Sunday, September 30, 2018

Dead Nominee Waiting

"FBI will investigate as Kavanaugh vote is delayed" by Nicholas Fandos and Sheryl Gay Stolberg New York Times  September 29, 2018

WASHINGTON — President Trump, ceding to a request from Senate Republican leaders facing an insurrection in their ranks, ordered the FBI on Friday to reopen a background investigation of Brett Kavanaugh, his nominee to the Supreme Court, and examine the allegations of sexual assault that have been made against him.

The announcement plunged Kavanaugh’s nomination into new turmoil after a tumultuous week on Capitol Hill, and will delay, by as much as a week, a final confirmation vote.

Trump and the Republican leaders had little choice but to ask Trump to order the FBI inquiry after Senator Jeff Flake, an Arizona Republican, first announced he was supporting Kavanaugh, and then, in a stunning reversal, said he would not vote to confirm him without an FBI investigation first. 

Related"The exchange, captured live on CNN, was one of many to illustrate the profound effect Ford’s testimony is having on victims of sexual assault, as they speak out — often angrily — about still not being heard or believed....."

Turns out it was all a staged production specifically for the CNN cameras.

With a handful of allies in a closely divided Senate, Flake, a conservative but an outspoken critic of the president, could determine the future of the Kavanaugh nomination, and that gave him leverage over Senate Republicans as well as the president.

“We ought to do what we can to make sure we do all due diligence with a nomination this important,” Flake told his colleagues on the Judiciary Committee after extracting a promise from Republican leaders to delay the final vote on the nomination until after the FBI investigation. “This country is being ripped apart here.”

The word Flake was never more appropriate.

Trump, who had hoped Kavanaugh would be sworn in by the time the Supreme Court opens its next term on Monday, said he was ordering the FBI to conduct what he called a “supplemental” investigation that he said “must be limited in scope and completed in less than a week,” as the Republican Senate leadership had asked for.

The FBI had already completed a background check on Kavanaugh, and it was unclear what the parameters of the new inquiry would be. Some senators said that would be up to the FBI, but Republicans especially questioned whether the new investigation would be able to answer even basic questions about alleged episodes that occurred decades ago.

The delay also thrusts the FBI, an increasing target of Trump’s ire, into the center of a politically charged controversy in the #MeToo period.

Well, it has now become clear that the #MeToo movement was begun as by controlled opposition to wield a political cudgel. Sad.

Kavanaugh said in a statement Friday that he would continue to cooperate with investigators to clear his name. Debra S. Katz, a lawyer for one of his accusers, Christine Blasey Ford, said her client welcomed the development but not the “artificial limits” imposed by senators. Mark Judge, a friend of Kavanaugh’s identified by Ford and another accuser at the scene of the episodes, said through a lawyer that he would cooperate with investigators.

The delay cast a cloud over what Republicans expected to be a triumphant day, but they still had reason to be optimistic: Despite adamant Democratic opposition, they were able to muscle the nomination through the Judiciary Committee with an 11-10 vote and send it to the full Senate with a favorable recommendation.

After the vote, the panel’s Republican members, looking somber, streamed into the Capitol suite of Senator Mitch McConnell, the majority leader. McConnell, of Kentucky, voiced the frustration shared by other Republicans on the committee: more accusations — false ones, they said — were all but certain to surface, he said, according to a senior Republican official familiar with the conversation. And with Democrats bent on opposing Kavanaugh, there would be no tangible benefit from an investigation, but holding only the narrowest of majorities, 51-49, McConnell had little choice but to agree.

RelatedFBI reaches out to second woman who has accused Brett Kavanaugh of sexual misconduct

I predict further allegations will come out next Wednesday or Thursday, backing up the process even more before he is defrocked as it were and set loose in the wilderness.

I'm going to say it again, as reprehensible as it sounds, but the only solution to this problem is either a) kill all the men, of which I am in favor, or b) reinstitute a strict segregationist code along gender lines while instituting a pud collar tracking device. 

Then the United States must be broken apart, with each of the six or so regions going their own way. Washington D.C. is to be dissolved. That is how you drain the swamp, people!!

Grassley put on a good face for reporters after the meeting.

He was frowning inside.

Even before an investigation was reopened, it appeared that Republican fears could be founded. Michael Avenatti, a lawyer for one of the accusers, announced Friday on Twitter that Julie Swetnick, one of his clients, would tell her story “directly to the American people” this weekend because Republicans have not allowed her to testify under oath.

So she will have her week on NBC like Omarosa?

Of course, she won't be under oath on TV.

Maybe they can ask her when she graduated and why she at high school parties with minors?

It must have ruined relationships for her, but at least she went on to have a productive career on Wall Street (she just cleared up her tax trouble, huh?).

Still, after days of pleading for an FBI investigation into accusations of sexual misconduct raised by Ford as well as two other women who have made accusations against Kavanaugh, Swetnick and Deborah Ramirez, Democrats said they were pleased by the president’s announcement, but elsewhere, passions were running high. Anti-Kavanaugh protesters roamed the halls of the Senate, and there was a heavy police presence


That shows you that this is a staged and scripted effort with the support of the powerful.

In this day and age, with all the gun violence and terrorists, who is allowed to roam the halls of Congress?

They should have been cleared out like right-wingers would have been.

Behind the scenes, the White House and the Judiciary Committee Republicans were working Friday to reassure other wavering senators allied with the Arizona senator. They were increasingly confident that they would have the votes of Senators Susan Collins, Republican of Maine; Lisa Murkowski, Republican of Alaska; and Joe Manchin of West Virginia, one of a number of Democratic incumbents running for reelection in November.

Her constituents are weighing in.

Another Democrat facing a difficult reelection battle, Senator Joe Donnelly of Indiana, announced Friday that he would vote against Kavanaugh, saying he would “gladly welcome the opportunity to work with President Trump on a new nominee.”

Why bother with FBI investigation then? 

I mean, you can see where that is going. Even if the FBI comes back and says couldn't find out more than we already know, the Democrats will say it doesn't matter, we need a new nominee -- and if we delay long enough we will have control of the Senate!


I say by this time next week Kavanaugh's name has been withdrawn and Trump has put forth another nominee.

"The lies that senators must tell themselves to support Brett Kavanaugh" September 28, 2018

Make no mistake: Brett Kavanaugh’s a liar.

I guess it takes one to know one, Globe.

He lies about little things. He lies about big things. He lies under oath.

I get a newspaper full of them, what's your point?

At the same time, though, it’s important to keep in mind that whatever any inquiry finds about that one incident won’t change the basic reality: Disqualifying information about the Supreme Court nominee is already hiding in plain sight. In such plain sight, in fact, that it takes a willful blindness not to notice it, a calculated effort to look the other way from blatantly deceptive statements dating back more than a decade and continuing through Thursday.

Like the Gulf of Tonkin, babies being thrown out of Kuwaiti incubators, nonexistent WMD in Iraq, and Assad gassing his own people?

Also hiding in plain sight of the Globe.

Whatever investigators finds, here’s some of what senators would need to ignore if they want to convince themselves they’re elevating an honest man to the Supreme Court:

ª In 2004, Kavanaugh said he was not involved in the handling of the controversial nomination of federal Judge William Pryor. That was a lie. E-mails later showed that he was involved.

ª Kavanaugh was asked if he was involved with a scheme to steal Democratic staff e-mails related to judicial confirmations. He lied about it. E-mails showed that he was involved.

ª In 2006, Kavanaugh was asked if he was involved in the controversial nomination of federal Judge Charles Pickering. He lied about that too and said he was not.

ª In 2006, Kavanaugh was asked about his role in the nomination of William Haynes, the Pentagon general counsel involved in creating the Bush administration’s interrogation policies. He lied about that.

Look at the Globe get all gussied up about emails! 

As long as they are not Clintons or the Obama flunkies from the Department of Justice and FBI!

Good thing George W. Bush and the gang are now racial justice warriors against Trump, huh?

I guess front-paging and blaring Bush's Iraq war lies was no big deal, being that the ma$$ media and garbage pre$$ were complicit.

Then, on Thursday, under oath and with the nation watching, he made statements so preposterous that senators should view them as an insult to their intelligence.

I get that every single day in the pages of my paper.

ª He said the term “devil’s triangle” in his yearbook entry referred to a drinking game. Google it. It doesn’t.

First thing I thought was Bermuda, but now the urban dictionary is the go-to resource for factual definition.

ª He said the word “boof” referred to flatulence. Again, no.

I guess that means shove it.

ª Then there was his assertion that his yearbook description of himself as a “Renate Alumnius” was meant only to signify his friendship with Renate Dolphin, a woman who attended another school and socialized with Kavanaugh. Other football players were described as “Renate Alumni.” We know what they intended to insinuate. You know what they meant to insinuate. Everyone knows. Senators may never be able to establish with forensic certainty that Kavanaugh’s entry was intended as a sexual boast, but they’re allowed to use common sense. 

All this does is confirm in my mind that the entire ruling cla$$ is riddled with sexual deviants, perverts, and pedophiles.

Now, some of those might seem like ticky-tack kind of misstatements, but the pattern starts to look overwhelming. As former FBI director James Comey put it on Twitter: “Small lies matter, even about yearbooks.” The standard jury instruction, he noted, says: “If a witness is shown knowingly to have testified falsely about any material matter, you have a right to distrust such witness’ other testimony and you may reject all the testimony of that witness.”

Look at them cite the subversive Saint James Comey, and I take that to mean such things also apply to lying, agenda-pushing, war-promoting, $upremaci$T new$papers, right? 

You lie about one thing.... (where's Cullen anyway?)

So whose lies do you believe?

Kavanaugh’s pattern of dishonesty certainly affects how to view Ford’s accusation that he attacked her when both were in high school. She was highly credible as a witness, passed a polygraph, and, unlike Kavanaugh, has no demonstrated pattern of bending the truth.

Even if she lied and perjured herself.

But put aside that allegation for a moment, serious as it is. Forget about the FBI inquiry. You can believe that a Supreme Court nominee’s conduct in high school doesn’t matter anyway. You can believe that crass material in a yearbook shouldn’t be held against him as an adult. You can even believe that maybe he genuinely doesn’t remember the assault, which Ford says happened when he was very drunk.

Those are all separate questions from whether he’s been honest.

“Obviously, if Judge Kavanaugh lied about what happened, that would be disqualifying,” said Susan Collins after Ford’s allegations of sexual assault came to light.

Unfortunately, the only way for senators to convince themselves that Kavanaugh hasn’t already been shown to be a habitual liar is to lie to themselves.

Like the same thing the Globe staff does to itself every day.


