Wednesday, June 19, 2019

Early Supper

I dug right in a little earlier than usual. 

Enjoy the fea$t

The feds are looking into the sale of the Harvard fencing coach’s house

Damn fool

Suicides soar among teenagers, Harvard study says

That's not an answer.

On MBTA, a rare rift between Baker and Walsh


Walsh seeks to sharply increase recycling, composting in Boston

Baker touts climate resiliency bill in testimony before lawmakers

Nice to see them on the $ame track again.

[flip to below fold]

David Ortiz’s lawyer says former slugger ‘is innocent in what happened’

“I can say that David Ortiz is innocent in what happened. He has no connection to illicit activities, no relationships with people who have criminal connections, nor has he violated his family values that would bring about such an incident,” José Martínez Hoepelman said in an interview with the Globe Tuesday. He dismissed rumors about the cause of the shooting as cheap gossip, emphasizing that Ortiz is a man of “family values and no enemies.” He said the rumors, which have spread throughout social media and in tabloid newspapers, created “confusion” and were “not based in fact.” “That’s why we need to wait for authorities to give the official version, which will clearly be based on irrefutable evidence,” Hoepelman said. “That will put an end to this story,” he added.

Globe doesn't say what are the rumors and cheap gossip!

David Ortiz case a high-profile test for troubled Dominican criminal justice system

There are allegations of police beatings designed to coerce confessions in a country scrambling to find out who wanted to kill a national hero and why, as Dominicans rank the police ninth out of 10 when asked about their trust in the institution -- only political parties fared worse because of the “baked-in corruption,” police violence, and lack of integrity that have plagued the criminal justice system in the United State as well (not Bo$ton), thus prompting concerns about the government’s ability to properly investigate a jail cell that reeks of sweat and urine.

Now standing in the corner to my left, from Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, Squaw Mother Warren (anybody remember Chief Jay Strongbow?):

"As Elizabeth Warren makes gains in the primary, Trumpworld takes notice" by Liz Goodwin and Jess Bidgood Globe Staff, June 18, 2019

MANCHESTER, N.H. — In a presidential campaign defined by sudden surges and by former vice president Joe Biden’s dominance in the early polls, Senator Elizabeth Warren has done something unique: posted a steady rise through a crowded field, but she doesn’t want to talk about it.

As Warren took the microphone in a restaurant on her 11th trip to New Hampshire on Friday, she pressed on with the policy talk that has powered her momentum.

“She’s climbing the polls because she’s qualified, and she’s got good ideas,” said Wendy Thomas, a New Hampshire state representative who told the Globe she plans to support Warren. “She’s a frickin’ powerful woman, get over it.”

After a sluggish start this winter, Warren is making strides in the Democratic primary campaign. She attracted a crowd of more than 6,000 at a recent Oakland rally and has surged to as high as second place in some early state and national polls, distinguishing herself from the large field with a plethora of policy proposals that have led her fans to embrace “I have a plan for that” as her unofficial slogan.

She has a long way to go to catch Biden, but Republicans have nevertheless taken notice, recently describing her as a threat to President Trump months after he declared her candidacy all but dead.

“We are absolutely taking her seriously as a possible general election opponent, preparing for that possibility and working to educate voters on how extreme her positions truly are,” said Mike Reed, a spokesman for the Republican National Committee.

Trump campaign pollster John McLaughlin raised the alarm internally about Warren’s momentum in May and June in early voting states, Politico first reported, urging the campaign to pay attention to her potential appeal to suburban female voters as well as Midwesterners attracted to her populist style.

In an interview, Warren dismissed the news that the Trump campaign was watching her closely.

“Donald Trump will say whatever. Full stop,” she said. “This is a time to talk about our affirmative vision for what we can do for this country. And that’s what I do in 100-plus town halls taking thousands of questions. It’s not enough to be not Trump.”

When Warren launched her presidential campaign, her prospects seemed dimmer. Her decision to settle lingering questions over her claims of Native American heritage with a DNA test made her a target of ridicule for Trump — who still calls her “Pocahontas” — and left Democrats squirming, and she was still apologizing for the misstep days before her official campaign launch in early February, but that slow start may have had un upside: It encouraged Republicans to ignore her.

