Friday, August 31, 2018

Breaking the Chain

And I thought we were friends!

"Calif. man charged with making threatening calls to Globe" by Milton Valencia and John R. Ellement Globe Staff  August 30, 2018

A California man was charged Thursday with threatening to shoot and kill Boston Globe journalists, calling them “the enemy of the people,” in response to the newspaper’s nationwide editorial campaign denouncing President Trump’s political attacks against the press.

Robert Darrell Chain, 68, was arrested at dawn in his home in Encino, Calif., by an FBI SWAT team armed with military-style weapons and what neighbors believe were flash-bang grenades. Authorities said they found 20 firearms in the home, including a semiautomatic rifle purchased in May.

Chain made a brief appearance Thursday afternoon in a federal court in Los Angeles. He was released on $50,000 bond, and is slated to appear in a federal court in Boston on Sept. 24 to face a single charge of making a threatening communication in interstate commerce. He faces up to five years in prison and a $250,000 fine. It was not immediately clear if he would face additional charges related to the weapons.


Speaking to reporters outside federal court Thursday, Chain said “there’s no free press in America.”

“Yeah, I’m making a statement,” he said to reporters who had gathered as he left the courthouse. “The United States got saved by having Donald J. Trump elected as president. Now take a hike, you bozos.”

Federal prosecutors said that Chain made 14 calls to the Globe’s main newsroom number between Aug. 10 and 22 after the newspaper’s editorial page called on media outlets to unite in opposition to Trump’s angry rhetoric against the press, including repeated references to reporters as “the enemy of the people.”

Yeah, the Globe fired the first shot.

Authorities said the calls were “profane, lewd, and peppered with antigay slurs.”

“Anyone — regardless of political affiliation — who puts others in fear for their lives will be prosecuted by this office,” said Andrew Lelling, the US attorney in Massachusetts. “In a time of increasing political polarization, and amid the increasing incidence of mass shootings, members of the public must police their own political rhetoric. Or we will.”

As Ari Fleischer once said, YOU NEED TO WATCH WHAT YOU SAY!

So what are we going to do about lying, war-promoting rags that put fear into other peoples lives, huh?

Lelling, a Trump administration appointee, said law enforcement officials take threats of violence seriously. In the past few months, local prosecutors have charged people with threatening to bomb a black commencement event at Harvard University, threatening to shoot people at a Second Amendment rally, and offering to pay $500 to anyone who killed an Immigration and Customs Enforcement agent.

They have instigators, 'er, informants working the inside of the cases?

“Everyone has a right to express their opinion, but threatening to kill people takes it over the line and will not be tolerated,” said Harold H. Shaw, special agent in charge of the FBI Boston office.

Unless you head a government that wants to invade someone on false pretenses.

The threats came less than two months after a Maryland man shot and killed five employees at the Capital Gazette newspaper in Annapolis, although there was no suggestion that the suspect in that case was motivated by Trump’s rhetoric.

Notice how Jacksonville has faded into oblivion (as predicted here)?

In a court affidavit filed in support of the charge against Chain, FBI agent Thomas M. Dalton wrote that “Boston Globe employees reported feeling threatened and scared” after the threats were called in. The newspaper reported the threats to law enforcement and brought in a private firm to bolster security. After one of the threats, made the day the newspaper ran its coordinated response to Trump’s attacks, Boston police officers patrolled the lobby of the Globe’s downtown office building.

If nothing else, it made them sh*t their pants.

In a memo to staff Thursday, Globe spokeswoman Jane Bowman thanked authorities. “We are grateful to the FBI, the US Attorney’s Office, the Boston Police, and local authorities in California for the work they did in protecting the Globe while threats were coming in, for investigating the source, and for making this arrest. We couldn’t have asked for a stronger response. While it was unsettling for many of our staffers to be threatened in such a way, nobody — really, nobody — let it get in the way of the important work of this institution,” she said.

They are so conceited! 

Give yourself an A for humility!

Before Chain’s arrest was announced, Trump continued his attacks against the media Thursday on Twitter, calling it dishonest and the “Enemy of the People!”

Chain’s alleged threats began Aug. 10, after the newspaper’s editorial page first called on news outlets nationwide to use their opinion pages to support the free press. Authorities determined that all of the threats, some of which were recorded, were made by the same caller.

In one of the calls, on Aug. 13, the caller threatened, “We are going to shoot you [expletives] in the head . . . shoot every [expletive] one of you,” court papers said.

On Aug. 16, the day the Globe and hundreds of newspapers published editorials in support of the free press, the caller again threatened, “You’re the enemy of the people, and we’re going to kill every [expletive] one of you.”

read that and the enemy of our enemy is..... Iran?

The caller made a reference to Robert Mueller, the former FBI director who is leading an independent investigation into the Trump political campaign team’s connections to Russian authorities, and threatened that he was “going to shoot you in the [expletive] head later today, at 4 o’clock.”

Oh, he threatened Mueller!

The initial 12 calls were listed on caller identification logs as “blocked.” Authorities later determined the calls were made by a landline registered to Chain at his home.


Yeah, why don't you just lay out a trail of bread crumbs right to your door for them!!

Chain then allegedly made two more calls using his wife’s cellphone. His wife, Betty, an attorney, did not return a call for comment.

And did she ever let him have it!

In one of the final calls, on Aug. 22, a Globe employee asked the caller why he was calling. Chain allegedly replied, “Because you are the enemy of the people . . . as long as you keep attacking the president, the duly elected president of the United States, in the continuation of your treasonous and seditious acts, I will continue to threat, harass, and annoy the Boston Globe.”

Yeah, okay.

Chain did not appear to have a criminal record. He was named as a defendant in a civil personal injury case, but the case was dismissed.

One of Chain’s neighbors in California, who asked to remain anonymous to avoid any political backlash, said she was shocked by the allegations. She knew Chain as friendly, saying he liked to garden and was known to feed stray cats in the neighborhood.

“The person I know is the one who helps you, watches to see if everyone is OK,” she said, describing a recent incident in which Chain knocked on her door to remind her to move her car before street cleaners arrived.

Chain lived with his wife and appeared to be retired, she said. He had a heart condition, but often took walks through the neighborhood.

They never talked politics, she said, and she did not know he had guns.

“He has been really helpful to us,” she said. “I’m in shock right now.”

Looks like another set up.

Chain, who had graying hair and wore a ponytail, said in court records related to a student loan debt that he had suffered a heart attack and has not worked for two decades, but Pamela Meyer, another neighbor, said Chain was prone to angry outbursts that made her uncomfortable. Several years ago, he confronted a neighbor who was having a party because one of the guests parked in front of his driveway, Meyer said. The neighbor had to restrain Chain by pinning him to the ground, and police were called.

Meyer said she could sometimes hear him through the window screaming at the television over news reports and sports. When Trump won the presidential election, Chain shouted in celebration, she recalled.

So? A lot of people did.

“He rants,” she said. “He’ll just shout things out, whatever is upsetting him.”


Meyer said Chain never tried to push his politics on other people, but was opinionated.

“He just has a trigger, whatever is on his mind at the moment,” she said. “I think he was a person prone to excesses.”

“I’ve always wondered if there was something a little not-right with him,” she added.

This would be funny if it were not so pathetic.

Chain had some legal problems in the past. He was ordered to pay around $22,000 in 2014 to the federal government for failing to pay off his student loans dating back to the 1980s, according to records filed in federal court in California.

He and his wife filed for bankruptcy protection three times in the late 1990s, according to court records.

She also filed for divorce but did not follow through with the request.


The problem is the "news" has become not about Trump, but it's become ‘‘about them.’’

Hi, neighbor!

"Man dies after woman allegedly drove truck into N.H. couple walking dog" by J.D. Capelouto, Laura Crimaldi and John R. Ellement Globe Correspondent and Globe Staff  August 30, 2018

SEABROOK, N.H. — Finally, the VanDalindas were going to find peace, after nearly two years of toxic encounters with next-door neighbor Catrina Costello, who, court records show, had threatened and sworn at the couple, and whose pit bulls had once attacked the family dog.

Stephen and Erin VanDalinda had recently found a buyer for their home of nearly two decades on Greenleaf Drive and had stationed a portable storage container in the driveway to get them ready to move north to Raymond, N.H., but as the couple walked their German shepherd, Lucy, Wednesday at about 6:20 p.m. on a nearby street, authorities allege, an intoxicated Costello, 38, mowed them down with her silver pickup truck, killing Stephen VanDalinda, 64, and seriously injuring his 61-year-old wife. Their dog was also killed, prosecutors said.

“They didn’t have a chance,” said Brian Henderson, who also lives on Greenleaf Drive. “They didn’t see it coming at all.”

The New Hampshire attorney general’s office announced Thursday evening that Costello had been charged with second-degree murder after an autopsy found Stephen VanDalinda died of blunt trauma to his head and body. His death was ruled a homicide.....


There was a NIMBY factor, and it is almost as troubling as the shark stories on the front page of the B-section and beyond. Has a very summer of 2001 feel to it. Something wicked this way comes and me shut down?

"National Enquirer had decades of Trump dirt. He wanted to buy it all" by Jim Rutenberg New York Times  August 30, 2018

It is not known how much of the material on President Trump is still in American Media’s possession.

For the better part of two decades, chairman, David Pecker, a loyal Trump ally of two decades who has cooperated with investigators, had ordered his staff at American Media to protect Trump from troublesome stories, in some cases by buying up stories about him and filing them away.

In August 2016, American Media acquired the rights to Playboy model Karen McDougal’s story in return for $150,000 and commitments to use its magazines to promote her career as a fitness specialist, but American Media never published her allegations about a relationship with Trump.

Shortly after American Media completed the arrangement with McDougal at Trump’s behest, a troubling question began to nag at Trump and his lawyer at the time, Michael Cohen, according to several people who knew about the discussions at the time: What would happen to America Media’s sensitive Trump files if Pecker were to leave?

Cohen, those people said, was hearing rumors that Pecker might leave American Media for Time magazine.

There was perennial talk about American Media’s business troubles. And Trump appeared to take a world-wearier view of the wisdom of leaving his sensitive personal secrets in someone else’s hands:

“Maybe he gets hit by a truck,” Trump said of Pecker in a conversation with Cohen, musing about an unfortunate mishap befalling his good friend.

Like if something happens, Trump is to be implicated in murder.

Cohen captured that conversation on a recording that his adviser released roughly a month before his guilty plea.

When The Times first reported that the recording had been discovered by the FBI, people close to Cohen and Trump initially described it in the narrow context of McDougal’s deal, but Cohen, in fact, indicates in the audio that he and Trump are speaking about an arrangement involving far more.

“I need to open up a company for the transfer of all of that info, regarding our friend David,” Cohen says in reference to Pecker.

The plan got far enough along that Cohen relays in the recorded conversation that he had discussed paying for all the information from American Media with the Trump Organization’s chief financial officer, Allen Weisselberg.

“I’ve spoken to Allen Weisselberg about how to set the whole thing up,” he says, adding about Pecker, “We’ll have to pay him something.”

Did you hear a pop?

In the end, the deal never came together.....

That's because the New York Times wrecked it.


Btw, WTF does this national lead have to do with Russia and 2016 collusion? 

It's all from when he lived in New York City (enough with the self-serving oopsies and false flags that reinforce the pervasive victimhood narrative, okay? It's enough to make you sick, God help you.)


Trump hints he’s chosen McGahn successor

Don't be late for court.