Oh, the screaming of liar shows their lynch mob mentality and how unhinged the Globe has become.

She said, he said, you say . . .

The Globe decided to only open letters for her!

"Brett Kavanaugh’s defiance brings echoes of Trump-style combat" by Annie Linskey and Jess Bidgood Globe Staff  September 29, 2018

WASHINGTON — It remains to be seen whether Brett Kavanaugh’s indignant defense against accusations that he assaulted a teenage girl more than 35 years ago will rescue his nomination in a closely divided Senate, but Kavanaugh’s performance certainly gives fuel to critics who view the Supreme Court as a partisan tool, now being reshaped by the most divisive president in recent memory.

More "anal-ysis" from the Globe, and that is about from where it came. 

In sticking with Kavanaugh, who rudely shouted at Democratic senators during his hearing Thursday and broke down with emotion multiple times, Trump and Senate leadership appear less concerned with judicial temperament and neutrality than they do with scoring a conservative win.


"The current bizarre politics of Washington is rooted in the sexual politics of Clarence Thomas and Bill Clinton, and much deeper political manipulation.  The funniest thing is that the best thing that could possibly happen for the Democrats, and the worst thing that could possibly happen for the Republicans (a dead party walking without the social triggers), is for Kavanaugh to be seated and overturn Roe v. Wade.  Roe v. Wade is a bizarre and technically terrible and legally strained - privacy rights, really? - decision which has given the Republicans a hammer to hit the Democrats with, and is basically the only thing keeping them alive as a party.  Let the hillbilly states regulate the issue and, if you actually care about health care for women, set up a system to arrange and pay for women to be treated in non-hillbilly states.  Eventually, the hillbilly states will mostly come around as the majority non-hillbillies will just get tired of all the religious nonsense, and once the issue loses its partisan political significance, it will just fade away. " -- xymphora

“A lot of us who were not used to seeing that kind of thing from a judicial nominee were very jolted by it,” Jeannie Suk Gersen, a professor at Harvard Law School, said of Kavanaugh’s fierce denial of the accusations.

“It’s just like President Trump broke the mold in what it means to have a presidential persona,” Gersen added. “It is possible that Judge Kavanaugh’s performance is going to break the mold — it did break the mold — for future judicial nominees and the realm of acceptable nominees has just changed.”

Until last week, Kavanaugh and his defenders had downplayed his previous, highly partisan roles as a lawyer with the Ken Starr investigation of Bill Clinton and his service in the George W. Bush White House. Instead, they pointed to his solid legal scholarship, popularity within the legal community, and record as a judge on the US Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit since 2006, but, just a couple hours after Christine Blasey Ford told a rapt Senate Judiciary Committee that he had assaulted her, Kavanaugh on Thursday delivered a markedly heated rebuttal. He interrupted female senators. He dodged questions about old high school yearbook entries loaded with innuendo about sexual conquests. Denying the accusations of sexual misconduct against him as fantasies, he angrily reframed the allegations as concocted by his enemies, as just so much Washington score-settling.

In a remark that undoubtedly thrilled the president who nominated him, Kavanaugh specifically said allies of the Clintons were responsible for a strategy meant to destroy him and his family. 

They are. Her lawyer and all the connections to the Deep State are out there.

“This whole two-week effort has been a calculated and orchestrated political hit, fueled with apparent pent-up anger about President Trump and the 2016 election,’’ Kavanaugh told the committee, his voice raised and dripping with anger. “Fear that has been unfairly stoked about my judicial record. Revenge on behalf of the Clintons, and millions of dollars in money from outside left-wing opposition groups.’’

It was an unprecedented, over-the-top appearance. Indeed, Trump could not have chosen a more fitting vessel to introduce his in-your-face brand of partisanship to the Supreme Court.

“People say that everything that Trump touches dies, and we can only hope that the independence of the judiciary can withstand the onslaught of what Kavanaugh would represent,” said Laurence Tribe, a Harvard law professor who, while a well-known liberal, said he kept an open mind to the Kavanaugh appointment initially out of respect for a colleague. Kavanaugh is a law lecturer at Harvard’s law school.

“The display we saw during [Thursday’s hearing] convinced me that the court will really be in trouble if he’s confirmed,” Tribe said.

I wouldn't worry what kind of justice he would be. He won't be deciding whether migrant teenagers have abortion rights or whether the taxpayers should pay for the day-care should they decide not. 

The real danger Brett Kavanaugh poses is that he would legitimize the murder of women.

He added that it will make the court a “more difficult place” that’s far less respected. “The court can only take so many hits,” he said, naming the Clarence Thomas hearings and the controversial Bush v. Gore decision as examples of what liberals see as two blemishes on the institution. “This will be a third strike,” Tribe said.

That's MY PRE$$!

Many Kavanaugh supporters noted that he was under particular stress due to the personal nature of the allegations, and merely exhibited a natural desire to punch back.

“It’s the height of hypocrisy to smear him and then say he can’t call out his critics in defending himself,” said Brian Baker, the president of 45Committee, a political nonprofit supporting his confirmation.

Baker said that Democrats have long tried to paint Kavanaugh as overly partisan, going back to his initial nomination to the federal appeals bench in 2003, three years before he finally made it onto the D.C. Circuit court.

“He is a respected appeals court judge who has written over 300 opinions that are thorough, fair, and demonstrate the finest temperament and integrity any judge could have,” Baker said. “Lost in all the drama of the unusual hearing over the decades-old alleged conduct is the fact that Judge Kavanaugh is perhaps one of the most qualified judges ever nominated to the court.”

The GOP’s determination to “plow through’’ the sexual assault allegations and install Kavanaugh, in the phrase used by majority leader Mitch McConnell, adds a dimension beyond partisanship. It is inflaming America’s cultural divides in a way that critics assert will further erode Americans’ confidence in the court. Feminist scholars say there’s a broader concern, regardless of whether Kavanaugh gets on the court: the future of the #MeToo movement.

The notion that a woman could testify credibly, and tell her excruciating story, but still seemingly fail to persuade the Judiciary Committee, demonstrates how little progress woman have made toward equality, said Naomi Alderman, a prominent feminist and author of “The Power,” a novel that explores the many ways in which women are repressed.

The victimhood never ends, and I'm ready to be killed at the hands of a woman. Just chop my head right off.

“Every teenage boy is getting the message that what you do in high school doesn’t count,” Alderman said. “A lot of women are watching this Kavanaugh nomination and wondering: ‘What are we supposed to do now? . . . It confirms what we knew already: that women’s testimony counts for [expletive]. ”

The movement has inspired women across the world to share their stories of sexual assault, and sparked a national reckoning that such assaults are far more widespread than was understood.

Of course, Kavanaugh’s confirmation remains uncertain. The Senate Judiciary Committee on Friday voted along party lines to advance his nomination to the Senate floor, but a bloc of undecided senators, led by Jeff Flake of Arizona, were successful in delaying the full Senate vote for one week to give the FBI a chance to investigate the claims that have been made against Kavanaugh.

It’s a move that the country’s legal establishment wanted.

The American Bar Association asked for the FBI investigation after Thursday’s hearing. Rushing the confirmation without an investigation, it said, would erode public confidence in the court. “It must remain an institution that will reliably follow the law and not politics,’’ the ABA’s letter said.

The dean of Yale Law School, Kavanaugh’s alma mater, also called for an independent probe. “Proceeding with the confirmation process without further investigation is not in the best interest of the court or our profession,” said Yale Dean Heather Gerken.

Yeah, we will get to them below.

Kavanaugh’s hearing was notable in part because he apparently made a choice that few justices before him have: to come out swinging.

“The style, in many ways, is the substance,” said Benjamin Barton, a law professor at the University of Tennessee. “The base that Trump appeals to, and that Kavanaugh was trying to appeal to, really, really want their people to fight. They want to see an aggressive performance.”

To some, the sharp-edged appearance was an outgrowth of a change in Senate rules that made it less likely Supreme Court nominees would need to appeal to a broad, bipartisan majority of lawmakers.

The Republicans eliminated the filibuster for Supreme Court nominations in April 2017 to confirm Justice Neil Gorsuch, which means they now need only a simple majority to approve justices for the high court. Before the invocation of the so-called nuclear option, Supreme Court justices needed 60 votes to move forward. (Democrats set the stage for lowering the vote threshold in November 2013 by eliminating the filibuster for other federal judges.) 

Yeah, it was the short-sightedness of Harry Reid and the Democrats that brought this about, and they were warned at the time it would come around to bite them in the ass.

Trump campaigned on a pledge to appoint deeply conservative justices, and his nominees have helped him retain a base of religious and hard-right voters despite a rocky presidency.

“The Supreme Court, long term, has been always somewhat of a political body, that’s the nature of the Supreme Court in the United States, but it’s been unusual to have it be so starkly partisan and it’s been unusual to use a confirmation to stoke the flames of the base, and that’s on both sides I think,” Barton said. He added, “The trend where people consider the Supreme Court to be a political body, more than a judicial body, will continue.”

The display of partisanship will cause problems down the road if Kavanaugh is confirmed: Progressive and social groups that come before the court will regularly call for his recusal, said Dennis Burke, a former lawyer on the Senate Judiciary Committee.

So you best not.

“They’re going to look at Kavanaugh and say he already made up his mind,” said Burke. “They’re going to look at him and say, ‘He’s never going to give us a fair shake.’ ”

Is that what he has gotten?

If he does make it, they will have deserved it. This smear job has now made him much less sympathetic to your cause if he's on the bench. He was one of the more moderate of the bunch on the list.


What do you see in that face?


The Crucifixion of Brett Kavanaugh

His nomination is dead.

Too bad it happened in Maryland and not Massachusetts:

"Inside our secret courts; Criminal charges often disappear without a trace. There are few rules and fewer records. In these private hearings, who you are — and who you know — may be just as important as right and wrong" by Jenn Abelson, Nicole Dungca and Todd Wallack  |  September 30, 2018

Leneeth Suazo, four months pregnant, had tried to ignore her ex-boyfriend’s menacing voice mails, phone calls, and text messages since he kicked her out of his apartment.

Now it was New Year’s Eve and the doorbell wouldn’t stop ringing at the apartment complex where Suazo had taken refuge. She knew it was Jim Phane outside, pressing every buzzer in the building.

Suddenly, there was a knock at the front door. Phane, let in by a neighbor, was standing there, begging Suazo to talk to him.

Fearful that he’d attack her as he had once before, Suazo discreetly pressed record on her cellphone. Phane threatened her, and when he noticed the phone was recording their conversation, he lunged.

“Jim, don’t touch me. Don’t touch my face. I don’t want you to touch me . . . Stop!”

