was trying to blow up her car, and she mimics Trump’s populist message.

“I’ve fought against GOP Establishment hacks who incorrectly believe the solution to problems created by big government is more government,” Ward writes on her website.

That seat looks like it is going Democrat.

The Mercer family also had strong ties to a group backing Alabama Senate candidate Roy Moore, who successfully unseated Republican Luther Strange in a primary. Moore is known for taking extreme views, including that NFL players protesting by taking a knee during the national anthem are breaking the law. 

That reminds me, I have to punt if I'm going to watch the Pat's game.

So far in Massachusetts, the Mercers have not financially backed any Republicans readying a challenge to Warren, according to federal disclosures. But the billionaire family has shown some interest in the GOP field lining up to challenge Warren.....


They are gunning for you, Liz:

As NRA slows momentum on bump stock ban, the once-obscure device flies off the shelves


"The owner of the Las Vegas hotel where a sniper killed 58 people is giving a free hotel room at one of its properties to a hotel guard who is expected to be a key witness in lawsuits against it. MGM Resorts International said it is concerned about the safety of Jesus Campos, 25, an employee on paid leave while he recovers from a leg wound received during the Oct. 1 massacre....."

"Shootings across Boston Friday night and early Saturday morning left seven people at local hospitals for treatment of non-life-threatening injuries, according to Boston police. On Friday at 6:50 p.m., a 20-year-old woman was shot near 38 Annunciation Road in Roxbury, said Officer Rachel McGuire, a department spokeswoman. About 2 miles away and 10 minutes later, a 24-year-old woman was shot near 6 Cawfield St. in Dorchester, McGuire said. At 9:45 p.m. near Westview and Ames streets in Dorchester, a woman was shot in what may have been a domestic assault, McGuire said. A 19-year-old man was shot near 500 Columbia Road in Dorchester at 10:40 p.m. and went to the hospital on his own, she said. On Saturday at about 1 a.m., three men in their 20s suffered gunshot wounds less than a block from Boston International High School in Dorchester, McGuire said."

They care more about the kid.

No JFK anything today, and that's amazing. I would have thought the special Sunday sections would have been full of discussion.

Instead the Globe keeps bouncing along.


"Trump confident ex-aides don’t have evidence against him, lawyer says" by Matt Apuzzo New York Times  October 28, 2017

WASHINGTON — Paul Manafort, the former campaign chairman, has been warned to expect an indictment, raising the prospect that the Justice Department special counsel, Robert S. Mueller III, will offer him leniency in exchange for incriminating information about Trump.

They used to call it a witch hunt.

Ty Cobb, the White House lawyer, predicted the end of the investigation was nearing.

The developments on Mueller’s investigation come as billionaire Paul Singer, president of Elliott Management Corp., has been injected into the mystery over who paid for the much-discussed Russian dossier on Trump while he was campaigning for office.

The Washington Free Beacon, a conservative website, said Friday that it hired Fusion GPS, the research firm that later produced reports on potential ties between Trump and Russia. The firm was recruited as part of an effort to seek dirt on what was initially a sprawling field of 2016 Republican presidential hopefuls.

The Free Beacon, which is backed by Singer, hired Fusion in October 2015 to research Trump and other Republican candidates, The New York Times reported late Friday. But the site’s editor, Matthew Continetti, wrote in a blog post that it had no connection to the salacious dossier on Trump prepared by a former British spy.

Meanwhile, two of the congressional investigations into Russian election interference are becoming mired in partisan sniping as Republicans focus on the origin of the dossier, a thread the White House and its allies have used to try to shift the focus away from Trump.

House Intelligence Chairman Devin Nunes and Senate Judiciary Chairman Chuck Grassley are demanding answers about who paid for the dossier.....



"The administration scrambled Friday to distance itself from the decision to award a $300 million contract to help restore Puerto Rico’s power grid to a tiny Montana company from Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke’s hometown. The White House said federal officials played no role in the selection. The administration disavowed the contract amid a growing number of investigations and a bipartisan chorus of criticism from Capitol Hill. In a separate development....."

Trump has a little dick?

Oh, yeah, they want the aid money from Sandy back. 

Just a heads up for you folks in Puerto Rico, Texas, and Florida.

Storm to slam southern New England before clearing off for Halloween

At least Bo$ton doesn't have to worry.