Manafort DC judge to let jury hear evidence he knew lobby rules

Friends call John McCain hero, maverick at Arizona funeral

"Senator Lindsey Graham, Republican of South Carolina, said Thursday that the way President Trump responded to John McCain’s death was ‘‘disturbing,’’ and he acknowledged that he has been upset by some of the derogatory things Trump has said about the late senator. ‘‘It bothers me greatly when the president says things about John McCain,’’ Graham said during an interview on ‘‘CBS This Morning.’’ ‘‘It pisses me off to no end, and I let the president know it.’’ In recent months, Graham, who gave an emotional tribute to McCain on the Senate floor on Wednesday, sought to balance a friendship with the Republican senator from Arizona with his stated desire to work with Trump, a difficult task given the friction between the men. During the CBS interview, Graham criticized Trump for belatedly issuing a proclamation for US flags to fly at half-staff until McCain’s burial this weekend. ‘‘The way he’s handled the passing of John is just . . . was disturbing,’’ Graham told CBS host John Dickerson. ‘‘We finally got it right.’’ Asked if he had called Trump after the White House flags were raised on Monday, Graham said: ‘‘No, but I called some people around him.’’ Graham also said he would offer Trump some advice: Act more like McCain. ‘‘You’ve got a lot of people you think are treating you unfairly. Fight back,’’ Graham said. ‘‘But you’re going to have to be a big man in a big office. McCain was a big man, worthy of a big country. Mr. President, you need to be the big man that the presidency requires.’’ Even as McCain battled brain cancer, Trump continued to harshly criticize him for a vote against Republican health care legislation. Trump also recently declined to mention McCain’s name at a signing ceremony for a defense bill named after him....."

The Globe loves a parade.

Don't know who will show up, though.

Have you seen how India handles leftists?

"Friday is not the real deadline for ‘NAFTA 2.0’" by Heather Long Washington Post  August 30, 2018

President Trump is telling Canadian officials they have until Friday to sign on to his major new North American trade deal, threatening to leave them behind, rip up the continent’s existing trade pact, and even possibly hit Canada with draconian auto tariffs, but according to Congress, foreign officials, and members of Trump’s own administration, Friday is not in fact the drop-dead deadline for Canada that the president is suggesting.

Getting that window started by Friday matters to Trump because he wants to get a deal done by Dec. 1. That’s when Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto will step down, making way for President-elect Andrés Manuel López Obrador. López Obrador has had representatives at the US-Mexico trade talks, but Trump doesn’t want to risk the new Mexican administration’s balking at a deal his team brokered with the old one, but the pressure here is on the US-Mexico side.

Trump has what he needs from Mexico, but getting a deal done with Canada by Friday is no easy task, given the substantive policy disagreements between Trump and Trudeau — as well as their acrimonious past.

Trade experts say the likely scenario is that Canada and the United States announce something comparable to the ‘‘preliminary deal to later make a final deal’’ that Mexico signed, or, at least, issue a statement of progress by the end of the week. From there, the two sides would have another month to finalize the details.

Many members of Congress are telling Trump they won’t approve a new NAFTA deal unless all three North American countries are part of it. That puts some pressure back on the president, and it’s why the administration is likely to cut Canada some slack if it’s not ready to sign by Friday.

Although the Trump administration would love to have all three countries sign on to the Friday letter, US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer has already set up a contingency plan. They could send the letter with just a US-Mexico deal and then add Canada later in September — all without restarting the clock on the 90-day notice requirement.

Many trade lawyers say it’s not entirely legitimate for the administration to send Congress the letter Friday and try to tack Canada on later, noting it violates the terms of ‘‘fast track’’ authority the president has for renegotiating NAFTA, but veterans of trade negotiations say it is up to Congress to allow it or not. Lawmakers have pushed for Canada to be included, and lawmakers would prefer to see Trump strike a new trade deal rather than attempt to walk away from the old one without anything to replace it. So there’s reason to believe Republican leaders would let the administration get away with tacking Canada on after Friday.

‘‘It really comes down to Congress,’’ said Jennifer Hillman, a former US trade negotiator in the Clinton administration. ‘‘Trump is setting this up to blame Canada for failing to agree.’’

They are an easy target.

That sets up a more firm, more important deadline for Canada as Sept. 29, the date by which Trump owes Congress a finalized deal if he wants to get it done before Dec. 1,

‘‘Canada needs an agreement with the United States, but it doesn’t need it by Friday,’’ said Doug Holtz-Eakin, an economic adviser to many Republicans and former head of the Congressional Budget Office.

With that in mind, Friday’s deadline is, for Canadian officials, more a bonus than a necessity. It might buy them some good will with the administration as they try to hammer out a final deal.

That good will could come in handy, as the United States and Canada remain at odds over major trade policies, especially those affecting dairy products, but if Trump’s team can get it done, it will go a long way toward Trump’s goal of turning NAFTA into a deal of his own.....

He just keeps on winning.


He has even subjugated Europe:

"Specter of car tariffs forces allies to give ground in talks" by Jack Ewing, Ana Swanson and Motoko Rich New York Times  August 30, 2018

President Trump’s threat to impose auto tariffs on imported cars has hit the United States’ trading partners in a sensitive spot, sending foreign leaders from Mexico to Japan racing to the negotiating table and, on Thursday, encouraging a significant concession by Europe.

The European Union’s top trade official said in Brussels that the bloc would be willing to remove all tariffs on cars and other industrial products as part of a limited trade deal with the United States, but only if the US dropped its own similar tariffs. That offer will require Trump to decide whether he is willing to eliminate US tariffs, like a 25 percent tax on imported trucks, as he has previously said he is willing to do, or if Europe will call his bluff.

I wouldn't do that.

Europe is willing to reduce “car tariffs to zero, all tariffs to zero, if the US does the same,” Cecilia Malmstrom, the European commissioner for trade, told members of the European Parliament on Thursday. “We would do it, if they do it. That remains to be seen.”

Europe’s change in position is the latest indication that Trump’s threat to impose 25 percent levies on foreign-made Toyotas, Mercedeses, and BMWs is forcing trading partners to give ground. On Monday, the Mexican government agreed to effectively cap exports of cars, SUVs, and auto parts into the United States, subjecting any exports above those levels to Trump’s tariffs if they go into effect.

While Trump’s use of car tariffs as a cudgel may be winning concessions, it comes with big risks, potentially disrupting the international flow of billions of dollars in parts and vehicles in ways that could hurt the US auto industry, raise sticker prices, and cost jobs. Tellingly, US carmakers are just as opposed to the tariffs as their Asian and European competitors and have expressed concern that the deal with Mexico could ultimately hurt consumers.

Now they care about us!

“If we run up against these quotas, we are going to make manufacturing more expensive in the United States. Period,” said Ann Wilson, senior vice president of government affairs at the Motor & Equipment Manufacturers Association.

Trump is unlikely to back down, given that his threats helped bring reluctant trading partners to the table in the first place. Mexico, Canada, and Europe initially insisted that they would not negotiate about trade “with a gun to the head,” but existing tariffs on steel and aluminum, and the specter of tariffs on automobiles, helped change their minds.

The threat of car tariffs, coming on top of Trump’s steel and aluminum tariffs, also sped up negotiations on revising the North American Free Trade Agreement. On Monday, Trump said he had struck a deal with Mexico and threatened to leave Canada behind and hit it with auto tariffs if it did not get on board.

“I think with Canada, frankly, the easiest thing we can do is to tariff their cars coming in,” Trump said.

Canadian officials responded by cutting short a trip to Europe and rushing to Washington, where they are currently working to reach an agreement.

And Europe was right behind them!

The stakes are high. Auto tariffs could affect roughly $350 billion worth of foreign automobiles and auto parts, more than three times the value of the foreign products currently subject to import taxes. The measure would fall heavily on US allies: Roughly 98 percent of US car imports come from the European Union, Canada, Mexico, Japan, and South Korea, but US carmakers would also suffer. They are among the biggest importers of foreign components. US-made substitute parts will most likely be in short supply, if they are available at all, driving up costs for everybody.

Europe’s willingness to compromise Thursday reflected the danger that car tariffs pose to Europe, in particular to Germany, the Continent’s largest economy and a major automotive exporter, but Malmstrom’s comments on Thursday signaled that the European Commission was willing to pursue a less ambitious pact in order to avoid further escalation of the trade war with the United States.

“We are not restarting TTIP,” she said, referring to the Trans-Atlantic Trade and Investment Partnership, the pact that foundered.

In Japan and South Korea, the threat of auto tariffs is causing more severe complications.

Japanese government officials continue to resist the Trump administration’s invitation to enter bilateral trade talks or offer any concessions, but Japanese auto industry leaders are increasingly concerned about the fate of the 1.7 million cars that Japan exports to the United States annually.....

It's now on to China!


Also see:

US consumer spending up a solid 0.4 percent in July

That is despite the interest rate hikes.

He is the Great Trumplestiltskin, and everything he spins turns to gold!

Last Day of School

After I was late yesterday

Sat in the front row today: 

Harvard admissions ‘may be infected with racial bias,’ DOJ says

Well, if they just stall a little while longer maybe the case can be dropped.

"School accounts rife with questionable spending, sloppy bookkeeping" by James Vaznis Globe Staff  August 31, 2018

Student activity accounts and other funds managed directly by individual Boston public schools across the city are rife with questionable spending and sloppy bookkeeping, including countless missing receipts and invoices, according to an outside audit.

The audit found problems at nearly every one of the 118 schools it examined, some minor, some significant. They mirror those found by the IRS last year when it examined just 16 schools. Like the IRS probe, the new audit also found a pattern of schools dipping into student activity accounts or other funds to pay school or city employees off the books for extra duties and not reporting the earnings to the IRS.

But their concern is the kids!

Mayor Martin J. Walsh ordered the review, which was conducted by the accounting firm Ernst & Young, after the IRS probe raised questions about whether the problems it uncovered were rampant across the district. The city has never audited the student activity accounts before, even though state law requires an annual review and a formal audit every three years for any student activity account exceeding $25,000.

Which means they broke the law.

Did they teach you what happens to those who break the law?

The strict audit rules are for good reason. Student activity accounts must be used only to support experiences outside the classroom that supplement a student’s education, such as field trips, student clubs, and special events, including proms. Money is typically generated by fund-raisers, unsolicited donations, and ticket sales for student events.

The review found no questionable spending that rises to the level of a criminal investigation, although city and school officials plan to probe a handful of cases where concerns over spending persists.

Some ARE above the law. 

That is your le$$on for the day!

Interim Superintendent Laura Perille said the systemwide audit has already resulted in greater accountability, transparency, and managerial control. The results of each school’s review are being posted on the School Department’s website. The Globe and two other media outlets received a preview on Thursday.

“Accounts are now well managed and monitored, so, moving forward, families and partners should have confidence when raising funds for schools and students that the money will be used in an appropriate manner,” Perille said in an interview. “I think from BPS’s perspective, we are viewing this as an opportunity to correct sort of decades-old past practices that made it very hard for schools to have a clear road map on how to do this right.”

I can see why the kids fall asleep in the classes. Bunch of public relations babble.

As for the $lu$h funds, the school $y$tem must think you are stupid (of course, you have graduated by now, right?).

Many of the new policies and procedures have been in the works since the IRS probe and have largely been implemented. The IRS levied a $30,000 fine and significant blame on School Department headquarters for failing to create uniform procedures, policies, and staff training to ensure appropriate spending.

In one significant move, schools are now required to place all student activity funds in a citywide master bank account, where money will be dispersed through the city’s payment system. The school system also ordered schools last year to stop using ATM cards associated with the student activity accounts and to destroy them.

The review found the ATM cards and other noncheck transactions, such as wire transfers and PayPal, were quite popular with the schools, accounting for $887,229 in withdrawals over a four-year period. Such transactions make it difficult to track how money is being spent.