Suazo later told police that he grabbed her jaw, shoved her, and elbowed her belly before fleeing as she screamed. A judge granted a restraining order, based on her application outlining the alleged history of violence, and police sought a felony assault and battery charge against the ex-boyfriend, but justice would elude her. The case would go into the darkest corner of the Massachusetts criminal justice system, where closed-door hearings are often held in private offices without public notice, where the outcome is up to the discretion of a single court official who may not have a law degree, and where thousands of substantiated criminal cases go to die every year.

Call it our secret court. No other state in the country has anything like it.

At Phane’s closed-door hearing in Dorchester early last year, assistant clerk magistrate Helen White found enough evidence to issue the criminal complaint, despite Phane’s denials. “I never hit a girl in my life,” he later told the Globe. But the clerk offered Phane a huge break: If he stayed out of trouble for a few months, he could avoid a public courtroom, and the criminal charge would never appear on his record, according to an attorney’s contemporaneous notes.

Every year, tens of thousands of cases wind up in secret court sessions — formally known as “show cause hearings” — that are presided over by court clerks and usually held for suspects who haven’t been arrested and don’t pose a flight risk or danger to others. People are generally entitled to these hearings for misdemeanors, but police can request them for felonies as well.

The quality of justice behind the clerks’ closed doors can depend on where the hearing is held, who you know, or the color of your skin, according to a Spotlight Team investigation. It’s a land of arbitrary second chances, where the powerful, the privileged, and the lucky can see serious charges like reckless endangerment of a child and motor vehicle homicide quietly swept away in private hearings.

The state’s 68 clerk magistrates at District and Boston Municipal courts operate with enormous discretion to halt criminal proceedings even though many have slender qualifications: About 40 percent of clerks and their assistants, including Helen White, lack law degrees, one clerk magistrate did not go to college at all, and another has only an associate’s degree.

Show cause hearings were originally created to weed out baseless allegations, but, in practice, there are so few checks on the clerks’ power that they regularly go far beyond that, brokering deals and, in nearly half of the cases, rejecting requests for charges.

Clerk magistrates, who are appointed by the governor, routinely refuse to issue charges even when there is significant evidence — as in the case of a judge caught on camera taking someone else’s $4,000 watch off a security belt at Logan International Airport. Over the last two years, clerks have set aside nearly 62,000 cases, including more than 18,000 after a clerk concluded there was probable cause to believe that the accused committed a crime, according to court data.

The Spotlight Team uncovered cases where clerks tossed charges involving serious injuries or deaths, including one brought against a Quincy taxi driver who ran over and allegedly dragged an elderly man, killing him.

A much better known defendant, Jared Remy, also benefited from the selective leniency of the secret court system. Charges arising from his threats to kill a former girlfriend disappeared after a hearing before a clerk in Lowell District Court in 2000, 13 years before the son of the famous Red Sox broadcaster stabbed a different girlfriend to death.

The Globe also investigated multiple cases where clerks refused to issue charges in private sessions against police and politicians, including Brockton City Councilor Michael Brady who avoided drunken driving charges in a 1999 clerk’s hearing and now serves as a state senator.

Didn't he just get busted for drunk driving?

In anticipation of the Spotlight story, court administrators sent clerks a note a week ago praising their efforts handling criminal cases.

There are few requirements, educational or otherwise, to become a clerk magistrate, despite the fact that the job has lifetime tenure and a salary of about $155,000 and, unlike judges, no mandatory retirement age.....


I wonder how they got in there.

You know, I know someone over at the State Police..... 

"Harvard Law students protest any return of lecturer Brett Kavanaugh to Cambridge" by Michael Levenson Globe Staff  September 28, 2018

While Republicans work furiously to salvage Judge Brett M. Kavanaugh’s nomination to the Supreme Court, there’s another position he may be struggling to hold on to: lecturer at Harvard Law School.

Students at the school have been protesting Kavanaugh’s nomination for days and demanding that he not return to campus without an independent investigation of the allegations that he sexually assaulted women when he was a student at Georgetown Prep and Yale College.

On Friday, John Manning, Harvard Law School’s dean, who initially praised Kavanaugh as “an inspiring teacher and mentor” when President Trump nominated him in July, responded publicly for the first time, writing in an e-mail to students that “these have been painful, difficult times for our nation and our community.”

“The Supreme Court confirmation fight has brought into sharp focus questions about sexual assault, fair process, fitness and character for high office, the integrity of the political process, and more,” Manning wrote. “I appreciate the many students who have spoken out and expressed views on these critical issues.”

At the same time, Manning refused to comment on Kavanaugh’s status at Harvard, where he has taught since 2008, and is slated to return in January to teach a three-week course on the “Supreme Court since 2005.”

Several students said they were not satisfied with Manning’s response, particularly after Heather Gerken, the dean at Kavanaugh’s alma mater, Yale Law School, released a statement Friday declaring that she, along with the American Bar Association, supports an independent investigation of the assault allegations before a confirmation vote is taken.


"Educational, legal, and religious institutions important to the life of Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh have come out with calls to either delay or outright cancel the confirmation process as the Senate wrestles with the Kavanaugh nomination in the face of allegations of sexual assault. Earlier this month, the ABA’s Standing Committee on the Federal Judiciary gave its highest rating of ‘‘well-qualified’’ to Kavanaugh. Committee member Paul T. Moxley said in a statement to the Judiciary Committee that Kavanaugh, ‘‘enjoys an excellent reputation for integrity and is a person of outstanding character.’’ Kavanaugh and others had cited the ABA’s high regard of Kavanaugh as proof of his professional and moral bona fides. The Jesuits took an even stronger stance. Following Thursday’s testimony by Kavanaugh and his accuser, Christine Blasey Ford, the magazine of the Jesuit religious order in the United States publicly withdrew its endorsement of Kavanaugh. An editorial in America Magazine declared that ‘‘this nomination is no longer in the best interests of the country.’’ Kavanaugh was a student at Georgetown Preparatory School, a Jesuit high school, when the alleged assault took place. The editorial doesn’t attempt to parse whether Kavanaugh’s or Ford’s testimony was more credible, but it concluded that ‘‘in a world that is finally learning to take reports of harassment, assault and abuse seriously,’’ the nomination must be abandoned. The magazine had given Kavanaugh a full-throated endorsement, stating that his addition to the Supreme Court may furnish the fifth vote needed to overrule Roe v. Wade, the 1973 decision that legalized abortion nationwide. On Friday morning, Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley played down the significance of the ABA position. The Iowa Republican described the ABA as an interest group like any other. ‘‘We’re not going to let them dictate our committee’s business,’’ Grassley said....."

Blasey Ford and her crowd can, and the flip-flop sure didn't help dispel the stereotype of the lying lawyer talking out of both sides of their mouth.

Senate Republicans agreed Friday to delay a vote on Kavanaugh for a week to allow the FBI to investigate the assault allegations. The FBI investigation, students said, should determine not only if Kavanaugh can serve on the court, but if he can teach in Cambridge.

“Certainly, someone who is not fit to serve on the US Supreme Court is not fit to teach at Harvard Law School,” said Alyx Darensbourg, a second-year student from Bakersfield, Calif.

Kavanaugh himself suggested during his hearing before the Senate Judiciary Committee on Thursday that he may be too toxic to return to Harvard, where he holds the title Samuel Williston Lecturer on Law.

“I loved teaching law, but thanks to what some of you on this side of the committee have unleashed,” Kavanaugh said, referring to the Democratic members of the committee, “I may never be able to teach again.”

Maybe he can get a job at $loan Kettering.

Students who were watching the hearing on campus cheered when they heard that remark, Darensbourg said.....

Maybe they should just take him out back of the courthouse and shoot him.


At least the $$$ is rolling in:

"Harvard endowment posts 10 percent return" by Deirdre Fernandes Globe Staff  September 28, 2018

Harvard University’s endowment — the largest academic fund in the world – posted its highest returns in four years, although it continued to lag behind several other Ivy League institutions.

Harvard University reported on Friday that its endowment posted a 10 percent investment return in the fiscal year that ended in June, compared with an 8.1 percent increase in the prior year. The fund’s assets, which also include gifts, climbed to $39.2 billion from $37.1 billion.

Harvard has been restructuring its investment team and portfolio in recent years after a string of disappointing results and criticism of its large employee compensation packages. In 2016, the Harvard Management Company hired N.P. “Narv” Narvekar as its chief executive officer. Narvekar, the former Columbia University endowment chief, has cut the number of employees at Harvard, sold off certain investments, marked down the value of its extensive natural resources assets, and relied more on outside consultants to manage funds.

It will take Narvekar and his team least another two years to turn things around in an endowment as large and complex as Harvard’s, but Friday’s results indicate that they are on the right path, said Charles Skorina, an executive recruiter in San Francisco who follows endowments and pensions.

Unlike most other universities, Harvard had long thrived on an endowment strategy that relied on a crew of in-house experts to manage complex and exotic portfolios that included hedge funds, real estate, and natural resources, such as timberland and wineries.

But the endowment was battered by the financial crisis a decade ago and has struggled to regain its footing. Harvard has posted returns significantly behind other Ivy League colleges for the past decade. Since the 2005 departure of Jack Meyer — the legendary manager who oversaw Harvard’s investments for 15 years and grew assets by five times — the endowment’s leadership has also been marked by frequent turnover.

Harvard has little trouble fund-raising and just concluded a $9.6 billion capital campaign, exceeding its original goal by $3 billion, but the university and donors made sure that some of those funds could be used for current needs and weren’t tied up in the lackluster endowment.

Yeah, they don't di$criminate (unless, you know).

I'm sorry, what did your watch say?

The university is also facing outside threats to its endowment. Congressional Republicans last year passed a tax plan that will require Harvard and several other institutions to pay a 1.4 percent levy on their investment returns.

And earlier this month, Massachusetts Democratic gubernatorial nominee Jay Gonzalez revealed his plan to pay for the state’s transportation needs, early childhood education, and public education, by taxing private colleges. Under his plan, Gonzalez estimates that Harvard would have to pay $563 million in taxes.....


Can still put the heat on Trump even as the Mueller probe fizzles out:

Here is the "latest case in which the president and his company may now be exposed to a lengthy legal process and possible discovery by plaintiffs who oppose him politically, a process that could include depositions of witnesses and the disclosure of Trump Organization financial documents."

Related: Pop Goes the Weisselberg

Yeah, his fate is already sealed despite the truth:

"Democrats have been clamoring for the release of the Russia investigation documents for months, but it was only in recent weeks that panel chairman Devin Nunes, Republican of California, also began to opine that the transcripts should be made public — adding that it should be done before the midterm elections....."