“It’s allowed people to get to a place where they treat her as a gigantic nothingburger and I’m not sure that’s correct,” said Liz Mair, a Republican consultant.

It is unclear if Warren is out of the doldrums for good. Some of her competitors have seen swift jumps in the polls only to cool off, and her momentum will likely make her a target of new attacks on both the left and the right, but Warren’s advisers say her campaign was always premised on the long game. Her policy rollouts generate frequent headlines. She keeps a grueling campaign schedule, with far-flung travel and a habit of lingering at campaign events for as long as it takes for every voter to take a picture with her if they want one. Democratic activists say they are impressed with what they see as her resilience.

“I think the only thing Mitch McConnell has said in the past 10 years that I agree with is, she persists,” said Sue Dvorsky, the former chair of the Iowa Democratic Party. “She keeps coming. . . . We’re all keeping an eye on her.”

Warren has already succeeded in building energy on the left, particularly after she became the first top candidate to call for Trump to be impeached. That has helped improve her poll numbers nationwide and in key primary states.

In the latest Iowa poll, Warren was essentially tied for second with Senator Bernie Sanders and Pete Buttigieg, mayor of South Bend, Ind., nine points behind Biden. In New Hampshire, the most recent poll had Biden at 33 percent, Sanders at 20 percent and Warren jumping to third at 17 percent. And she recently came in second in a pair of polls in Nevada and South Carolina.

“Clearly she’s chipping away at Bernie’s support a little bit, but I think she’s drawing support across the board,” said Mark Longabaugh, a former top Sanders campaign adviser who is now unaffiliated. “One of the strengths she’s brought to the campaign is the ability to build a broad coalition from the left.”

Warren also is seen as speaking directly to Trump’s voters in Midwestern states on manufacturing and trade issues he snatched from Democrats in 2016.

“The last thing we need as Republicans is to lose the new coalition we’ve built just because there’s an eloquent and resilient opponent on the other side,” said Michael Caputo, a former adviser to the Trump campaign. “If Elizabeth Warren addresses them, they will listen.”

On a trip to Michigan and Indiana this month, she castigated companies for moving jobs offshore and rolled out an “economic patriotism” plan intended to shore up American industry.

Fox News personality Tucker Carlson dedicated a portion of his opening monologue recently to praising the plan, which he said “sounds like Donald Trump at his best.”

“So who is this Elizabeth Warren, you ask?” Carlson asked. “Well, not the race-hustling, gun-grabbing, abortion extremist you thought you knew.”

The monologue was seen as a giant waving red flag in Trumpworld. “I think what Tucker was saying there, beyond the obvious, is that all of us who support the president of the United States better watch our backs because she is going to steal our lunch if we’re not careful,” Caputo said.

When asked about the sudden love from Carlson, Warren told the Globe simply: “He’s right.”

Still, some Republican strategists are skeptical the Trump campaign genuinely fears Warren, given that Biden’s more center-of-road policy positions would be harder for Trump to paint with his favorite “socialist” brush.

On Twitter and in recent interviews, Trump has focused on insulting Biden and occasionally Sanders, not so much Warren, and Trump recently fired pollsters for leaking data showing him trailing Biden in several key states.

“There’s no question that Warren is rising in the polls in the Democratic primary and making inroads with likely primary voters but she remains a divisive and partisan figure in a general election,” said Ryan Williams, a former staffer on 2012 Republican nominee Mitt Romney’s campaign. “And I think the president’s team recognizes that she would be an easier general election opponent than a more centrist candidate like Joe Biden,” but Colin Reed, who ran former senator Scott Brown’s unsuccessful reelection bid against Warren in 2012, said he heard similar predictions back then, with many in Washington predicting that Warren would be an easier general election opponent than some of the more moderate candidates in the primary.

“I’ve heard her be underestimated before,” Reed said. “That’s not a mistake I would make.”


Israel vetted her?