City and school officials said they still don’t know exactly how many school accounts exist and what the total amount is, but Perille said they estimate that student activity account spending makes up less than a half percent of the school system’s $1.2 billion budget, or less than $6 million.

Yeah, it's only a mea$ly $5 million dollars, le$$ than half a percent. Drop in the bucket you'll never miss (unlike that one in your classroom).

The School Committee plans to adopt other policy changes in September.

It remains unclear why so many schools did not keep receipts or invoices. Auditors, like those at the IRS, experienced difficulty in determining whether spending was appropriate because many schools were commingling student activity funds with other accounts, such as those for parent councils, and failed to record what money was being used for which purposes.

Actually, I think it IS pretty clear why!

Consequently, the scope of the review broadened beyond student activity accounts to include other funds. Among the findings:

■ The Murphy K-8 School in Dorchester was faulted for failing to fill out proper paperwork for some vendors, potentially preventing the IRS from collecting appropriate taxes. For instance, the Murphy spent $1,391 at the Blarney Stone restaurant in 2014 and $756 in 2015, paid Scholastic Book Fair $41,220 over three years, and gave the Globe Santa charity $619.

They gonna give it back?

■ New Mission High School in Hyde Park was unable to produce 49 banks statements for a student activity account that had an ATM card and had only two years of spending records. The school, which closed the account in January, did not know how it would pay for graduation, prom, and other student activities for the rest of the year.....

There is always the option to cut, I mean, cancel.


You are lucky if you made it to school:

"Walsh voices frustration, apologizes for missing, late school buses" by James Vaznis Globe Staff  August 30, 2018

As school bus routes ran late or went uncovered for a third day, Mayor Martin J. Walsh voiced frustration Thursday afternoon, apologizing to families, schools, and students for the hardships they are experiencing.

“To the parents that hear this, I want to apologize. This should not be happening,” Walsh said at a ribbon-cutting ceremony in the Seaport, according to a transcript of his remarks. “I want to apologize for the inconvenience over the last couple of days, and I am hopeful in the very near future, like tomorrow, that this is resolved.” 

Oh, the OPTICS!!!!

Walsh said he received a report just before the ribbon cutting that all the scheduled buses had not shown up again. The problem is affecting a small number of schools — mostly independent charters — that have started their school year early, but city and school officials are worried the problem could grow worse when the school system officially opens on Sept. 6.

It was a ceremony for a parking garage(!), and the aide whispered it into his ear like Andy Card did to Bush on that oh so fateful day ("Sir, the buses aren't running again.")

“I’m working on it,” Walsh said. “I’m certainly not happy about it at all. To be quite honest with you, it’s pretty annoying and frustrating that I have to read in the paper about parents who are concerned about their child being picked up, and that will be corrected.” 


The problems, however, could run deeper than just contract negotiations. Walsh revealed Thursday that the school system’s transportation director, John Roderick, who was just hired earlier this year, abruptly left the job a few weeks ago. Roderick previously worked for Transdev and the MBTA. According to the school system, Roderick left Aug. 24 and moved to New York City.

Yeah, blame it on the guy who saw this coming and warned you about it. 

They have known the contract was in trouble all summer, and then they act like it came out of the blue.

Walsh also suggested in his remarks that Transdev may not have hired enough drivers. 

Called passing the buck.

“You have the whole summer to figure out exactly how many drivers need to be hired and how many spots need to be filled, and then it seems like they wait until the week of, and all of a sudden we don’t have enough drivers, so I honestly don’t think it’s a labor issue,” Walsh said. “Even if it was a labor issue, it shouldn’t affect picking up kids for school.”

It's good enough for the legislature when passing a state budget.

In the meantime, the transportation department’s customer service manager, Delavern Stanislaus, has temporarily stepped in as interim director, even though the position requires someone to have deep knowledge about how to route buses in Boston’s traffic clogged streets.....

OMG, they put a PR GUY in charge because he knows how to talk to angry parents!


First class of the day was history:

On Labor Day, a celebration of ‘Rosies,’ the women who kept the factories churning during WWII

Having seen that, I would have expected better from the Globe than the clickbait advertising on the web. They mu$t really be hurting; however, serves them right. 

Now they are celebrating Labor by associating it with a World War. Is that where we are headed? Women can be drafted now, too.

Can't even leave the kid with day care:

"Police arrest woman who allegedly planned to ‘shoot up’ heroin while baby-sitting 6-year-old" by Emily Sweeney Globe Staff  August 30, 2018

Hingham police arrested a woman after she allegedly said she planned to shoot up heroin while she was baby-sitting a 6-year-old boy.

Police said Laura E. Larosa, 25, of Hull, was riding an MBTA bus with the child on Saturday when she was overheard having a phone conversation about how she was going to “shoot up” heroin in the bathroom of a nearby business and that she would have the child “turn around” so he wouldn’t see it, the press release said.

A tipster who overheard the conversation notified police and said the woman and boy were last seen walking toward the Station Street bus depot. At 2:42 p.m., officers were sent to the area and quickly located Larosa walking with the child on Station Street, the release said.

When officers spoke with her, they noticed she was holding a folded piece of paper. She told them she was baby-sitting the boy and denied having any drugs, the release said.

“Officers explained the report they had received and their concern for the child,” the release said.

“The woman then admitted the folded paper in her hand contained a small bag of heroin. Officers found an additional small bag of heroin, a burned metal spoon and a digital scale in her backpack.”

(Key music)

Officers contacted the boy’s mother, who immediately sent a relative to pick up the child..... 

They must have been out of their mind when they got that call.


Look who won a Golden Ticket:

"After a six-month investigation dubbed “Operation Golden Ticket,” two career criminals were arraigned Thursday for their alleged roles in running a multistate burglary enterprise victimizing more than a dozen commercial businesses and ATMs, and netting more than $300,000 in stolen goods. William “Willy Wonka” Rodriguez, 47, of Lawrence, and Nelson “Pito” Rodriguez, 43, of Westerly, R.I., pleaded not guilty in Essex Superior Court to charges of breaking and entering, receiving stolen motor vehicles, and conspiracy. The two men are not related. An alleged coconspirator, Marilyn Santiago, 38, of Lawrence, was also arraigned and pleaded not guilty to charges of accessory after the fact to a felony and conspiracy....."

Final Ferry Ride

Globe goes down like a cup of seawater these days:

"In latest mishap, seawater rains down inside a Martha’s Vineyard car ferry" by Matt Rocheleau Globe Staff  June 21, 2018

A Steamship Authority boat’s sprinkler system poured seawater onto vehicles parked on the vessel’s car deck as it journeyed to and from Martha’s Vineyard on Wednesday — just the latest in a series of recent mishaps for the agency.

Seawater, which can damage cars because of its corrosive salt content, spewed out for nearly an hour at varying rates over the course of two trips, one from the island to Woods Hole and another in the opposite direction, the authority’s general manager, Robert Davis, said in an e-mail.

He said the agency did not receive reports of damage to any cars or any complaints that riders had gotten wet, but he said authority officials had reached out to one passenger.

“While the customer did not immediately report any issues, we wanted to follow up to make sure that there were no problems for example we were not sure if their windows were open for any water to splash inside,” Davis wrote.

There were 46 vehicles on the first trip and 44 on the second, Davis said.

He said there was “only minor puddling in a few low spots” on the car deck, which is a separate space from the passenger cabin.

Davis said the incident occurred after crews conducted “routine tests” of the sprinkler pump while it was on the first trip, adding that it was “normal procedure to test the sprinkler pump both with vehicles and without vehicles” aboard; however, it’s not normal for the system to discharge water. The Martha’s Vineyard Times published a brief video of the leaking water.

It happened aboard a ferry called the “Martha’s Vineyard,” which has been plagued lately by a series of mechanical issues ever since coming back from an $18 million refurbishment project in early March.

That project was done by Rhode Island contractor Senesco Marine. After the vessel returned to the Steamship Authority, staff there documented more than 250 problems. The problems identifed included a need for modifications to sprinkler piping.

Davis said Wednesday’s sprinkler issues were not connected to any of the work that was done as part of that project.

The authority has cast blame on Senesco for other problems recently, saying the company’s work was subpar and played a role in mechanical breakdowns of that boat and two other authority boats that also underwent upgrades at Senesco’s facility.

Senesco has defended its work, attributing many of the issues on authority boats to work done by other vendors selected by the authority.

The authority countered that by saying no matter which company did the work, Senesco is contractually responsible for the results.

The back-and-forth has significant implications as Senesco is one of just two companies the authority has relied on for major boat projects.

The breakdowns of the three boats Senesco worked on, coupled with other mechanical problems that sidelined other ferries, have put the Steamship Authority in an unflattering spotlight.

The agency had to cancel more than 550 trips due to mechanical problems in just the first four months of the year, an unprecedented total about 15 times the yearly average.

Since the end of April, there have been more cancellations, including two trips that had to be canceled Wednesday when the agency’s fast ferry needed repairs to its radar system.

Still, the number of mechanical-related cancellations fell to 80 in April, a marked improvement from March when they were at their worst with 441, and in May, only 19 trips were canceled due to mechanical issues. Still, even that total was about four times higher than the average number of cancellations during that month over the previous four years, according to internal records provided by the authority.

Davis has acknowledged that his quasi-public agency bears some responsibility for the problems.

The authority’s governing board recently directed the agency to hire consultants to conduct a review. On Tuesday, the board chose Seattle-based HMS Consulting and Technical, LLC, to conduct the review. The firm has quoted the agency a cost of $217,976.



"The agency’s problems haven’t been limited to its ships: On Saturday, a Steamship Authority bus burst into flames, destroying the bus and damaging more than a dozen vehicles....."

I was gaining steam before running out again.

"Intel CEO out after consensual relationship with employee" by Barbara Ortutay Associated Press  June 22, 2018

NEW YORK — Intel CEO Brian Krzanich resigned Thursday after the company learned of what it called a past, consensual relationship with an employee.

Intel said the relationship was in violation of the company’s non-fraternization policy, which applies to all managers. Spokesman William Moss said Intel has had the policy in place for ‘‘many years.’’ He declined to comment further.

Chief financial officer Robert Swan will take over as interim CEO immediately. A search for a new CEO is underway.

In this #MeToo era, corporate America is under intense pressure to enforce workplace policies on gender equality and sexual harassment. Even relationships that appear consensual are closely scrutinized — and often prohibited by companies — if they involve a power imbalance such as the one between a manager and an employee.

Earlier this month, Guess Inc. cofounder Paul Marciano stepped down following a company investigation into allegations of sexual harassment and assault.

John Lasseter, cofounder of Pixar Animation Studios and Walt Disney’s animation chief, also recently said he was resigning over what he called ‘‘missteps’’ with employees.

Years before #MeToo, the CEO of Hewlett-Packard Co., Mark Hurd, was ousted following accusations of sexual harassment by a female contract worker. Hurd settled with the woman in 2010.

In 2012, Best Buy CEO Brian Dunn resigned abruptly after the company launched an internal investigation into what the company called his ‘‘personal conduct’’ unrelated to Best Buy’s business. An audit later revealed the issue was an ‘‘extremely close personal relationship with a female employee.’’

The male-dominated tech industry has been a hotbed for allegations of harassment and discrimination, and in some ways foreshadowed #MeToo as female employees began speaking out. In February 2017, former Uber engineer Susan Fowler wrote an explosive, detailed blog post about the culture of systemic harassment and abuse that she experienced at the ride-hailing company. It wasn’t until the fall that #MeToo began taking off.