They turned that inside out and upside down! 

Democrats have been blocking their release just as they have been blocking, slow-walking, and redacted anything that comes from the stonewalling, politically-tainted, and subversively corrupt Department of Justice and the water-carrying pre$$ has completely distorted it. 

You know, just when you think you have seen it all.....

House GOP to call Rosenstein back to Capitol Hill,

That all goes away in November. Google and Facebook (none of our business, Globe?) will be off the hook, too.

Time to start playing taps for the Trump presidency. There will be no deal to save it.

Are you ready for a Democrat in 2020 (I guess she has already retained her Senate seat)?

The Globe sure is, and is on the warpath for her.

"US attorney’s office won’t say whether it is still investigating Baker’s son" by Matt Stout Globe Correspondent  September 28, 2018

More than three months after a woman accused Andrew “A.J.” Baker of groping her on a plane, federal officials would not say this week whether they are still pursuing an investigation into Governor Charlie Baker’s adult son.

No charges have been filed, but authorities have provided little information since, and US Attorney Andrew E. Lelling’s office this week would not confirm or deny a probe existed, echoing its earlier public statements, but a Lelling spokeswoman noted that in any investigation, it would not provide a public update if it chose not to pursue charges.

They don't believe the woman?

A “visibly shaken” woman told police that A.J. Baker had groped her on the JetBlue flight and stopped only after she asked a flight attendant to move her seat, according to a police report .

The 29-year-old woman told State Police that she was “touched inappropriately” by Baker, and that he had groped her right breast. One witness described seeing Baker “lean over” toward the woman “a couple of times,” and another said she heard the woman tell Baker “don’t do that . . . don’t do that” before summoning an attendant to move her seat.

Baker, who has not been charged, told police he was asleep the “whole time,” but a flight attendant reported speaking to him and told police that Baker said, “it was OK because [the woman] was his sister’s best friend.”

There is nothing in the report that indicates Baker and the woman knew each other prior to the flight.

According to the report, Baker later appeared confused when the flight attendant told him he may need to speak to police once they landed, witnesses told police.

“Did I do something wrong?” he asked, according to the report.

State Police did not arrest him. Baker told police that he was not on any medication and had two glasses of wine in Washington before his flight but hadn’t finished the second glass, according to the report.

Roberto Braceras, A.J. Baker’s attorney, declined to comment on the probe. Kristen Setera, a spokeswoman for the FBI’s Boston office, also declined comment, citing Department of Justice policy.

Efforts by the Globe to reach the woman have not been successful. The Globe does not identify victims of possible sexual crimes.....


You know it is bad for A.J. when his father says he believes the woman.

Yeah, the state will take good care of you:

"Teen in DCF care allegedly trafficked for sex by worker at DCF-financed group home, AG says" by Katie Camero Globe Correspondent  September 28, 2018

A minor in the care of the state Department of Children and Families was allegedly trafficked for sexual servitude by a worker at a Saugus group home that is operated under contract to the state’s child protection agency, prosecutors said Friday.

Ashley Goodrich, 27, faces four counts of trafficking of a minor for sexual servitude, one count of deriving support from prostitution of a minor, and four counts of contributing to the delinquency of a minor, according to Attorney General Maura Healey’s office.

Oh, no, she was pimped out by another woman!!!

According to prosecutors, Goodrich was an employee of Eliot Community Human Services, which ran a group home for minors in the custody of DCF at which the children were expected to receive support programs and services.

Goodrich, however, allegedly used her access to the children to recruit the child to perform sex acts in Worcester and Boston that were arranged after she posted online ads promising sex in return for cash, Healey’s office alleged.

Goodrich allegedly drove the minor to the pre-arranged meetings that were sometimes held while the teen had fled the Saugus home, prosecutors said in a statement.

The charges came following a four-month investigation after the case was referred to Healey’s office by the Suffolk district attorney’s office.....


At least she won't be prosecuted:

"After Suffolk DA candidates forum, accusations of playing race card arise" by Maria Cramer Globe Staff  September 29, 2018

The comment followed a question about police accountability.

What would the candidates for Suffolk district attorney do if a police officer fatally shot someone on the streets, a young man asked Thursday night during an intimate candidates’ forum in the Back Bay.

Rachael Rollins, the first black woman to secure the Democratic nomination for Suffolk District Attorney, stood and pointed to her challenger in the general election, Michael Maloney, a white man, according to a video of the debate later posted on Maloney’s Facebook page.

“I have said to police officers that look very much like that man right there, if you are not racist, if you are following the law, we will get along very well together,” Rollins said as Maloney stood quietly 5 feet from her. “But if you have racist Facebook pages, if you are discharging your weapon in an incident that requires no such behavior you will be held accountable by me.”

The comment was made at a candidates’ night hosted by More Than Words, a nonprofit dedicated to helping young people who are homeless or in the foster or criminal court system.

It was the first time both candidates appeared together following the Sept. 4 primary in which Rollins, a former federal prosecutor, stunned the county by handily beating four other Democrats.

The forum was mostly civil but Rollins’s reference to Maloney sparked a heated back and forth Friday between both campaigns that touched on the tense topic of race.

Maloney, a 38-year-old criminal defense attorney who did not reply to Rollins’s comment at the time, said Friday that he was stunned by her apparent reference to his race.

“Just the overall tone and the respect was poorly lacking,” he said. “My jaw dropped in that moment. I don’t shy away from confrontation . . . I wanted to bite my lip and chill until I fully absorbed it.”

He accused Rollins of using race to undermine his campaign.

“She’s trying to compensate for her lack of qualifications by playing the race card,” Maloney said.

In a statement, Rollins’s spokesman, Corey Welford, said the context of Rollins’s comments, following the question of a young man of color about lethal force, is critical.

“It is clear that Mike’s comments are offensive, insensitive, and uninformed,” Welford said. “The reality is that our systems — including the criminal justice system, our education system, health care, and other systems — do not treat all people fairly. Rachael has a healthy respect for those in law enforcement, has working relationships with the police, and will hold police who are not doing their job accountable. Those things are not at odds.”

Rollins’s reference to Maloney was made during an emotional moment for the Democratic nominee. Rollins, who was raised by an Irish-American father and a black mother, seemed to fight back tears as she addressed the issue of police-involved shootings, specifically of African Americans.

“Black people are dying every day on the street,” said Rollins, 47, during the forum. “That’s why I’m running . . . There are people who have lost their lives because of systemic problems.”

Yeah, if you cry you must be credible! 

I'm tired of being emotionally manipulated and blackmailed!!!!

Later in the forum, both candidates were asked to name their favorite characters from a young adult novel.

Rollins, after pausing for several seconds, said “Atticus Finch,” the lawyer who defends a black man against rape charges in “To Kill a Mockingbird.”

“Tom Sawyer,” Maloney replied.

Rollins shook her head and frowned.

Racist,” she said.

Maloney’s campaign manager, Linda Arian, who sat in the front row, loudly said, “Tom Sawyer is not racist.”

Maloney laughed and said, “I want to say ‘Huckleberry Finn.’ ”

Welford said Rollins responded to Maloney’s answer the way she did because “the Tom Sawyer and Huck Finn novels are known to have racial themes and language.”

On Friday, Maloney noted Rollins was scheduled to campaign with Senator Edward Markey, who is also white, over the weekend.

“I think it’s ironic that she’s pointing a finger at me . . . later she’s out campaigning with white guys that look like me,” Maloney said.


Really set of some explosions:

"It will take an army of workers to replace and rebuild natural gas pipelines in the Merrimack Valley, but with the energy industry suffering from a labor shortage, and the overall job market incredibly tight, where will this army come from?

Looks like illegals then!

Lawmakers, residents demand Columbia Gas step up help

In North Carolina, partisan politics meets storm recovery

Forget this country, and I stand by my earlier solution, the most nonviolent and beneficial to all. Break 'em up.

One thing they all agree on:

"Rami Elhanan stood before a gathering Saturday afternoon on the lower level of Temple Beth Zion and spoke about how Israeli forces shot and killed seven Palestinians, including two children, Friday afternoon during mass protests in the Gaza Strip....."

Out was the worst day since the May massacre during the recognition of Jerusalem as Israel's and I'm so thankful the Globe saw fit to report on the six-month anniversary of the perpetual and persistent Palestinian protests in Gaza (had to pick up a PBS report to do it), although I'm tired of talk while Israel takes action.

Thankfully the $pinele$$ and impotent EU is filling the void -- at least until war on Iran is declared.

Friday, September 28, 2018

Friday's Frowns

We will get the reading of the faces later:

"Brett Kavanaugh is angry and defiant as he faces accuser Christine Blasey Ford" by Jess Bidgood Globe Staff  September 28, 2018

WASHINGTON — A riveting, gut-wrenching spectacle engulfed Brett Kavanaugh’s nomination to the Supreme Court Thursday during a confirmation hearing where Kavanaugh repeatedly broke down in tears, expressed bitter defiance, and shouted over Democrats on the Senate Judiciary Committee.

They were the tears of a bully.

With the makeup of the nation’s highest court hanging in the balance, Christine Blasey Ford delivered her allegations firmly, calmly, and with a degree of credibility even Republicans acknowledged. She testified she was “100 percent’’ certain it was Kavanaugh who, on a summer night in the 1980s, pinned her down on a bed, covered her mouth to prevent her from screaming, and ground his hips against her.

Globe says she was more credible -- which means Kavanaugh also had some?

“I am here today not because I want to be — I am terrified,” said Ford, her voice wavering as she recounted the alleged episode with testimony that left that Capitol, which has been consumed by a partisan furor over the allegations, in utter silence.

When Kavanaugh’s turn to testify arrived later in the day, he read a prepared statement that dripped with outrage and specific denials of Ford’s accusations. The former Republican lawyer wore a blue tie and took aim at the left, the Clintons, and Democrats who he said were out to stop him at all costs.

“You have replaced advice and consent with search and destroy,” Kavanaugh declared, glaring at the senators in the room as his voice rose.

Senate Republicans said the committee will vote Friday morning, followed by procedural votes in the full Senate Saturday and Monday. The final confirmation vote will be Tuesday.

Kavanaugh’s anger was reminiscent of Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas’s defense against Anita Hill’s allegations of sexual harassment 27 years ago, when he said he was a victim of a “high-tech lynching,’’ but Kavanaugh’s performance was far more emotional and amounted to an unprecedented display of raw sentiment for a Supreme Court nominee.

He broke down repeatedly and struggled to compose himself as he reflected on the reputational damage he has endured over the past two weeks and how the allegations have “destroyed’’ his family. He choked up as he recounted that his 10-year-old daughter had suggested the family pray for Ford. Repeatedly taking drinks of water, he described how this episode means he may never be able to teach law school classes again or coach youth basketball.

They crucified him and put a crown off thorns on his head.

“This whole two-week effort has been a calculated and orchestrated political hit. Fueled with apparent pent-up anger about President Trump and the 2016 election, fear that has been unfairly stoked about my judicial record, revenge on behalf of the Clintons, and millions of dollars in money from outside, left-wing opposition groups,” he said. “This is a circus.”

It remained unclear if Kavanaugh’s performance would save his nomination, or sink him. His fate likely rests in the hands of a small group of Republican swing votes, Maine’s Susan Collins, Alaska’s Lisa Murkowski, and Jeff Flake of Arizona. His testimony seemed geared toward appealing to Trump and Republicans who are angry that Ford’s allegations emerged late in the confirmation process, after Kavanaugh appeared to be on a glide path following confirmation hearings earlier in the month, but Kavanaugh’s extended displays of emotion, and his bitter partisan words, also risked being seen as falling short of a judicial temperament.

So he can't win either way with the Globe. He fights back and he shows a lack of judicial temperament. If he doesn't, he self-indicts himself and his pummeled.

The vote is going to be Flakey either way.

During her testimony, Ford inflected the pain of her memories with human moments, like when she requested caffeine to sustain her through her testimony — first coffee and then a sugary bottle of Coca-Cola. She seemed eager to answer questions forthrightly, leaning into the microphone and repeating that she wanted be “helpful” to the committee.

At one point, she asked Senate Judiciary Committee chairman Chuck Grassley if she could address him — an exchange that was rare, because Grassley and the Republicans hired a sex crimes prosecutor, Rachel Mitchell, to ask the questions for them.

“Can I speak to you directly?” she said, during an exchange about the committee’s willingness to send investigators to California to speak to her. “I would have happily hosted you.”

Globe doesn't tell you she was in Delaware at the time.

Ford at times relied on her background as a psychologist, seeming to act as the expert witness buttressing her own testimony. Sometimes, science and emotion converged, as when Senator Patrick Leahy asked her about her most vivid memory from the night of the alleged assault.


So she has a background in psychology that could fool us? 

She played her assigned role with the "act," huh?

Look, I don't want to minimize sexual violence in any way, maybe something did happen to this woman. It could be mistaken identity, she could even have talked herself into believing it was him and still maintains she identified the right man.

Maybe if she was wearing blue dress.....

Beyond that, we have no one coming to the support of the woman who accused Tom Brokaw, no reports on the current status of Eric Schneiderman, and not a word about Keith Ellison -- never mind how the #MeToo movement has drowned out the domestic violence and child pedophilia issues among the genders and ruling elite. 

I'm also wondering where they are when it comes to the women in Afghanistan, Iraq, Yemen, etc, etc, etc. I'm told there is oppression and sexism in those societies, and yet know one talks about the death and destruction being meted out to them, their families, and their communities by these endless wars based on lies.

I know I'm straying far afield here, but I guess some women are to be believed and others not while some women lives are more important than others. That seems to be the tone coming from the Bo$ton Globe these days.

Ford acknowledged under questioning that she could not remember key details of the alleged episode: She did not know the date of the party, the address of the home where it was held, or how she got there and how she got home after the alleged attack.

Sitting in front of the all-male group of Judiciary Republicans, Mitchell largely avoided questions about the alleged assault itself. She appeared more focused on Ford’s motivation, asking her numerous questions about why and how she came forward. Ford said she came forward because of her sense of civic duty, and acknowledged that one of her lawyers was recommended to her by Democratic Senator Dianne Feinstein’s team.

Feinstein played her like a pawn.

Despite the partisan charge to the proceedings, some Republicans on the committee struck a respectful tone after Ford’s testimony ended.

They cite Senator John Cornyn of Texas.

Other Republicans drew a harsher conclusion.

That would be "an apoplectic Lindsey Graham, the South Carolina Republican, who heaped sympathy on Kavanaugh as the day wore on."

Both parties on the committee sought to tie the testimony to larger cultural moments, with Democrats evoking the national reckoning over sexual assault that has come with the #MeToo movement.

They mention groper Cory Booker, the New Jersey Democrat, as big supporter!

Democratic senators raised additional allegations that have emerged after Ford’s first surfaced, by a fellow Yale University undergraduate who accused Kavanaugh of exposing himself to her, and by a woman who said Kavanaugh and his friend Mark Judge participated in parties during high school where women were drugged, groped, and gang raped. Kavanaugh denied them all.

Democrats repeatedly sought to get Kavanaugh to agree to an FBI investigation of the allegations against him, but he deflected the question, deferring to the Republican majority that runs the committee. 

Why did they sit on it and not refer it to the FBI, then leak it to the pre$$?

During his testimony, Kavanaugh repeated his vow not to withdraw from the nomination and tried to boost his bona fides with women by saying he had numerous female friends and had hired many female clerks. Breaking down in tears, he pointed to his high school calendars as signs of his innocence. He had been out of town on the weekends during the summer of 1982, as well as for beach week and a “legendary” basketball camp.

“Judge me by the standard that you would want applied to your father, your husband, your brother, or your son,” Kavanaugh said. “I am innocent of this charge.”

He declared he liked beer in high school and still does, and grew testy under questioning on the subject by Democrats. At one point, when Senator Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota asked if he had ever drank so much he blacked out, he turned it back to her: “Have you?” (He later apologized.)

Kavanaugh also laid directly into Ford’s claims. Three of the people Ford has identified as being present at the party — Mark Judge, Patrick J. Smyth, and a woman named Leland Keyser — have denied knowledge of such an event, but during her testimony, Ford offered up a possible reason why Smyth and Keyser would not have remembered.

Nothing remarkable happened to them that evening,” she said.....

Maybe nothing did at all.


"Judicial ambition and #MeToo collide in a public spectacle" by Annie Linskey Globe Staff  September 28, 2018

WASHINGTON — There was the elite private high school. The Ivy League education. The choice White House post. An appeals court judgeship. And finally, the culmination of a brilliant career, a nomination to the country’s highest court.

It does seem like this guy had this goal from the beginning, making it less likely he would risk it. Some people know what they want to be, others fall into jobs. I'm from the latter group, which is how I ended up here.

And on Thursday, faced with the possibility that it might all come crashing down after multiple women accused him of sexual misconduct, Brett Kavanaugh launched an emotional and angry response that stunned onlookers.

He brought more heat than light.

It was an uncomfortable and rare sight — a nominee to the highest court in the land crying before a panel of senators — in a performance that seemed tuned as much to defending his honor as to salvaging his nomination. 

If he hadn't shown emotion they would have said he was cold and insensitive.

The uncomfortable sight for me was the pain on his wife's face behind him in the few clips I saw.

At the end of the draining testimony, it remained unclear if he would survive to be confirmed, or if he would go down swinging and sniffling.

When Obama cried it was good, human, decent.

“You may defeat me in the vote, but you’ll never get me to quit,” said Kavanaugh. “Never.”

He teared up as he said the confirmation process has “destroyed” his family and could end his teaching career. He pushed his tongue into his cheek, trying to compose himself, as he expressed regret for frat-boy behavior as a young man while still insisting he never crossed the line to sexual misconduct.

Then take him outside, cut off his balls, and eat him.

The defiant testimony came after Senate Republicans attempted, as Republican Senate leader Mitch McConnell put it several days earlier, to “plow right through” the Supreme Court confirmation process, but the new allegations, and the GOP insistence to move ahead quickly, further inflamed the roiling #MeToo movement, bringing the national reckoning over male treatment of women into the wood-paneled chamber of the Senate committee.

Yeah, haven't heard a word about the abuse and NDAs under that dome since Conyers and Franken left.

In the days since Christine Blasey Ford’s allegations were first publicized, there’s been a renewed conversation about acceptable behavior, with Americans reexamining episodes from their past. That continued Thursday, as women and men across the country watched and listened to the testimony and shared their own stories.

I don't know what I may have done that offended anyone, but even if I didn't we should all be burned at the stake

Maybe this November.

Ford, a woman who has never testified before Congress, came across as poised, likable, and, above all, credible. She controlled the emotion in her voice as she recounted chilling new details about the alleged attack 36 years ago.

She's a shrink who would know how to do that, and that could be perceived as an unemotional act.

What still stands out to her all these years later, she said, is the laughter she remembers between Kavanaugh and one of his friends, Mark Judge, the night of a party where she said she was attacked.

“They were laughing with each other,” Ford said. “I was, you know, underneath one of them while the two laughed.”

She added the sounds were of “two friends having a really good time with one another.” 

I'm not laughing about any of this.

Later she was asked to detail exactly what she remembered. Ford offered bursts of memories.

“The stairwell,” she said. “The living room. The bedroom. The bed on the right side of the room. The bathroom in close proximity. The laughter, the uproarious laughter. And the multiple attempts to escape and the final ability to do so.”

She spoke with emotion in her voice, but was careful to smile when she addressed Senate Judiciary Committee chairman Chuck Grassley, and at times even set aside objections from her lawyers when the Senate Judiciary Committee’s designated questioner, Rachel Mitchell, sought answers that strayed into matters of attorney-client privilege.

That kind of undercuts the seriousness of it all, but fine.

Some Republicans have said that they believe Ford was attacked by someone, but think she is confused about the attacker’s identity.

Senator Dianne Feinstein, the top Democrat on the panel, tried to clear this up quickly and asked Ford if this could all be a case of mistaken identity. “Absolutely not,” Ford said forcefully.

Later, under questioning from Senator Patrick Leahy, she said she was “100 percent” certain that Kavanaugh was the one who assaulted her.

I thought it was Durbin that asked that.

Between Ford and Kavanaugh, the only two witnesses called, there was a massive chasm — with senators forced to decide whom to believe. That was by design. Grassley refused to subpoena Judge. And the panel declined to subpoena two other potential witnesses. All have said in written statements that they cannot confirm the events. Still, several senators said they wished they had the chance to evaluate the credibility of these additional people. The Republicans opted against an FBI investigation.

The GOP also didn’t allow the other two women who’ve made allegations against Kavanaugh to speak. 

Yeah, GOP obstructed, she said. The Democrats handling of all this is beyond reproach.

Deborah Ramirez has alleged that Kavanaugh exposed himself to her while drunk at a party at Yale University. Julie Swetnick has said that Kavanaugh was present at drunken high school parties where girls were gang raped — though she has not said that he participated in those assaults, but aside from one Washington Post article, the country had not heard from Ford, who lives a private life in California.