Krzanich joined Intel Corp. in 1982 as an engineer and rose through the ranks until he became CEO in 2013. During his tenure, Intel worked to push into growing businesses such as Internet-based computing, high-speed memory chips and smart, connected objects that make up what’s known as the ‘‘Internet of Things,’’ or IoT — along with fields such as artificial intelligence and self-driving cars.

Earlier this year, Google security researchers announced that they have discovered serious security flaws affecting computer processors built by Intel and other chipmakers. Google’s Project Zero team disclosed the vulnerability not long after Intel said it’s working to patch it.

Krzanich sold about $39 million in Intel stock and options in late November of last year, after Intel was notified but before the security vulnerability was publicly known. Intel had said it was notified about the bugs in June. But the company also said at the time that the stock sale was unrelated to the security flaws.

Intel faces scrutiny as questions swirl over chip security, but it's the timing that drew the fire.

Krzanich had also been a champion of workplace diversity. In 2015 at the CES gadget show in Las Vegas, Krzanich challenged the tech industry to increase the hiring of women and minorities, and he set a goal of full representation in his company’s workforce by 2020. Intel said it was investing $300 million to improve diversity at the company.

Krzanich’s resignation ‘‘comes at a difficult time for Intel,’’ said Cowen analyst Matthew Ramsay in a note to investors. He added that he does not see a ‘‘clear internal long-term successor’’ given recent high-profile departures at the company. Diane Bryant, the former president of Intel’s data center group, went to Google in 2017. Former CFO Stacy Smith announced his retirement last summer and Renee James, Intel’s former president, left in 2015.

Given that so much change at the company was driven by Krzanich, Ramsay said his departure could make succession planning and further transitions ‘‘challenging.’’

His abrupt departure overshadowed otherwise positive news for the giant chip maker.

Intel said Thursday that it expects to post a per-share profit of 99 cents in the second quarter, 13 cents better than Wall Street was expecting, and revenue of $16.9 billion, which is also better than had been projected by industry analysts.

Shares of Intel Corp., based in Santa Clara, Calif., slid 2.38 percent Thursday, to close at $52.19.

Mo$t important thing!


I guess asking you to the movies or park is out, huh?

"Fannie-Freddie rise as White House proposes privatization" by Gregory Mott Bloomberg News  June 22, 2018

WASHINGTON — The Trump administration wants Congress to remove the federal charters for Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac as part of a plan to release the mortgage giants from US control, according to a sweeping proposal for reorganizing the government released Thursday.

The two companies, which have been under US conservatorship since 2008, could have their market dominance challenged by new competitors under the plan. Fannie, Freddie, and any rivals would be overseen by a government entity with power to approve guarantors, change regulations, and ensure market participants are adequately capitalized, the report said.

The changes, which would require congressional approval, would give Fannie, Freddie, and their competitors access to an explicit guarantee on mortgage-backed securities that would only be accessible in “limited, exigent circumstances,” according to the report.

“Taxpayers would be protected by virtue of the capital requirements imposed on the guarantors, maintenance of responsible loan underwriting standards, and other protections deemed appropriate by their primary regulator,” the report said.

Fannie preferred shares rose 5 percent, while Freddie’s climbed by 4 percent.

Fannie and Freddie don’t make loans themselves. They buy them from lenders, wrap them into securities, and make guarantees to make investors whole if the loans default.

Federal regulators took over the two companies during the 2008 financial crisis, eventually injecting them with $187.5 billion in bailout money. They have since returned to profitability and paid the government more in dividends than they got in aid.

Uh-huh, $ure, the government (meaning taxpayers) profited from the bank bailouts. 

Still, some members of Congress and other policy makers have said the companies should be replaced with a system that doesn’t leave taxpayers on the hook for losses.

Why should we be worried about being on the hook for losses if we made money last time? Let's do it again, 'eh?

The White House proposal is similar to one developed by two senators who have played key roles in trying to advance an overhaul of US housing finance.

Republican Bob Corker of Tennessee and Democrat Mark Warner of Virginia tried to develop a bill that would have largely preserved the operations of Fannie and Freddie while opening the market to competition. Their effort foundered earlier this year after they failed to win support from Senate progressives, who wanted to preserve affordable-housing mandates.

The White House plan envisions an overhaul designed so that affordable-housing fees sent to the Department of Housing and Urban Development would enable the Federal Housing Administration to provide subsidies for lower-income borrowers “while maintaining responsible and sustainable support for homeownership and wealth-building.”

The proposal was applauded by Mortgage Bankers Association chief executive David Stevens, who noted its similarities with work already done by lawmakers on Capitol Hill. 

I can't think of a better rea$on to be against it.

“It includes many core principles that MBA has long advocated for, such as an explicit government guarantee on MBS only as a catastrophic backstop, allowing for multiple guarantors and ensuring small lender access,” Stevens said in a statement. “As with any proposal of this size, the devil is in the details.”

Let's take a look at the fine print in that mortgage application:

"There is a cost to being black or brown when it comes to banking, according to a New America report released Thursday. It can be more expensive to obtain loans — as recent fines against mega-banks Wells Fargo and J.P. Morgan Chase for discriminating against minorities have demonstrated. Now Thursday’s report from the Washington think tank suggests it can also cost substantially more for services as basic as opening and maintaining a checking account. The culprit? Small community banks whose wholesome image and limited geographic scope have allowed them to largely escape scrutiny. ‘‘If we care about racially disparate patterns in costs and fees and want to eliminate those in the financial system, our oversight has to include small and community banks where these practices are prevalent,’’ said Terri Friedline, a professor of social work at the University of Michigan who coauthored the report with Jacob William Faber, a New York University sociologist....."

It's a detail you can not hide.


"The average net worth of a black household in the Boston area is $8, compared with $247,500 for white households, according to the 2015 “Color of Wealth in Boston” report by the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston, Duke University, and the New School....."

The gap can be traced back to the GI Bill.


Better get a lawyer:

"Investigation alleges misconduct by Thornton Law Firm, recommends severe sanctions" by Andrea Estes Globe staff  June 29, 2018

An investigation unsealed Thursday in Boston federal court outlined a multimillion-dollar overbilling scheme by some of the nation’s top class-action law firms and alleged misconduct by a prominent former state lawmaker.

(Cue music)

The scathing 377-page report by a court-appointed special master took aim at the business practices of three well-known firms, including Boston-based Thornton Law Firm and its managing partner, former representative Garrett Bradley.

Among the report’s findings: Bradley and other attorneys were “hyper-focused on attempting to increase or ‘jack up’ ” billable hours, and lawyers had a “troubling disdain for candor and transparency that at times crossed the line into outright concealment of facts.” One lawyer with a Texas firm received $4.1 million and never appeared in court and performed no work, the report noted.

The long-awaited report, which recommends sanctions and the repayment of more than $10 million, may shape how courts across the country handle lawyers’ fees in class-action lawsuits.

The Thornton Law Firm, which made its name filing suits for victims of asbestos-related diseases, was a major donor to Democrats across the country.

The investigation stemmed from a 2011 class-action suit alleging State Street Bank overcharged institutional customers for foreign exchange trades. Several plaintiffs’ firms — including Labaton, Thornton, and Lieff — ultimately agreed to a $300 million settlement with the bank. Wolf awarded $75 million to the lawyers in November 2016.

The Globe reported a month later that the three firms double-counted lawyers — to the tune of 9,323 hours — and claimed exorbitant costs for dozens of low-paid lawyers, among them Bradley’s brother, Michael. Michael Bradley is a criminal defense attorney in Quincy and was reported as having worked 406.4 hours on the class-action case at $500 an hour.

Wolf appointed Rosen special master in February 2017, months after the Globe report.

Joan Lukey, who represents both Labaton and Lieff, fought to keep the report and its exhibits private, arguing that Rosen has drawn false conclusions that could cause serious damage to Labaton — one of the largest securities class-action law firms in the country.....

Then sue 'em!


Thornton Law Firm didn’t break state campaign finance laws, prosecutor says

Message: Campaign contributions and political corruption that favors Democrats is okay!

That's how you game the $y$tem:

"State officials smash multimillion-dollar gaming ring; gangster’s stepson was kingpin, prosecutors say" by Travis Andersen Globe Staff  June 28, 2018

It was a probe into money laundering and illegal gambling that led to last year’s discovery of the remains of Donald Eugene Webb buried in his former wife’s yard in Dartmouth. Webb was a career criminal who allegedly killed a Pennsylvania police chief in 1980.

On Thursday, the initial investigation finally bore fruit with the indictments of Webb’s stepson, Stanley Webb, 62, as well as Stanley’s Webb’s daughter and son-in-law, their Dartmouth company, and another associate on a slew of illegal gambling and money laundering counts.

In a statement, Attorney General Maura Healey’s office said the defendants were allegedly “operating 130 illegal Nutel gambling machines they had placed near Massachusetts State Lottery products in various establishments including social clubs, sports bars, convenience stores and gas stations throughout eastern Massachusetts.”

Stanley Webb, his daughter, Jaqueline Webb, 35; her husband, Brian Pinheiro, also 35; the family company, Nutel Communications Inc.; and an associate, Romie Jones, 47, are all charged with keeping a place for registering bets, organizing and promoting gambling, unlawful operation of a gaming device, conspiracy to keep a place for registering bets, and conspiracy to operate an illegal gaming device, Healey’s office said.

The Webbs and Nutel also face 26 counts of money laundering and, along with Pinheiro, have been hit with one count each of conspiracy to commit money laundering, Healey’s office said.

In addition, the Webbs and Pinheiro were charged with failure to file income tax returns in 2016, and Stanley Webb was charged with four counts of improperly storing a firearm.

None of the defendants were charged criminally in connection with the disposal of Donald Webb’s remains, which were excavated on July 13, 2017.

Their gambling machines operated like slot machines and “were in direct competition with Lottery products and gambling dollars of customers who opted to play the games,” officials said. “The defendants also allegedly programmed the Nutel machines in a way that preyed on consumers by making it nearly impossible for them to win. The illegal machines were allegedly used to launder money, which the defendants would then split with the host establishments on a weekly or monthly basis.”

“Today’s charges are the result of the largest illegal gambling investigation ever conducted in our state that uncovered a multi-million-dollar illegal money laundering and gambling scheme,” Healey said in the release. “We allege these defendants were using illegal gambling machines designed to compete with our State Lottery, and manipulated them to maximize their profits and exploit compulsive gamblers. We thank the Massachusetts State Police, the Massachusetts Lottery and Treasury, and all of the other federal, state and local agencies that assisted us in dismantling this major criminal enterprise.”

State Police conducted raids in June 2017 that led to the dismantling of the criminal enterprise as well as the discovery of Donald Webb’s remains, which were unearthed from the yard of his former wife, Lillian Webb, authorities said.

Donald Webb had been charged with the fatal shooting of Chief Gregory Adams in Saxonburg, Pa., during a traffic stop on Dec. 4, 1980. Lillian Webb, who received immunity in exchange for her cooperation with helping authorities retrieve the body, filed for divorce in 2005, court records show.

Webb went missing soon after the slaying of Adams, who was shot twice at close range after being “beaten about the head and face with a blunt instrument,” according to the FBI.

At the time, Webb was living in New Bedford with his wife and stepson and had ties to mobsters in Rhode Island. His white Mercury Cougar was found in a Howard Johnson’s parking lot in Warwick, R.I., about two weeks after the chief’s murder.

On Dec. 31, 1980, a federal arrest warrant was issued for Webb alleging unlawful flight to avoid prosecution, after he was charged in Pennsylvania with first-degree murder for Adams’s killing.

Webb was a career criminal believed to be in Pennsylvania planning to rob a jewelry store, authorities said. He was wanted at the time for an earlier robbery in New York and allegedly decided to murder Adams rather than go back to prison.

Healey’s office said busting up Stanley Webb’s alleged illegal gambling and money laundering ring involved more than 300 police officers, the execution of 100 search warrants, and the seizure of more than $2.1 million in cash as well as precious metals and other property.

Arraignment dates for the suspects in Suffolk Superior Court haven’t been set.

State Police Colonel Kerry A. Gilpin also hailed the arrests.

“The Massachusetts State Police, through the work of various units, including our unit at the Attorney General’s Office and our statewide Special Services Section, are committed to dismantling organized criminal enterprises and combatting illegal gaming,” Gilpin said in the release. “This has always been, and always will be, an important part of our Department’s mission.”


Good thing they were along for the ride, huh?

Thursday, August 30, 2018

Late For School Today

What do you mean the bus never showed up?

"School bus delays continued Wednesday in Boston, and parents are fuming" by James Vaznis Globe Staff  August 30, 2018

Amid tense contract negotiations, Boston school officials grappled for a second day with an unexpected number of bus driver absences, causing students and families to scramble to find other ways to get to school.

Buses ran as much as two hours late, prompting families to hastily rearrange schedules to drive their children to or from school. In a city that spends $120 million annually on school transportation, parents voiced frustration that the school system is unable to provide a safe and reliable bus service.

“This would never happen in Beverly, Wakefield, or Lexington,” said Sholanda Ancrum, whose son attends Roxbury Preparatory Charter School in Mission Hill. “I’m sick of it.”

Me, too.

The bus problems are creating headaches for many schools — mostly independent charters — that started the school year early in hopes of squeezing in more learning time. The school system is responsible for busing charter school students.

While the number of affected schools was small, how smoothly the buses run now is a gauge of what problems, if any, the city’s entire school system might experience when all classes begin. The first day of school is Sept. 6.

Ancrum’s son, who requires door-to-door bus service due to a disability, waited about 2½ hours Wednesday morning for a bus, while one never showed up on Tuesday, Ancrum said. This is the third year in a row, she said, that she has dealt with problem buses and found the school system slow to address them.

“They are leaving our kids stranded, and we can’t leave work,” said Ancrum, an admissions counselor at a local hospital and a member of the citywide Collaborative Parent Leadership Action Network.

Interim Superintendent Laura Perille declined an interview request Wednesday, while the School Department, for a second day in a row, would not answer questions about whether the driver absences might be due to labor unrest.

“We can report that fewer issues were experienced Wednesday than the day before,” the School Department said in a statement. “Boston Public Schools (BPS) is working closely with the district’s transportation vendor, Transdev, to ensure adequate coverage for the future.”

The School Department was still calculating driver absences on Wednesday evening, but officials said only 20 out of 505 morning and afternoon routes were uncovered, although the school system eventually found drivers for four afternoon routes. Ten schools were affected. Drivers typically cover up to three routes in the morning and up to three in the afternoon.

By contrast, on Tuesday, 22 bus drivers had unexcused absences in the morning and 28 in the afternoon, leaving 43 bus routes uncovered, affecting a dozen schools.

The problems come as the bus drivers union and Transdev have been trying to negotiate a new contract to replace an agreement that expires on Friday. Talks have been characterized as tense by the union, which began circulating a flier this week listing its concerns and accusing Transdev of demanding one concession after another.

The flier, which was dated Aug. 27, accused the company of failing to hire new drivers “while continuing to keep many of us on unjust, wasteful suspensions, continues their tactic of trying to squeeze more work out of fewer drivers, using ‘MIT’ routing technology + immoral punishment for our aging, sick, pregnant, immigrant siblings and co-workers who need time to take care of emergencies in their families.”

Oh, so it's the same situation as five years ago when we found out it was undocumented illegals hired by the contractor that are driving the school buses, and they were making a pretty good wage, too. The le$$on is there is an agenda-pu$hing rea$on for the focus on illegals in the Globe.

Drivers are seeking a cost-of-living increase, affordable health care, disability coverage, other benefits, and well-trained bus monitors for every bus, while condemning proposals to outsource their work, reduce allotted time for daily bus inspections, and other measures at the bargaining table, according to the flier.

The flier appears on a Facebook page called Team Solidarity — the Voice of United School Bus Union Workers and includes a vow to “Shut. Transdev. Down.” However, the flier makes no mention of any strike or work stoppage for the start of the school year.

I think they did mention it in three words. Pretty obvious as you wait for the bus.

The bus drivers union, as part of a deal that extended their contract from June 30 to Friday, agreed to provide the city with 48 hours’ notice if the group intended to strike. The deal was hashed out this summer after the union voted on June 21 to authorize a strike vote and then held a rally the next day during which members said in published reports that they held a two-hour sit-in at School Department headquarters, while Aretha Franklin’s hit “Respect” repeatedly blasted from a loudspeaker.

SeeFans stream in for second day of Aretha Franklin public viewing

One of the mourners is a sleaze ball, and maybe one day he will hear the music playing for him.

Hey, where you going?

The rally, during which members held such signs as “no contract, no work,” coincidentally was held the same day that former superintendent Tommy Chang publicly announced he had resigned from the job.

RelatedFormer schools leader is getting $300,000 in a secret deal that apparently broke the law

How many bus drivers would that have bought?

Less than a week later, Mayor Martin J. Walsh expressed concern during a meeting at the Globe that drivers might strike, as Perille sat at his side. Perille said during that meeting it was the first she heard of the potential crisis.

As an old labor hand he should respect the action!

The union did not respond to a request for comment.

They said the buses overheated en route, and talk about waving five fingers from the end of your nose: 

"A federal judge in Boston ruled Wednesday that city officials were justified in denying a group’s request to fly a Christian flag from a municipal flagpole in conjunction with events scheduled for September. In an 18-page ruling, US District Court Judge Denise J. Casper denied West Roxbury resident Harold Shurtleff’s request for a preliminary injunction to force the city to allow Camp Constitution, which Shurtleff directs, to fly a Christian flag on a pole at City Hall Plaza during the camp’s Constitution Day and Citizenship Day events. Shurtleff, 59, said in his civil complaint that Camp Constitution, a public charitable trust, was denied a permit last year to raise a Christian flag on one of City Hall’s flagpoles in connection with an event. Shurtleff wants to raise the flag to commemorate “the civic and social contributions of the Christian community to the City, the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, religious tolerance, the Rule of Law, and the US Constitution,” records show. In the complaint, Camp Constitution said its mission is to “enhance understanding of the country’s Judeo-Christian moral heritage, the American heritage of courage and ingenuity, the genius of the United States Constitution, and the application of free enterprise.”"

Wasn't she Bulger's judge? 

Somehow the Jewish provocateur, the undocumented illegal bus drivers, the mob unions all seem to go together.

Kids are behind 'em, too:

"Several civil rights and student advocacy organizations, alarmed that a school incident report helped lead to a student’s deportation, filed a lawsuit Thursday against Superintendent Tommy Chang after Boston school officials repeatedly refused to disclose how often they give student information to federal immigration authorities. School police wrote up an incident report, which the groups say included unsubstantiated allegations of gang involvement. School police subsequently shared that information with the Boston Regional Intelligence Center, a network of local, state, and federal law enforcement agencies that includes officials from Immigration and Customs Enforcement. East Boston High has been of particular interest to federal immigration officials. It is one of several area high schools where teenagers in recent years have been recruited by the international street gang known as MS-13, federal law authorities have said....." 

It's a “school to deportation pipeline,” but that is about to change and you will be back on the streets in no time.

Walsh declined an interview request and instead issued a statement, saying he was “very frustrated with what happened” on Tuesday.

“Everyone involved needs to work to get this done,” he said, referring to the contract talks.

He's sounding more like the corporatists he's surrounded by every day.

The School Department would not comment on the negotiations.

City Council President Andrea Campbell said she has been pushing the school system to find ways to trim transportation costs, including outsourcing some of the work. She urged officials to issue a request for proposals to find out what other transportation options might exist.

“We are clearly not getting transportation services our families deserve,” she said.

Auston Harris, a school bus monitor, said he waited a half hour in the dark Wednesday morning for his school bus to pick him up, but eventually learned the driver was absent and the route to Brooke Charter School in Mattapan would likely go uncovered.

“I went back home and a bunch of kids had parents, aunts, and uncles get them to school,” he said, stressing the disruption is about more than transportation. “It’s interrupting the school day and messing up learning.”

They are tearing at the fabric of life!


It's a long ride home, too:

"Anyone who’s bought a home in Greater Boston during the last few years might describe the experience as brutal. Unrelenting demand and a tight supply have made buying options scarce and competition ruthless, driving prices into record-high territory, but as the summer housing market starts to give way to fall, there are signs that the pressure might be easing — if ever so slightly......"

The rising rents are why Boston city officials like Walsh need a raise, although in a more telling sign, Fed officials are increasingly worried that trouble is brewing in the home construction market.

[flip to below fold]

"In the deep blue of New England, a Trump appointee gains respect for protecting the environment" by David Abel Globe Staff  August 30, 2018

She’s among the few high-profile representatives of the Trump administration in deep blue New England, appointed by Scott Pruitt, the scandal-ridden former chief of the Environmental Protection Agency who was akin to Public Enemy No. 1 among local environmental groups.

She won’t say whether global warming is primarily caused by human activity — as nearly all climate scientists assert — and supported Pruitt’s efforts to dismantle scientific advisory boards, restrict the type of studies that can be used to craft public policy, and end the Obama administration’s signature plan to reduce carbon emissions.

Despite it all, Alexandra Dunn, a proud Republican who leads the EPA’s New England office, has won widespread accolades from the region’s environmental leaders, who have described her as “empathetic,” “apolitical,” and “smart,” and an advocate for science-based environmental policies.

Many local environmental activists had braced for a regional administrator who would be more beholden to industry and were stunned when Pruitt appointed Dunn in November.

“There was a sigh of collective relief,” said Elizabeth Turnbull Henry, president of the Environmental League of Massachusetts.....


RelatedTrump rescinds Obama-era ocean policy

Somebody call the paramedics!


"McGahn to leave White House counsel job this fall, Trump says" by Julie Hirschfeld Davis and Michael S. Schmidt New York Times  August 29, 2018

WASHINGTON — President Trump surprised Don McGahn, the White House counsel, on Wednesday with an abrupt announcement that McGahn will be departing his post this fall, effectively forcing the long-anticipated exit of a top adviser who has cooperated extensively in the investigation into Russian election interference.

The president made the declaration on Twitter without first informing McGahn, according to people close to both men. It came 11 days after The New York Times reported the degree to which McGahn — who was by Trump’s side at major moments as the president sought to keep control over the Russia inquiry — has emerged as a key witness in the investigation. McGahn has cooperated extensively with prosecutors, who are scrutinizing whether the president tried to obstruct the investigation.

How do you obstruct justice when you haven't committed the crime?

See: New York Sunday Times

They were then brought back down to earth, and you would have thought Lanny would have taught them a lesson.

It's all hogwash!

In addition to stripping the White House of another top official and one of the few senior advisers who has been willing to push back on Trump, McGahn’s departure may fuel concerns about how the president has interacted with witnesses and potential witnesses in the Russia investigation.

In his tweet Wednesday morning, Trump said McGahn would leave this fall after the Senate votes on the confirmation of Judge Brett Kavanaugh to fill the vacant seat on the Supreme Court, the culmination of a quiet but intensive effort he has directed to remake the federal courts by installing scores of conservative judges.

McGahn’s departure has been rumored for months and he had told Trump earlier this year that he planned to step down soon but had not settled on a date. At the time, Trump told McGahn he was reluctant to let him go, but the two men reportedly have not discussed the matter recently. 