Globe will look into, right?

She described in great detail how she had told others about the attack, including her therapist, her husband, her friends. Once she saw that Kavanaugh might be appointed to the Supreme Court, she testified, she reached out to her member of Congress and sent a note to The Washington Post’s tip line. Ford described her efforts as her civic duty as a citizen.

Even fierce conservative combatants were impressed.

“Ford seems kind. This doesn’t strike me as partisan,” said Mike Cernovich, a men’s rights conspiracy theorist and a Trump supporter, in a social media posting. “This will be a tough vote.”

You know, if there were disintegration booths that we could all walk into I would run right down to one. The Globe is making me feel like this world would be better off without any of us men around.

He added, before Kavanaugh testified, “Hard to see Kavanaugh gets confirmed after the Ford testimony.”

Republican senators effectively silenced themselves during the first half of the hearing, with Grassley ceding all of the GOP time to Mitchell, who asked questions of the witness. Mitchell was there to avoid the appearance of Republican men grilling the witness (There are six Republican women in the Senate, but none is assigned to the judiciary panel), but the use of Mitchell led to a disjointed hearing. She would ask questions for five minutes and appear to be building toward a point, but her momentum would be broken each time that time expired and Democratic senators got their five-minute turn.

I will be shortly as well.

Mitchell also focused on seemingly minor details: Was Ford really scared of flying, as she’d told committee members? Who recommended her attorney? Who paid for her lie detector test?

Credibility and awareness of your surroundings and faculties is a minor detail.

Though the hearing riveted many people across the country, the immediate audience for those questions, which sought to show a Democratic plot to push Ford’s testimony into the public sphere, was much smaller: President Trump and a handful of undecided Republican senators who will decide the fate of this nomination.

The broader impact, though, could be felt in about six weeks in the midterm elections where a record number of women are on the ballot. Most of them are Democrats.

Yeah, the narrative has been set and I will be adding to it. There is a GOP woman running against my longtime congre$$ional rep.


"Ford’s testimony leaves women riveted" by Stephanie Ebbert and Laura Krantz Globe Staff  September 28, 2018

Excruciating. Offensive. Heartbreaking. And yet familiar. Many women who watched Christine Blasey Ford testify before the Senate Judiciary Committee on Thursday about her alleged sexual assault cringed through her questioning and identified with the witness more than they might have expected.

Ford’s late-breaking allegation of a decades-old sexual assault was infuriating to Republicans, who dismissed it as political gamesmanship by liberals intent on derailing the confirmation of conservative Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh, but many women were watching the performance with jaws dropped, amazed that a year into the #MeToo movement, after women everywhere began exposing the commonality and enduring secrecy of sexual misconduct, so many committee members showed they are still disinclined to believe women.

Again, evidence means nothing, just supposed to believe. 

That's how the pre$$ lied us into wars, remember?

Beyond that, it's only certain women to be believed. Juanita Broderick and Paula Jones are not.

“I have such deep respect for this woman who did not have to come forward, has no motivation to do so, and is shouldering the weight of so many survivors right now,” said Debra J. Robbin, executive director of Jane Doe Inc., a Massachusetts coalition against sexual assault and domestic violence.

“Why,” she asked, “would we not believe this person?”

No evidence or corroboration?

In interviews and on social media, many women raved about Ford’s poise during the high-octane hearing; Kavanaugh, during his testimony, repeatedly choked up or broke down in tears. Many women were relieved that she came across as a credible witness and dismayed that she was described by Senator Orrin Hatch, a Utah Republican, as an “attractive” witness.

Take heart, ladies, he will be replaced by the very respectful Mitt Romney in January.

Alexis Wolfer, a Harvard Business School MBA candidate and copresident of the Women’s Student Association, was struck by how much time Ford’s supporters on the committee spent talking about her credentials, as if only someone with that education and those accomplishments could be believed. Ford, a professor of psychology at Palo Alto University and a research psychologist at Stanford University, peppered her testimony with references to “sequelae” and the hippocampus.

Joan A. Moon, a public policy master’s degree student at the Harvard Kennedy School, said women who lack such credentials could have an even harder time establishing their claims.

“They feel powerless, and it’s because of issues like this where women are constantly asking to be believed,” Moon said.

Some women lauded Ford as a hero, posting a photo of her raising her right hand to swear in for her testimony.

That was what resonated with one Kennedy School master’s student who said she had a similar experience of sexual assault when she was in sixth grade.

At least it wasn't an instructor, right?

The student, who asked to remain anonymous because of potential professional repercussions, said she was given alcohol by an older boy unknowingly and then raped at a small gathering at a home.

It is time to BAN BOOZE!

The way Ford described her own experience rang true with the Harvard student, the way certain details were seared in her mind and others completely forgotten. For Ford, it was the laughter of the boys who attacked her; for this student it was a painting on the wall she stared at as it happened.

“Almost everything she is saying, I can completely parallel that with what I’ve gone through, so to me it feels very credible,” she said.

“From someone who’s been through it, that made complete sense,” she said. 

So it took on the quality of an alien abduction? 

You know, they all fit a basic pattern. 

That is not claiming women are crazy, far from it. The likelihood of abuse is much more than any alien visions or otherwise.

The student said the past week and a half, as the allegations have come out, have been tearful, but she said watching Ford testify before the entire country was empowering.

“I’m so proud of her for doing things I have not,” she said, acknowledging that — like many victims — she never reported her assault.

“I’m hoping that seeing someone on the news giving this kind of testimony gives other people the strength and the courage to speak up, and only by speaking up will these things stop happening,” she said.

For many survivors of sexual assault, the hearings stoked trauma or concern. Some victims’ hot lines were lighting up with callers yesterday, she said, as women who had been victimized reacted to the testimony. C-Span, which was live-streaming the hearing, received calls from women telling of their assaults for their first time.

The most devastating thing now would be for the Senate to confirm Kavanaugh after hearing Ford’s account, said the student survivor of sexual assault.

Then they can't do that, can they?

“We [survivors] are all going to feel really defeated and as far as people coming forward, what is the point?”


I'm told that all women have  “either been in the situation or know people” who have, and I don't know what to do. I feel so sorry for that so many women had to and go through such things, but aren't being perpetrated by me. I can't change the past to make it as if terrible things never happened to them. The only good thing I feel I can do is go die.

‘I believe Professor Ford,’ Baker says

Ultimately, the nomination has nothing to do with him. 

I would suggest his time would be time better spent up at the statehouse investigating the NDAs, and are we expected to believe that there is no malfeasance in his administration?

At rape crisis center, empathy for Kavanaugh’s accuser
By Kevin Cullen

Gee, I sure hope Cullen didn't make them up

You would think the guy would be discredited and out of a job, but there he is. 

Maybe someone can hurl an accusation against him.

So what's next, he is “eating our children?”

I'm sure some day there will be a book about it all.

"Viewers transfixed by wrenching testimony in Kavanaugh hearing" by Brian MacQuarrie, Jerome Campbell, Globe Staff  September 27, 2018

I'm curious as to where the Globe went.

On Province Street near Boston Common, tailor Richard Papazian said he had been following Kavanaugh’s confirmation process after he heard about the allegations of sexual misconduct against him. The father of a 32-year-old daughter, Papazian said he needed to show Ford whatever support he could.

“I definitely believe her,” he said. “If this happened to my mom or my daughter, I wouldn’t hesitate to support them.”

He doesn't have a son or brother?

At Club Cafe on Columbus Avenue, the lunch crowd was mostly seated at the bar as the Senate hearing played on 12 televisions at once. Swas Balram called Ford heroic, although he said her testimony was painful to watch.

Are you kidding?

“I feel like she’s reliving trauma,” said Balram, 48, a Wilmington resident who works nearby. “What I don’t understand is what does it take? Why isn’t what she saying valid?”

No one is saying it isn't; we are just asking questions and trying to determine the weight it should be given in regard to the overall.

At The Tam in downtown Boston, bartender Ryan Dalton, 35, said he made sure to get to work on time to watch the hearing. To him, Ford sounded genuine.

Dalton said an inebriated man at the bar called Ford a “liarand a slur and implied that if the assault did occur, then perhaps she deserved it.

You have to wonder if she didn't just pull a Cullen. 

And how does that look for the bar?

They have an inebriated customer in their establishment?

I hope they shut him off.

When it was Kavanaugh’s turn, the bartender at Club Cafe announced: “Here we go, round two.”

Seated at the bar, three friends on a layover from Pittsburgh watched the screen carefully as Kavanaugh delivered his opening statement. Lauren Majernik, 28, said Kavanaugh obviously was angry, but that his tears seemed forced.

“It’s more justification,” Majernik said. “He’s trying to look good.”

Oh, I see. He was puling an acting job.

In a combative opening statement, Kavanaugh denied that he had ever sexually assaulted someone and that “my family and my name have been totally and permanently destroyed by vicious and false accusations.”

How would you react to false charges that are piled on?

What is your breaking point?


"On the first days of the hearings on Brett Kavanaugh’s nomination, in early September, Kamala Harris, Richard Blumenthal, and other Democrats behaved disgracefully, childishly, and peevishly. This was followed by embarrassing, inappropriate protests for days. During the questioning of Judge Kavanaugh, it was the Democrats who had a hyper-combative approach to derail the nomination. I was dismayed and embarrassed by the theatrics. I do not recall that the Globe wrote disapprovingly of this process then....." 

No, the Globe supported them.

woman wrote that?


You know what the solution is, right?

You make adultery a criminal offense and ban sexist catcalls like the French (of course, they are the same La Libertine group that wanted to set the age for sexual consent at 13, but had to settle on 15 as the minimum age for sexual consent as decide by a judge). Then we resegregate gender settings and dissolve the United States of America. New England becomes it's own nation, the Rust belt, the South, the Rockies, the West Coast, we all become like former Soviet provinces. It's the only way to extricate ourselves from a civil war.


Trump backs Kavanaugh

That's why he postponed the meeting with Rod Rosenstein.

To find the elusive truth you need to look them in the face:

"Back seat driver? New car cams may soon sense driver fatigue, texting, other distractions" by Hiawatha Bray Globe Staff  September 27, 2018

While you keep an eye on the road, your car may soon be keeping an eye on you with a system to study a driver’s face to assess his or her mental state. Affectiva Inc. is running tests with several carmakers of software that analyzes facial expressions.

”It’s not just about emotions. It’s about your state of mind,” said Affectiva cofounder Rana el Kaliouby. “We can take this a step further and go a level deeper.”