Of course, Trump had to be talked into firing Omarosa, and where has she been the last couple weeks, 'eh?

The president’s tweet was precipitated by a report on the Axios website that McGahn planned to leave after Kavanaugh’s confirmation process concluded. Trump had grown tired of seeing reports that McGahn might leave, according to people familiar with his thinking, and decided to take away any wiggle room he might have, but McGahn, who had been a frequent target of Trump’s daughter, Ivanka Trump, and son-in-law, Jared Kushner, believed the story was planted by his critics to force the president’s hand and hasten the timeline of announcing his departure.

Oh, yeah?

Ivanka Trump complained bitterly to her father about the Times report this month, which detailed how some in the White House were unaware of the extent of McGahn’s cooperation with Mueller, according to a person briefed on the discussion.

On Wednesday afternoon at the White House, Trump praised McGahn and said he had nothing to fear about what his counsel had told Mueller, even as he appeared to confirm he was not completely aware what that was.

“I don’t have to be aware,” Trump said. “We do everything straight. We do everything by the book. And Don is an excellent guy.”

Despite his reputation for being brave enough to tell Trump no, there was one major event McGahn could not stop: the firing of then-FBI Director James Comey. After failing to persuade Trump not to dismiss Comey, McGahn worked with Sessions and Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein to come up with a rationale for the dismissal. Eight days after Comey was fired, Mueller was appointed as the special counsel.

Rosenstein was berated over that.

McGahn, who was the top lawyer for the Trump campaign, also forged a strong bond with Republican congressional leaders, who regarded him as a rare island of political sense in a sea of White House officials whom they viewed as overly dramatic and politically inept.

That is where the printed rip job ended.

He had considered resigning repeatedly, according to people who have spoken with him, but stayed on in part at the urging of Senator Mitch McConnell, Republican of Kentucky and the majority leader, and to execute a strategy he spearheaded to appoint conservative judges.

McGahn had tried to lay the groundwork for his resignation, persuading Trump to hire Emmet Flood — who represented Bill Clinton in impeachment proceedings — as his lead White House lawyer dealing with the special counsel inquiry, to position Flood to then succeed him, according to people close to the discussions.

Still, some Republicans reacted to the news with alarm. Senator Charles Grassley of Iowa, the chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, said he was concerned about McGahn’s impending departure, pleading with Trump on Twitter not to let him leave the White House.

Some members of conservative legal circles in which McGahn has worked suggested that he had grown frustrated with serving as the top lawyer in a White House that has drawn more than the usual share of legal scrutiny.

George T. Conway III, who withdrew last year as Trump’s choice for a top post in the Justice Department and is the husband of presidential adviser Kellyanne Conway, responded to Grassley by tweeting, “remember the eighth amendment, senator.” It was a reference to the prohibition in the Constitution against cruel and unusual punishment.

It must be hell going home to that house.



"Still standing at White House, Trump daughter and son-in-law enlarge their profiles" by Maggie Haberman New York Times  July 28, 2018

WASHINGTON — They disappointed climate change activists who thought they would keep President Trump from leaving the landmark Paris accord.

They enraged Democrats and even some Republicans by not pushing back against his immigration policies, and alienated business allies by their silence over threats to NAFTA. They regularly faced news stories about their unpopularity.

Even their relationship with the president seemed to suffer.

And yet, after 18 months of bruising internal White House conflicts and bitter criticism that they have failed to be a moderating influence on the president, both Kushner and his wife, Ivanka Trump, the president’s elder daughter, are still in Washington and still working as aides to Donald Trump.

They are as comfortable — and as close to the center of his orbit — as they have ever been. 

It's really President Jared with the Zioni$t $ettler movement behind him.

As scrutiny of the couple often referred to as Javanka became increasingly intense during the president’s first year, Kushner and Ivanka Trump seemed to retreat from public view, and it did not help that the president, at various points, told friends and his chief of staff, John Kelly, that he wished both Jared and Ivanka would return to New York, but as one staff member after another has disappointed him and has departed or been dispatched, Trump has retreated into the familiarity of his family — his daughter, above all, and eventually, her husband.

As Trump, cut off from dissenting voices and convinced of his own popularity, has become more emboldened, so have his daughter and son-in-law.

It was only in May that Kushner had his security clearance restored after months of questions about whether he was in peril in the investigation by the special counsel, Robert Mueller, into the Trump campaign’s ties to Russia.

Oh, I have a headache.

Mueller’s investigators have not publicly cleared Kushner, and Kushner’s advisers issued misleading statements that indicated his clearance had been fully restored, when in fact he was still awaiting that status, but he and his wife are still ramping up their profiles, ready again for a more public stage to pursue their projects after waiting out — and in some cases grinding down — their critics.

Ivanka Trump’s announcement this past week that she would shut down her fashion brand, based in New York, seemed to symbolize a recommitment to her life and her husband’s in Washington.

SeeIvanka Trump shuts down her namesake clothing brand

The woman who once said she did not intend to stay in the capital long enough to become one of its “political creatures” — people she feels are “so principled that they get nothing done,” according to someone familiar with her thinking — said Tuesday that she did not know “if I will ever return to the business.”

Maybe she will be the first female president of the United States, huh?

“Any suggestion that they were going to leave the White House was just ridiculous,” said Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, who was one of several allies the couple asked to speak on their behalf for this article.

Notice there is never scandal at Treasury, even though Mnuchin was at the Bohemian Grove this year.

Although they have kept a foothold in Manhattan, home is now in Washington, where their children attend Jewish schools and their house is routinely watched by paparazzi as they depart for work or go for a run.

They live in a rented mansion in the Kalorama neighborhood, where they have courted groups of lawmakers and Washington hands in an effort to ease hyperpartisan tensions over cocktails and comfort food.

Their allies say this is a sign that the two, both children of businessmen, have adjusted to the market, but intentionally or not, Kushner and Trump have redefined the expectations that people in their New York social circle once had that the two would be horrified by the president’s policies and change them.

“I never counted on it, but they themselves promoted the idea that they would save us,” said Hilary Rosen, a Democratic strategist who has been a vocal critic of the administration, before ticking off a list of policies Donald Trump has sought to dismantle.

Like moving the embassy to Jerusalem (can't get any closer than that)?

Kushner appears to see himself as the custodian of Trump’s political brand, offering his father-in-law “options,” and has spoken about clearing out the Republican Party of lingering resistance. He has privately said he has been taking action against “incompetence” and that any tensions are a result of fighting for his father-in-law’s best interests.

That's one of the problems. Repuglicans are even more rabid Zionists than Democraps.

Kushner said through a spokesman a few hours before this article was published, “those who have tried to undermine the president have found me to be an obstacle.”

His detractors say the friction stems from Kushner’s meddling in things for which he is out of his depth, such as when the president chose to huddle with Kushner and Ivanka Trump instead of his top policy advisers before his meeting with the North Korean leader, Kim Jong Un.

The advisers were unwelcoming so North Korea reached out to Kushner through the financier Gabriel Schulze.

The couple’s allies insist that the expectations of their friends were way too high from the beginning, and that the admonitions to publicly denounce Donald Trump were never realistic or fair.

They also say that the two have become more careful about how they engage with people, after early missteps.

Inside the White House, the couple’s influence is most felt in internal battles, particularly with aides they do not regard as loyal to their mission — or Donald Trump’s.

And what would that be?

That is particularly true of Kushner, who, critics say, shares his father-in-law’s desire for control. Over the course of Trump’s campaign and presidency, Kushner has been seen as trying to undercut or as being at odds with a long list of aides — some who remain, many who have left.

So he is behind the chaos!

The list includes: Trump’s first campaign manager, Corey Lewandowski; his first chief of staff, Reince Priebus, and his associates; his former chief strategist, Steve Bannon; Don McGahn, the White House counsel; White House counselor Kellyanne Conway; the first head of the presidential transition, Chris Christie; former Secretary of State Rex Tillerson; Trump’s former personal lawyer, Michael Cohen; and his longtime lawyer Marc Kasowitz.

All trophies in his case, so to speak.

So it is really President Jared, isn't it? 

WhereTF is his "peace plan" for Palestine, anyway -- as if you could bribe the Palestinians like you could Abbas.  Now they want “our guy.”

Of course, Christie was single out for special consideration because he put the father behind bars and was ‘‘gleeful’’ at the outcome. He was the first to climb aboard the Trump train, and they unceremoniously dumped him right after the election after promising so much (in other words, they used him). What was once a wellspring of trouble turned into revenge.

Both husband and wife, like the president, are said to hang on to grudges, but Kushner is far more transactional than his wife. Like his father-in-law, he appears to convince himself that fights did not happen if someone has become useful to him.....

OMFG, talk about the stereotypical, backstabbing, two-faced, dink Zionist Jew!! 

What awful people! 

#Chris Christie. Nothing personal! You were just no longer useful!



Mandatory Credit: Photo by MICHAEL REYNOLDS/EPA-EFE/REX/Shutterstock (9698804f) Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner First daughter Ivanka Trump and White House Senior Advisor Jared Kushner, Washington, USA - 01 Jun 2018 First daughter Ivanka Trump (R) and White House Senior Advisor Jared Kushner (L) walk across the South Lawn of the White House to join US President Donald J. Trump (not pictured) aboard Marine One en route to Camp David, in Washington, DC, USA, 01 June 2018.
Jared Kushner and Ivanka Trump (MICHAEL REYNOLDS/EPA-EFE/REX/Shutterstock).

They made how much last year, even as the Devil's Tower was plagued by debt that exceeded $1 billion (he fobbed it off on his mother?)

It was the deal With Qatar that first raised eyebrows about his ties to Israeli firms.

Also see:

"During his years on the Harvard campus, Jared Kushner fit in on the leafy campus. He had an active role in the Harvard Chabad, a campus Jewish group, and Rabbi Hirschy Zarchi, founder of Chabad House at Harvard, who met Jared his freshman year and became close to the Kushner family, said that as a student Jared was devoted to his family and his Orthodox Jewish faith....."

He had such a tough year, but it looks like he made the Z list after all! 

Then there is the black sheep of the family, and it's not fair!

And "an issue is not getting much attention in Washington is one initially proposed by Barack Obama’s administration but never adopted as mass killings with military-style assault weapons became more visible in America. Indeed, the Obama administration had planned to push forward the rule in December 2012, but backed off in the immediate aftermath of that month’s Sandy Hook school shooting. Now with a pro-gun administration in the White House, gun manufacturers believe the rule change will make their bids to foreign countries more competitive and help boost foreign firearms exports by 15 to 20 percent, according the National Shooting Sports Foundation. Arms manufacturers believe they’re losing out on international arms deals because of the lengthy US regulations, including congressional notification. Lawrence Keane, general counsel at National Shooting Sports Foundation, a Connecticut-based association for gun makers, with the National Shooting Sports Foundation, cited two examples: Sig Sauer lost out on an arms sale to the Brazilian national police, he said, after Israeli arms makers convinced the Brazilians to include specifications that prevented US companies from competing. Another US gun maker, Keane said, was excluded from a deal to sell to the Polish national police for similar reasons....."

So much for gun control, 'eh? 

Yeah, let's export the oppression and carnage on our streets to other countries!

What a cluster f***!

"Trump administration cancels a plan to curtail the use of cluster bombs" by Josh Rogin Washington Post  December 01, 2017

WASHINGTON — Defense Secretary Jim Mattis has decided to cancel a plan to end the US military’s use of most cluster munitions after 2018. The change paves the way for the Pentagon to resume purchasing cluster bombs and ensures the weapons will remain part of US arsenals and planning for years to come. 

So more people can be killed and maimed by those things, including children.

The policy change, which reverses a 2008 decision by the George W. Bush administration, is likely to provoke opposition from lawmakers and arms-control organizations, who say the weapons indiscriminately kill civilians caught in war zones and who argue that the United States is out of step with the rest of the world on the issue.

Well, that is nothing new.

‘‘The Department of Defense has determined that cluster munitions remain a vital military capability in the tougher warfighting environment ahead of us, while still a relatively safe one,’’ Pentagon spokesman Tom Crosson told me. ‘‘This was a hard choice, not one the department made lightly.’’

Who i$ getting the purchase orders?

The Pentagon’s senior leadership determined that ending the use of cluster munitions currently in US stocks would create a capability gap for forces, adding risk in a conflict and weakening deterrence, Crosson said, but he added that the new policy includes a commitment to acquiring safer and more reliable cluster munitions, which was one goal of the Bush administration policy.

The United States is not a party to the 2008 Convention on Cluster Munitions, which bans all use, purchase, or transfer of the weapons. The pact includes 102 nations as full parties and 17 as signatories. The US military has not used cluster bombs in large amounts since 2003, at the start of the Iraq War. There is some evidence limited use occurred in 2009 in Yemen.

That on the war crimes list?

The Defense Department is expected to announce the new policy Friday, but it has been briefing lawmakers ahead of the announcement. The Defense Department will also slow its ongoing program to decommission the current US stockpile of cluster munitions until the current stockpiles can be replenished with newer, safer weapons.

Under pressure from Congress and human rights groups, in 2016 the Obama administration stopped transferring cluster munitions to Saudi Arabia, which has reportedly used them in the war in Yemen.

Daryl Kimball, executive director of the Arms Control Association, said that US policy on cluster munitions is already out of step with the vast majority of the world’s nations and that both the George W. Bush and Barack Obama administrations were working toward reducing stockpiles and eliminating their use.

‘‘Reversing current US policy in a way that resumes the use of even more dangerous types of cluster munitions, which the past two administrations decided were unnecessary, would be self-defeating and harmful to US interests and to civilians caught in the middle of war zones,’’ he said.....


And if a kid happens to pick one up and have his arm blown off, just add waterapologize, and you $hould be all $et.


"President Trump said he thinks the federal government did a ‘‘fantastic job in Puerto Rico’’ despite the deaths of nearly 3,000 people after Hurricane Maria. Trump told reporters at the White House Wednesday that, ‘‘We’ve put a lot of money and a lot of effort into Puerto Rico.’’ He said he thinks ‘‘most of the people of Puerto Rico really appreciate what we’ve done.’’ The US territory’s governor this week raised the official death toll from Hurricane Maria from 64 to 2,975."

Who is advising him, huh?

Related: Powering Through Puerto Rico

Let's power through these:

"The FBI on Wednesday pushed back on an unfounded claim by President Trump that Hillary Clinton’s e-mails were hacked by China, saying it had found no evidence that the private servers she used while secretary of state had been compromised. Trump asserted early Wednesday, without citing evidence, that China had hacked Clinton’s e-mails, and he said the Justice Department and the FBI risked losing their credibility if they did not look into the matter further. Writing on Twitter, Trump alleged that many of the e-mails that were purportedly hacked contained classified information and called it ‘‘a very big story.’’ ‘‘Hillary Clinton’s Emails, many of which are Classified Information, got hacked by China. Next move better be by the FBI & DOJ or, after all of their other missteps . . . their credibility will be forever gone!’’ Trump wrote in a tweet posted shortly after midnight. China denied the accusation. ‘‘We are firmly opposed to all forms of cyberattacks and espionage,’’ foreign ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying said at a regular briefing Wednesday. She said China is a staunch defender of cybersecurity. Trump provided no details about the alleged hacking, but his tweets came shortly after the online publication of a story by the Daily Caller asserting that a Chinese-owned company operating in the Washington area hacked Clinton’s private server while she was secretary of state and obtained nearly all her e-mails. The publication cited ‘‘two sources briefed on the matter.’’ Fox News, which is frequently watched by the president, aired a segment on the report Wednesday night, with a guest calling it a bombshell if true. Asked about the president’s assertions, the FBI provided a statement Wednesday afternoon that said: ‘‘The FBI has not found any evidence the servers were compromised.’’ During the 2016 campaign, in which Trump faced off against Clinton, then-FBI Director James Comey announced that the agency had found no basis to bring criminal charges against Clinton, the Democratic nominee. Trump’s calls to investigate Clinton and other real and perceived political adversaries have grown louder as the special counsel’s investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election continues."

I have no doubt that the Chinese probably did hack her accounts. That's what Lisa Page testified to, and it appears she either lied to Congre$$ for diversionary purposes or the FBI is once again covering for the Clintons, and either way the result is the same with Page and the FBI covering for the candidate.

Btw, where is that Democratic server the DCC wouldn't hand over to the FBI anyway? 

Why the tap on the wrist before Awan was sent on his way?

"The profanities flew in the classroom, and so did the hat. Something about President Trump’s slogan incensed a California high school student on Monday. She yelled at a classmate in English class who was wearing a hat emblazoned with ‘‘Make America Great Again’’ and threw it to the ground, authorities said. The teacher banished her from the class at Union Mine High School in El Dorado, but she returned and snatched the hat a second time, and she slapped the teacher’s arm away when he tried to keep her from the other student, authorities said. She appears to curse in cellphone video filmed by a student and published by local media. The student was arrested by a school resource officer and taken to a juvenile detention center, the El Dorado Sheriff’s Office said in a statement. CBS Sacramento identified the student as Jo-Anne Butler, a 17-year-old senior. She defended her actions in an interview with the station. ‘‘That’s a racist and hateful symbol,’’ Butler, who has been suspended from her school for a week and faces potential battery charges, told CBS Sacramento about the hat. ‘‘Maybe just wake people up in some type of way, because it’s not cool the environment our classroom is in.’’

Let's start with the bad grammar.

Another snowflake:

"President Trump tangled on Twitter early Wednesday with retiring Senator Jeff Flake, Republican of Arizona, asserting that the Republican nominee to replace him had turned down Flake’s endorsement — a claim that Flake quickly disputed. Trump’s post-midnight tweet came after Representative Martha McSally was declared the winner in a hard-fought GOP primary to replace Flake, a frequent Trump critic who decided not to seek reelection amid lackluster polling numbers. ‘‘Martha McSally, running in the Arizona Primary for US Senate, was endorsed by rejected Senator Jeff Flake . . . and turned it down — a first!’’ Trump wrote on Twitter. ‘‘Now Martha, a great U.S. Military fighter jet pilot and highly respected member of Congress, WINS BIG. Congratulations, and on to November!’’ Flake replied to Trump on Twitter, saying his claim about an attempted endorsement was false. ‘‘Sorry, @realDonaldTrump. I made no endorsement in this race,’’ Flake wrote. ‘‘I think the last endorsement I made was in the Alabama race.’’

Meanwhile, next door:

"GOP candidate for Fla. governor says voters will ‘monkey this up’ if they elect his black rival" by John Wagner Washington Post  August 29, 2018

WASHINGTON —Representative Ron DeSantis, the newly christened Republican gubernatorial candidate in Florida, said Wednesday that voters would ‘‘monkey this up’’ if they elect his Democratic opponent, Andrew Gillum, who would be the state’s first African-American governor.

During an interview on Fox News, DeSantis praised Gillum, the mayor of Tallahassee, as ‘‘an articulate spokesman’’ for those holding ‘‘far-left views,’’ but warned he would be damaging to the state.

‘‘The last thing we need to do is to monkey this up by trying to embrace a socialist agenda with huge tax increases and bankrupting the state,’’ DeSantis said. ‘‘That is not going to work. That’s not going to be good for Florida.’’

A Fox News Channel host later said the network did not condone DeSantis’ language.

DeSantis’ comments brought a swift rebuke from Terrie Rizzo, chairwoman of the Florida Democratic Party, who said they were racially tinged. The Democratic Governors Association and other political groups also levied criticism.

‘‘It’s disgusting that Ron DeSantis is launching his general election campaign with racist dog whistles,’’ Rizzo wrote on Twitter.

Stephen Lawson, a DeSantis spokesman, later said that such characterizations were ‘‘absurd.’’

‘‘Ron DeSantis was obviously talking about Florida not making the wrong decision to embrace the socialist policies that Andrew Gillum espouses,’’ Lawson said. ‘‘To characterize it as anything else is absurd.’’

In an interview on the network Wednesday afternoon, Gillum suggested that DeSantis was following President Trump’s example.

‘‘Yeah, that part wasn’t lost on me,’’ Gillum said when asked about DeSantis’ remarks. ‘‘It’s very clear that Mr. DeSantis is taking a page directly from the campaign manual of Donald Trump.’’

‘‘If he thinks that in today’s day and age Florida voters are going to respond to that level of division and derision, they’re sick of it,’’ he added.

Asked about DeSantis’ comments by reporters following an event on drug-free communities at the White House, Trump said he ‘‘didn’t hear’’ the Florida Republican’s remarks but continued to praise him, calling him ‘‘extraordinary.’’

‘‘He’s an extreme talent,’’ Trump said.

Earlier in the day in a tweet the president attacked Gillum as a ‘‘failed Socialist Mayor’’ and called him the ‘‘biggest dream’’ for DeSantis.

Trump alleged that Gillum, the mayor of Tallahassee, ‘‘has allowed crime & many other problems to flourish in his city,’’ adding: ‘‘This is not what Florida wants or needs!’’

Gillum has embraced liberal policies, such as a ‘‘Medicare-for-all’’ health-care system, but he has not identified as a socialist. Overall crime was down in Tallahassee last year but the city saw a spike in homicides.

Trump’s tweet followed closely on the heels of a national television appearance by Gillum, in which he said he does not fear Trump’s expected heavy involvement in the general election — and called for Trump’s impeachment. 

I thought he was running for governor.

‘‘Donald Trump and Ron DeSantis are both scraping from the bottom of the barrel,’’ Gillum said on CNN. ‘‘I actually believe that Florida and its rich diversity are going to be looking for a governor that’s going to bring us together, not divide us, not misogynist, not racists, not bigots.’’

Paging Omarosa, and where did she go?

‘‘They’re going to be looking for a governor who is going to appeal to our higher aspirations as a state, who’s going to talk about what it means to build a Florida that makes room for all of us and not just some of us,’’ Gillum continued. ‘‘DeSantis can do the bidding of big business and big lobbyists and Donald Trump and his divisive rhetoric. I’m going to be here to do the business of the people of the state of Florida.’’

During the interview, Gillum also said he ‘‘absolutely’’ believes Trump should be impeached. ‘‘He’s already incriminated himself by interfering with the Department of Justice,’’ Gillum said.

Gillum also downplayed an ongoing FBI investigation into possible corruption at Tallahassee City Hall that has not implicated him.


Looks like he has at least one thing in common with Trump.

‘‘Should there be individuals who did anything inappropriately, what we’ve said is they ought to be held fully accountable,’’ Gillum said.

Gillum, who was backed by Senator Bernie Sanders, a Vernmont independent, and billionaire environmentalist Tom Steyer, became the second African American gubernatorial nominee in the South this year. Democrat Stacey Abrams won the party’s nomination in Georgia in May.

Why was the $oro$ money left out?

After Trump’s tweet on Wednesday, Gillum responded on Twitter, writing: ‘‘What our state and country needs is decency, hope, and leadership.’’

During a morning television interview, White House counselor Kellyanne Conway said DeSantis had fully embraced Trump’s endorsement.