The software is based on technology Affectiva has deployed to advertisers to measure emotional responses to TV commercials and movies. The company declined to identify the carmakers testing its new system, and in September, Affectiva teamed up with Burlington-based Nuance Communications Inc., maker of speech-recognition systems used in about 200 million cars worldwide. The two companies are building an integrated system that will help a car’s systems adapt to the emotional and mental state of the driver.

Good thing driverless cars are coming up the road, huh?

“We can make our interaction with the driver more human-like,” said Nils Lenke, director of innovation at Nuance’s automotive group. “There are much more options if you can engage the driver in a dialogue.”

I don't like talking while I'm driving.

Imagine, for instance, that video from a dash-mounted camera shows the driver’s eyes flickering and his head slumping. Affectiva software determines the driver is falling asleep and passes this information to the Nuance system, which can send verbal suggestions, depending on the situation. If the car is idling at a traffic light, it might say, “Hey buddy, you could use a cup of coffee,” in a friendly voice, while turning up the air conditioning to make the car less comfortable. The message might be more urgent if the sleepy driver is rolling down the interstate at 80 miles an hour: “Pull over, right now!” the car might shout.

So it will help coffee sales while keeping us all safe?

Founded in 2009 and based on innovations from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Affectiva trained its artificial intelligence to accurately detect emotional responses by feeding it seven million images of human faces, collected in 87 countries and including men and women of every age and ethnic background.

Did you know they were collecting your picture?

There are limits. Affectiva’s software cannot yet tell whether a driver is drunk. Kaliouby said the software can be taught to recognize inebriation by showing it a great many photos of drunk drivers, but those aren’t easy to come by. The company has begun collecting such images, but “we’d probably need hundreds of thousands of examples of people intoxicated,” said Kaliouby, “and it would have to be done in a safe way. So that’s a challenge.”

There are other challenges, according to Colin Barnden, an analyst at the British electronics research firm Semicast Research Ltd. Barnden said real-time emotion tracking will require a fairly powerful computer, one likely to cost a lot and consume a lot of electricity — major issues for modern cars already stuffed with power-hungry gadgets and fetching hefty price tags.

“It’s not clear to me how you reduce the system to the point where you can include it in a vehicle,” Barnden said.

No one riding shotgun?

Affectiva also has no experience making software for cars, a market with ferociously high reliability standards. Barnden said it usually takes at least three years for a new product to be certified as “automotive-grade,” and that carmakers are very slow to purchase new technology from vendors who have no experience making automotive-grade components.

Kaliouby acknowledged the challenge of landing contracts with the carmakers. That’s one reason her company has also partnered with companies such as Nuance, Veoneer, and Wind River.

Now I remember her!


Computer Captures My Emotions
Jolted Awake This Morning
Terminator Told The Truth

At least someone did.

“They obviously have a lot of expertise in this area,” she said, but car software isn’t a sideshow for Affectiva; Kaliouby said it will be the company’s primary focus going forward. “Basically, we identified automotive as the next growth opportunity for our company,” she said.

To see why, look overseas. The European New Car Assessment Programme, which sets car safety standards for the European Union, has said that beginning in 2020, only cars with driver-monitoring systems will be eligible for its highest five-star safety rating. Because of Europe’s intensely competitive car market, Kaliouby believes that most new EU cars will monitor their drivers within a few years.

She also figures it’s only a matter of time before the same technology becomes commonplace over here. “Even if we don’t see regulations in the US,” she said, “it’s going to reset consumer expectations.”

They need to create the market first!

Meantime, Kaliouby is eying other customers for Affectiva’s car software. The company wants to look beyond the driver to the faces of passengers, generating data that ride-sharing companies, for example, could use to create custom “ride profiles” for each customer.

You can let me out here.

Imagine a frequent Uber rider who smiles at country music on the radio, whose eyes widen with fear at an abrupt acceleration, or appears bored when the driver gets chatty. Uber could send a message to the driver that if he wants a bigger tip, he should slow down, shut up, and put on Willie Nelson.

Now imagine the day when self-driving Ubers and taxis arrive: The vehicle could simply download and run each passenger’s ride profile. And what about motion sickness? A 2015 study from the University of Michigan found that up to 12 percent of people suffer from it in cars. An Affectiva system could see a passenger getting sick in time for the car to pull over and let him out.

Kaliouby said the company is in early talks with ride-hailing companies, whom she declined to name, about passenger monitoring, and she insisted that any such system would be switched on only with the rider’s permission.....

And if there is a glitch that left it on?


Did they know it was a satirical Trump-themed exhibit?

02/30/2015 Cambridge Ma David Meeker (cq) is Executive Vice President and Head of Sanofi Genzyme . He is photographed in his Canbridge office for a Business profile. Globe/Staff Photographer Jonathan Wiggs
Dr. David Meeker became chief executive of KSQ last October (Jonathan Wiggs/Globe Staff/file 2015).

How about that face, huh?

Also see:

Alnylam plans to seek FDA approval for second drug

SEC seeks to oust Tesla CEO over tweet

AG, public health agency weigh conditions for Beth Israel-Lahey merger

Busy agenda awaits Massport’s next CEO

BNY Mellon has a simple name for Boston business

It is a “a day of celebration for all of Boston.”


"EPA to eliminate office that advises agency chief on science" by Coral Davenport New York Times   September 28, 2018

WASHINGTON — The Environmental Protection Agency plans to dissolve its Office of the Science Advisor, a senior post that was created to counsel the EPA administrator on the scientific research underpinning health and environmental regulations, according to a person familiar with the agency’s plans. The person spoke anonymously because the decision had not yet been made public.

The move is the latest among several steps taken by the Trump administration that appear to have diminished the role of scientific research in policy making while the administration pursues an agenda of rolling back regulations.

A spokesman for the EPA did not return e-mails or phone calls requesting comment on the move.

Separately Tuesday, in an unusual move, the EPA placed the head of its Office of Children’s Health, Dr. Ruth Etzel, on administrative leave, while declining to give a reason for the move. Agency officials told Etzel, a respected pediatric epidemiologist, that the move was not disciplinary. As the head of an office that regularly pushed to tighten regulations on pollution, which can affect children more powerfully than adults, Etzel had clashed multiple times with Trump administration appointees who sought to loosen pollution rules.

See: Thursday's Crown of Thorns

The EPA’s science adviser is Jennifer Orme-Zavaleta, an expert on the risks of chemicals to human health who has worked at the EPA since 1981, according to the agency’s website.

More bad chemistry.

Orme-Zavaleta did not respond to e-mails and telephone messages requesting a response for comment.

It was unclear whether Orme-Zavaleta would remain at the EPA once the decision takes effect.

The science adviser works across the agency to ensure that the highest quality science is integrated into the agency’s policies and decisions, according to the EPA’s website.

The changes at the two offices, which both report directly to the head of the EPA, come as the agency’s acting administrator, Andrew Wheeler, a former coal lobbyist, is overseeing a reorganization of the agency.

After dissolving the office of the scientific adviser, Wheeler plans to merge the position into an office that reports to the EPA’s deputy assistant administrator for science.



"A Cape Cod tribe filed a federal lawsuit Thursday challenging the Trump administration’s decision not to protect its 300-acre reservation granted by the Obama administration....."

Now that is something Baker can do something about.

Here is the Globe's A2 picture of the day in the wake of Hurricane Florence.

Time to hit the road:

"The deadline for removing New York’s ‘‘I Love NY’’ highway signs is fast approaching, and neither the state nor the federal government seems to be backing down. Without a deal by month’s end on Sunday, New York could lose $14 million in federal highway funding. The big blue signs posted in groups of five along roadways from Long Island to Buffalo were touted by Cuomo as a key component in his effort to boost the state’s $100 billion tourism industry, but the Federal Highway Administration warned state officials that the advertisements didn’t adhere to regulations, contained too much information, and were too distracting to drivers. Cuomo went ahead with the $8 million program anyway....."

The Trump administration is trying to hurt Cuomo's presidential aspirations, aren't they?

"The Jehovah’s Witnesses must pay $35 million to a woman who says the church’s national organization ordered Montana clergy members not to report her sexual abuse as a child at the hands of a congregation member, a jury ruled in a verdict. A judge must review the penalty, and the Jehovah’s Witnesses’ national organization — Watchtower Bible and Tract Society of New York — plans to appeal. Still, the 21-year-old woman’s lawyers say Wednesday’s verdict sends a message to the church to report child abuse to outside authorities. The Office of Public Information at the World Headquarters of Jehovah’s Witnesses responded to the verdict with an unsigned statement. ‘‘Jehovah’s Witnesses abhor child abuse and strive to protect children from such acts. Watchtower is pursuing appellate review,’’ it said. The Montana case is one of dozens that have been filed nationwide over the past decade alleging Jehovah’s Witnesses mismanaged or covered up the sexual abuse of children."

I never answer the door.

Nurse charged with injuring infants at Wisconsin hospital 

A male nurse?

No more of those, please.


Maybe it would make the Globe happy if Kavanaugh ended up like this:

"Former state senator Brian Joyce found dead at his home" by Matt Stout and Danny McDonald Globe Correspondent and Globe Staff  September 27, 2018

Brian A. Joyce, the former state senator who was awaiting trial on federal corruption charges, was found dead in his Westport home Thursday, according to authorities. He was 56.

Foul play is not suspected, and the state medical examiner is expected to conduct an autopsy in “the coming days” to determine the cause and manner of his death, said Gregg Miliote, a spokesman for the Bristol district attorney’s office.

Yeah, who knows when it will be finished.

Joyce’s wife, Mary, found his body early Thursday afternoon, Miliote said. Joyce was involved in a car crash Wednesday night in Westport, but it was not immediately clear whether it had any connection to his death.

Westport police and town officials did not return requests for comment. Attempts to obtain a copy of any police reports relating to the Wednesday crash were not successful.

State Police did not handle the response to the accident, spokesman David Procopio said Thursday, but State Police investigators would consider any injuries Joyce may have sustained in the crash as well as “any other medical evidence related” to Joyce’s health as part of the investigation, Procopio said.

News of Joyce’s death coursed quickly through Massachusetts political circles, where for decades he served as a lawmaker from Milton and climbed the ranks of leadership in the Senate. A Democrat and former state representative first elected to the Senate in 1997, he was an early proponent of marriage equality and a supporter of public education. He ran unsuccessfully for Congress in 2001, losing to Stephen Lynch.

Joyce was charged in December 2017 in a sweeping indictment that accused him of taking bribes and kickbacks that he laundered through his law firm and turning his public office into a criminal enterprise. The accusations followed stories in The Boston Globe examining his mingling of public and personal business. Joyce, who was free on bond, had pleaded not guilty to the 113-count indictment.