‘‘He took that endorsement from the president, and he wore it very proudly,’’ she said on Fox News.


Try running for school board next time.


Arizona gathers to say goodbye to John McCain


He can say hello to Krauthammer when he gets down there.

You can now throw out the fir$t pitch.


You wanna go clubbing after the ballgame?

"Co-owner of Middle East nightclub stepping down amid misconduct claims" by Stephanie Ebbert Globe Staff  August 29, 2018

Facing persistent sexual misconduct allegations that he insists are false, a co-owner of the storied Middle East nightclub has resigned as manager of the club.

Joseph Sater, 66, who owns the music venue with his brother, has faced secondhand claims of sexual misconduct since the #MeToo movement began in October. The assertions, which ricocheted online, led to boycotts by bands, DJs, and even patrons of the Middle East, who avoided the music venue to stand in solidarity with purported victims.

There is only one boycott that is not acceptable.

“Admittedly, it’s been challenging to find an appropriate way to respond to unsubstantiated third-party claims on social media,” the Middle East’s owners said in a statement. “We can say, unequivocally, that the allegations being spread online are absolutely not true and that just being publicly accused is absolutely devastating.”

Sympathy for Trump?

The Middle East, founded in 1974 by Sater and his brother, Nabil, has been a mainstay of the indie rock scene in Greater Boston for decades. In their statement, the owners expressed frustration with the way their venue is now being characterized.

“Understand that we care deeply about our employees; they are like family to us. Over the past 4-plus decades, we have worked hard to create a warm, respectful, safe — and, as a music venue — fun work environment,” the statement said. “We always strive to do better and we sincerely apologize if any current or former employees have not had a positive experience or have felt unsafe.”

The crisis struck last fall, when a DJ posted claims online alleging that one of the owners of the club had assaulted several women. The details were scant and the women, unnamed, but the blowback was immediate.

Performers immediately canceled their shows and issued statements of protest.

Still, no victims came forward publicly, and Cambridge Police did not receive any complaints about the Middle East, Jeremy Warnick, a spokesman, said Wednesday.

The issue was recently revived when a Middle East employee who had stood by the club throughout the crisis posted a lengthy Facebook statement about why he’d given up hope and quit. Alex Pickert wrote that he had advocated internally for changes, including sexual harassment prevention training that was conducted by the Boston Area Rape Crisis Center last year. He also said he and others had pushed “for the accused owner to be removed from the premises,” but after taking a leave of absence from the club in the wake of the online publicity, Sater returned after four months, Pickert wrote, dashing his hopes that his “toxic work environment” could be healed.

Through a spokesman, Sater declined to elaborate on the leave he took. “I stepped away from day-to-day operations for a couple of months because I believed it was in the best interest of the business at that time,” he said.

Sater also said he was not forced out of the job due to the boycott.

“I’m 66 years old and have spent the past 40+ years managing the Middle East,” Sater said. “While I had been planning on moving on at some point — I decided to retire earlier than expected so I wouldn’t be a distraction to the business and to the staff I care so deeply about.”

Some expressed skepticism about the owners’ statement and said they will continue to boycott the venue as long as Sater remains a co-owner.

“We will not be playing the Middle East as long as Joseph owns a share and makes money from it,” the Boston band Courters said on Wednesday. “Most bands we know are on the same page. There will still be an organized boycott. The Boston Rock scene will not stand for this.”

Time to take your seat for the show.


I hate to say she told you so, but she told you so.

Here are the big policy differences between the two Democrats running for governor

So what do I do, pick a Democratic ballot to make mischief or spin the Diehl with a Republican?

That will have them jumping out of their skin!

As for state rep, I suppose Asian-American turnout will decide.


NASA is releasing behind-the-scenes recordings of first moon landing

Talk about jumping the shark and putting the cart before the horse.


"Gunman charged in shootout with Attleboro police had been ejected from girlfriend’s house" by Jerome Campbell and John R. Ellement Globe Staff  August 29, 2018

A man who allegedly engaged in a gunfight with Attleboro police Monday was armed with two handguns and dozens of rounds of ammunition, and he had been ejected from his girlfriend’s house about four hours before his near-fatal encounter with police, court records show.

Must be a white man. That's why the isn't dead.

Eric S. Lindsey, 41, remains at Rhode Island Hospital recovering from gunshot wounds sustained in an incident that began early Monday inside the South Attleboro Assembly of God, where the pastor, Randal Ackland, found him sitting inside the church with a gun in his hand, according to a police report filed in Attleboro District Court.

Ackland tried to talk with the man, later identified as Lindsey, but without success. Lindsey grabbed two black backpacks he had with him and left the church around 6:30 a.m. Ackland, meanwhile, called police and alerted them that he had just had an encounter with an armed man.

Attleboro Officers Leo McKenzie and Luke Harrington spotted Lindsey near the McDonald’s restaurant on Newport Avenue, where he allegedly opened fire as soon as he saw them, according to Attleboro police and two civilians who were driving past the scene in a pickup truck.

The civilians said Lindsey “immediately threw his backpack to the ground and turn[ed] towards the police officers, pulled out a handgun from his pocket or waist area, and opened fire on the police officers,” MacNeil wrote. “The police officers returned the fire.”


Related: Jacksonville Just the Beginning


"State Police capture ‘dangerous’ suspect after manhunt in Haverhill" by Travis Andersen Globe Staff  August 29, 2018

A routine traffic stop in Haverhill Wednesday morning turned into a wild pursuit of a sexual assault suspect wanted in Suffolk County, who bolted from a truck and eluded authorities for hours before State Police flushed him out of a wooded area and nabbed him, troopers said. 

Finally, some positive news about the State Police.

State Police initially confirmed about 9:30 a.m. that they were pursuing the suspect, identified as Elias J. Sudler, 27, and announced at approximately 2:30 p.m. that he had been captured.

Sudler’s arrest on Carleton Street in Haverhill capped a tumultuous day in which the State Police Tactical Operations Team, Air Wing, and K-9 units swarmed the area while local officers stood guard outside two public schools.

David Procopio, a State Police spokesman, said the incident unfolded when a trooper tried to stop a pickup truck for an expired inspection sticker. Sudler, who was wanted in connection with a slew of charges, was a passenger in the truck.

“The driver failed to stop and the Trooper pursued the suspect vehicle,” Procopio said in an e-mail. “The truck stopped at a CVS on Route 97 in Haverhill. The driver was taken into custody. Sudler attempted to retrieve a backpack that was in the car before fleeing on foot without it. Troopers subsequently located a firearm in the backpack.”

The driver of the pickup, 35-year-old Quincy resident Ishaq Abdul-Shafi, was taken into custody while Sudler remained at large.

Abdul-Shafi now faces charges of failure to stop for police, negligent operation, conspiracy to commit a crime, and having no inspection sticker.

Troopers got a break in their search about 2 p.m.

The State Police “Special Tactical Operations Team along with MSP K-9, Troop A patrols and Air Wing directly overhead flushed Sudler out of a wooded area,” troopers tweeted after his arrest. “Suspect engaged by K-9 and apprehended. Suspect transported to a local hospital for treatment, then will be booked.”

Sudler is expected to be taken to the Middleton House of Correction after he is booked, and he is slated to be arraigned at Haverhill District Court, according to State Police.

Sudler was wanted on four separate felony warrants out of Boston and New Bedford courts for an array of charges, including rape, threatening to commit a crime, stalking, kidnapping, intimidation of a witness, assault and battery with a dangerous weapon, and carjacking, State Police said in a statement.

Sudler’s new charges connected to Wednesday’s chase include assault and battery on a police officer, resisting arrest, and several gun-related counts.

Jake Wark, a spokesman for Suffolk District Attorney Daniel F. Conley, elaborated on a case Sudler is connected to in a separate e-mail message.

“Sudler is the subject of a July 10 indictment charging him with stalking and sexually assaulting a former romantic partner in Boston earlier this year and has been the target of an arrest warrant since then,” Wark wrote. “When fit to be transported to Boston, he will be arraigned in Suffolk Superior Court.”

State Police added that Sudler has “an extensive criminal history.”

The dramatic pursuit also affected operations Wednesday at Haverhill High School, according to a statement from Margaret Marotta, superintendent of the city’s schools.

“Police have alerted us to a situation in the area of HHS,” she wrote in a message posted to Facebook around 11:30 a.m.

“There is heavy police presence, while police report the situation is contained, I would like to use an abundance of caution and as a result we are holding dismissal until the situation is 100% contained. Parents may still pick up students.”

Haverhill police said Consentino Middle School had also exercised caution in light of the situation.

“[T]he Haverhill High School and Consentino Middle School have made the decision to hold those students who walk home inside the schools,” Haverhill police said in a statement. “Those students who travel by bus will be released. We currently have officers posted outside both schools.”

Police also confirmed Sudler’s arrest in an afternoon Twitter message.

“We are happy to report that the suspect has been located and apprehended,” Haverhill police tweeted. “Bus routes that were affected due to road closures, will resume routes shortly.”

So that is why the bus was late or didn't show up.



And here I thought you missed it because you were taking to much time picking out your school clothes:

"Nonprofits feeling pinched by recycled clothing competitors" by Alex Gailey Globe Correspondent  August 29, 2018

The New England chapter of the Epilepsy Foundation brings in about $500,000 every year by collecting and reselling unwanted clothes and household goods, using the proceeds to support children and adults with the disease, but the foundation has seen the normally staid business of clothing recycling disrupted by upstart businesses that have taken a page out of the Uber and Airbnb manuals and introduced a more convenient service for people who no longer want their old clothes.

These startup recycling companies have formed partnerships with Massachusetts communities to provide curbside or in-school pickup of clothing donations, but nonprofits that have relied on clothing donations say that convenience has come at their expense — the local Epilepsy Foundation said its revenues are down around 11 percent.

“There’s so many choices now for people to donate clothing and choice is a great thing, but the for-profit companies are hurting my nonprofit, which is trying to raise money and funds for people with epilepsy,” said Brad Rich, president of the Epilepsy Foundation New England Donation Center. “Most people don’t realize when they donate to a for-profit company that they’re hurting a nonprofit.”

Related"nonprofits provide new ways for corporations and individuals to influence"

As if they didn't have enough already!

I'm sure there is an art to it, and if only charities were run like corporations

Epilepsy Foundation New England sells its clothing to the retail thrift-store chain Savers, and the proceeds of the donation program account for about half of the chapter’s funds. Rich said he is concerned about the foundation’s finances if clothing collections continue to fall.

Another nonprofit feeling the squeeze of competition is Catie’s Closet, which accepts new or gently worn clothing and shoes and donates them to low-income students at in-school “closets” in Massachusetts and New Hampshire. Executive director Mickey Cockrell said donations are down 10 to 15 percent over the last year.

“It’s terrific that everyone is trying to keep clothing out of landfills, but recycling clothing has become such a big business that many people don’t understand who it’s serving,” Cockrell said. “We build free stores in public schools for disadvantaged youth and we really appreciate it when people donate to us, so that we can refuel our own communities. It’s been a struggle.”

The tax cuts should have helped.


Maybe you just need something to eat:

"A painful annual ritual has just begun in Boston’s corporate community, a test of stamina, the limits of compassion, and the palate. It’s called gala season. If you work for a company that buys tickets to these charity fund-raisers, you likely know the drill. The windowless ballroom filled with tables for 10. The program on each chair listing generous sponsors. The tired chicken breast followed by dessert with a swirl on top. The tender moment, perhaps an inspirational speech or heart-rending video or both. The talking heads at the podium who talk far too late into the night....."

Tell me about it.

Looks like no school tomorrow!