Did they drive him to it?

Corruption is much harder to prove these days.

Investigators said they estimated that Joyce, who faced federal charges of mail fraud, corruption, money laundering, and embezzlement, had collected about $1 million since 2010 through various alleged schemes.

Prosecutors said, among other things, he had extorted a Jeep from a Milton developer and collected more than $100,000 in phony legal fees from a Dunkin’ Donuts store owner in exchange for using his influence to help them.

The indictment painted Joyce as using the power of his Senate office to help those who allegedly provided bribes and kickbacks to him. No one else has been charged as part of the case. When defendants die while awaiting trial, the charges against them are typically dismissed.

Attorneys had said they expected to be ready for trial by May 2019, according to a recent court filing.

“We extend our condolences to Mr. Joyce’s family and friends as they grieve his passing,” US Attorney Andrew E. Lelling said in a statement. “We will not have any further comment during this difficult time.”

Max D. Stern, one of Joyce’s attorneys, declined to comment Thursday evening.

“The family has asked that their privacy be respected at this difficult time,” attorney Howard M. Cooper, who also represented Joyce, said in an e-mail.

Senate President Karen E. Spilka was among those who learned of Joyce’s death Thursday afternoon.

“As authorities handle the appropriate investigations, my thoughts are with his family,” she said in a statement.

A spokeswoman for Governor Charlie Baker said he and Lieutenant Governor Karyn Polito “extend their deepest condolences to the Joyce family during this difficult time.”

Once the Senate’s assistant majority leader, Joyce had moved from his longtime hometown of Milton after announcing in 2016 that he wouldn’t seek reelection.

The decision to not run again came days after his law office was raided by federal authorities.

Joyce had also agreed to pay nearly $5,000 to charity for various campaign finance violations, including tapping campaign funds for his son’s high school graduation party, under an agreement with the state Office of Campaign and Political Finance.

Joyce aroused suspicions by repeatedly receiving discounted and sometimes free goods and services, often from businesses in his legislative district. For instance, when he was angling for a Senate leadership position in late 2014, he gave his Senate colleagues expensive sunglasses that he got at a significant discount from a company in his district, as well as pounds of Dunkin’ Donuts coffee.

The Globe also wrote extensively about Joyce’s relationship with Energi, the Peabody company that was the subject of much of the indictment against the former lawmaker. The company, which sells insurance to the energy industry, hired Joyce and his law firm to do legal work and to handle regulatory matters before the state Division of Insurance. Between 2010 and 2015, the company paid the Joyce Law Group $377,169 in fees, according to the indictment.

Even so, Joyce apparently wanted more legal business and fees in return for his help with a bill promoted by the company. He filed the bill and spoke at a symposium sponsored by Energi promoting the bill — never disclosing his ties to the company. Energi put him on retainer, paying him $5,000 a month for approximately five months.

His indictment last year came amid an already turbulent time for the state Senate. Days earlier, then-Senate President Stanley C. Rosenberg had stepped down from his leadership post in the wake of a Globe story, in which four men said his husband, Bryon Hefner, had sexually assaulted and harassed them and had bragged he could influence Senate business.

Rosenberg resigned his seat in May after an ethics investigation found that he had abrogated his leadership responsibilities by giving Hefner essentially unfettered access to the Senate.

What the Hef?

Senator Harriette L. Chandler took the reins as the chamber’s interim president before Spilka emerged from a lengthy leadership fight and officially ascended to the Senate’s top post this summer.


Related: The Gift of Joyce 


Lawrence family that lost home in explosions files lawsuit against Columbia Gas

Two named to lead search for Boston school chief

They will make sure Boston students come to school ready to learn.

If the get there, that is:

"Authorities say a 13-year-old Rhode Island girl who was riding a bicycle to school because of the Providence school bus drivers’ strike has been struck and injured by a car. A police spokeswoman said the girl, who attends Nathan Bishop Middle School, was using a bike from a bike-sharing service at about 8:30 a.m. Thursday when she was struck. Police say she usually takes the bus to school. She was taken to Hasbro Children’s Hospital with what were described as minor leg injuries. The driver was not charged. The bus drivers went on strike Thursday in a dispute with management over retirement benefits, leaving thousands of students with no way to get to class (AP)."

Looks like a suspension is warranted.

Also see:

"Dartmouth College said it will move a set of racially insensitive murals that offended Native American students to an off-campus storage facility. The four painted scenes — inspired by a college drinking song written in the 1800s — objectify Native Americans and belittle their intellect. They have been kept in a closed room in a campus dining room. The murals will still be available to faculty members who want to use them for research and teaching off-campus, the Valley News reported. Dartmouth president Phil Hanlon said that the murals are ‘‘incompatible’’ with the college’s values. Interim provost David Kotz said the murals continue to have value as teaching tools, but officials recognize they are deeply insulting to Native Americans (AP)."

Proving booze and young people just don't mix!

"The city of Springfield has agreed to pay $885,000 to settle federal civil rights lawsuits brought by four black men who alleged they were beaten by off-duty Springfield police officers outside a popular bar in 2015, and then denied justice because of a police coverup......"


RelatedSpringfield police facing civil rights probe

"Boston police arrest suspect in shooting of 15-year-old girl in Mattapan" by Andres Picon and Alyssa Meyers Globe Correspondents  September 27, 2018

Boston police arrested a Mattapan man Thursday morning on charges of shooting a 15-year-old girl in the face in July inside a store in Mattapan, police said.

Officers from the Boston Police Fugitive Unit arrested John Jackson, 24, in the Dudley Square area of Roxbury around 10:50 a.m. after a months-long investigation.

He is facing charges of assault and battery by means of a dangerous weapon, discharging a firearm within 500 feet of a dwelling, unlawful possession of a firearm, unlawful possession of ammunition, and carrying a loaded firearm, police said.

The girl’s wounds were not life threatening.

On July 17, Jackson allegedly walked into the bathroom of a store in the area of 998 Blue Hill Ave. and shot a girl in the face, police said.

“Witnesses heard a noise best described as a ‘bang’ in the bathroom and saw the 15-year-old female victim on the floor,” Boston police said in a statement.

A person who was later identified as Jackson then walked out of the store and ran down Blue Hill Avenue toward Callender Street. The girl was taken to a local hospital to be treated, police said.

Jackson was arraigned in Dorchester District Court Thursday afternoon, said Suffolk district attorney spokesman Jake Wark in an e-mail. Jackson was held on $100,000 bail.

If released, Jackson will wear a GPS and agree to a curfew of 9 p.m. the latest, Wark said.

Jackson is next scheduled to appear in court on Oct. 26.



"Boston police are investigating the death of a man found unresponsive in a cell at a police station downtown earlier this month, according to a department spokesman. John Campbell, 45, of Revere, was found shortly after 8 a.m. on Sept. 7 in a cell at the station on Sudbury Street, said police Sergeant John Boyle. There was no indication of foul play, he said. Campbell’s death is being investigated by the Suffolk district attorney’s office and Boston police, as is standard practice when a person dies in custody, Boyle said. The cause and manner of his death are pending, as authorities await a toxicology report, Boyle said. Campbell was placed into police custody in the early afternoon of Sept. 6. He was booked for assault by means of a dangerous weapon, a knife, said Boyle."

Never a good look for the police.

"A man was fatally shot in Mattapan Square Thursday night, the 39th slaying in the city this year, police said. Police responded to 1651 Blue Hill Ave., the heart of the neighborhood, shortly before 8:50 p.m., said Boston police Sergeant John Boyle. The victim was taken to a hospital, where he was pronounced dead, Boyle said. Police cordoned off a section of the avenue that included a pizza shop, a liquor store, a clothing store, two law offices, and an ATM. Forming a line, least 15 officers with flashlights swept the sidewalk and the half of Blue Hill Avenue that was closed to vehicles with flashlights. No further information as available late Thursday night."

One less problem in the world then.

Also see: 

Jamaica Plain store owner replaces bulletproof glass after daylight shooting

Former Mafia don ‘Cadillac Frank’ Salemme files appeal in mob slaying

Vermont man linked to relatives’ deaths wants aunt out as executor

Forbes Under 30 Summit brings big names to Boston next week

Time to head back to the bar:

Manchester, N.H., man allegedly gnaws off part of bouncer’s finger during altercation at local bar

They kicked him out and while he was stumbling home:

Boston man who allegedly defiled flags in Somerville cemetery surrenders


The dyed hair is a sign of mind control, and at least he didn't take a shit.

"Construction of Hanson home for disabled veteran will continue after vandalism" by Travis Andersen Globe Staff  September 27, 2018

A veterans charity is forging ahead with plans to build a new home in Hanson for an Army corporal who lost portions of his arm and leg during a combat tour in Iraq, after two juveniles allegedly vandalized the house under construction and caused more than $50,000 in damage.

In a statement posted to Facebook on Wednesday, the nonprofit building the house for Corporal Paul Skarinka and his family thanked Hanson police for apprehending the two suspects Monday night.

“We are of course very upset that this happened, and it’s unfortunate that this incident will cost the foundation time and money but the local community in Hanson has been nothing short of fantastic throughout this entire process,” said the charity, Jared Allen’s Homes for Wounded Warriors, in the posting. “With the help of our amazing partners we will put the pieces back together and get the Skarinka family into their new mortgage-free, handicap-accessible home, in time for the holidays.”

In a separate release, Hanson Police Chief Michael Miksch said the vandalism, which wrecked installed lighting, 24 windows, and three doors, was disheartening. “When a veteran and his family, who have sacrificed so much for our country, become the victim of a senseless crime it hurts us all,” Miksch said.

Does that mean if it were to happen to a civilian it wouldn't hurt as much?

In addition to the Jared Allen’s Homes group, the New England Carpenters Training Fund and Commodore Builders are also providing funds for the project, Hanson police said.

According to the fund-raising appeal, Skarinka “was eight months into his first tour of duty with the US Army when his unit came under enemy fire in Sadr City, just outside of Baghdad.”

I still hold George W. Bush responsible.

The appeal also detailed Skarinka’s injuries.

He “suffered a severed artery and serious damage to his left arm and leg in a rocket-propelled grenade explosion,” the posting said. “After 22 surgeries which included amputation of his left leg below the knee and partial amputation of his left arm, his battle injuries remain a daily issue.”

The appeal says Skarinka and his wife currently own another home, but that residence is “not handicap accessible or conducive to his needs as a recent amputee. There are many stairs and the home is not suitable for wheelchair use. The only shower, which is not handicap accessible, is also located upstairs.”


Time for me to cut down on blogging.