Here is your referee: 

"Joe Biden told supporters at a Manhattan fund-raiser Monday that his presidential campaign has raised money from 360,000 donors, with an average contribution of $55 — figures that suggest he has amassed nearly $20 million. If so, the former vice president’s haul would eclipse that of any of the other Democratic White House hopefuls in the first quarter of the year, including Senator Bernie Sanders, who reported taking in $18.2 million from about 500,000 donors. Sanders also reported another $2.5 million in transfers from previous campaigns (Washington Post)."

All the money in the world.....


The National lead and in the corner to my right, hailing from New York City, the Orrrrrrange Ogrrrrrrre:

Trump kicks off reelection bid

It's a New York Times piece that replaced my AP piece (which has been rewritten), and I'm not going to chase down something I don't care about and makes me sick. I'm tired of the wre$tling match and I can't stand all the flag-waving for it reminds me of the fascists.


"The hometown paper of the Florida city where Donald Trump made his reelection announcement says it won’t endorse the president. The Orlando Sentinel said in an editorial Tuesday that some readers may wonder how the publication can eliminate a candidate before anyone knows who his opponent will be. The Sentinel answers that it’s ‘‘because there’s no point pretending we would ever recommend that readers vote for Trump.’’ The paper says it has had enough of ‘‘the chaos, the division, the schoolyard insults, the self-aggrandizement, the corruption, and especially the lies.’’


I should start reading them then and untangle myself from the Globe.

Trump renews pledge to deport millions

That Washington Post report was as invisible as the story in my printed pos, and is just a reminder of his failure to keep promises as they dump the migrant refugees all across this country.

Manafort to remain in federal custody

It's a 16-count indictment that accuses him of giving false information on mortgage loan applications (?), and he was expected to be held at New York City’s notorious jail complex, Rikers Island, where his health and safety could be threatened because Rikers Island has been plagued by complaints of violence for years, until the state case is resolved.

That's a scary trip to the cell, and it means they gave him a room to mentally break him.

I wouldn't be surprised if he was found dead or dies in court.

On the upside, he will at least lose some weight:

"Preschoolers on government food aid have grown a little less pudgy, a US study found, offering fresh evidence that previous signs of declining obesity rates weren’t a fluke, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported. ‘‘It gives us more hope that this is a real change,’’ said Heidi Blanck, who heads obesity prevention at the CDC. Improvements in food options in that program including adding more fruits, vegetables, and whole grains may have contributed to the back-to-back obesity declines, researchers said. The findings should be celebrated, said Dr. William Dietz, a former CDC obesity expert....."

Or it could be the late lunch (or no lunch at all).

Lucky you are not in India:

"More than 100 children have died in an encephalitis outbreak in India’s eastern state of Bihar, authorities said Tuesday. Despite the deaths, Bihar health secretary Sanjay Kumar said the mortality rate among children from encephalitis, which can cause swelling of the brain, a burning fever, and vomiting, had dropped to 26.5 percent from 34 percent a year ago. Young children are particularly vulnerable to the disease. Thousands of Indians suffer from encephalitis, malaria, typhoid, and other mosquito-borne diseases each year during the summer monsoon season....."

My first reaction was any kids recently vaccinated for anything because it reminds me of the Zika crisis, and I will bet this story disappears like Houdini.

I wouldn't take them to a doctor if I were you:

"A former Pennsylvania pediatrician was sentenced Monday to at least 79 years in prison for sexually assaulting 31 children, most of them patients, as his now-adult victims blasted not only their abuser but the system that let him get away with it for so long. Prosecutors said Dr. Johnnie Barto of Johnstown spent decades abusing children in the exam room at his pediatric practice in western Pennsylvania and at local hospitals, having opted to become a pediatrician so he’d have a ready supply of victims. Authorities had a chance to stop Barto in 2000, when he appeared before the Pennsylvania Board of Medicine on administrative charges that he molested two young girls in the 1990s, but regulators threw out the case....."

What did he do, fail out of priest school?

Pennsylvania may well be a hub for child procurement, for the DA Kane tried to investigate and uncover it and was slandered, smeared, imprisoned, and stripped of her law license. Sandusky was just the tip of the iceberg.

I was also told "Barto was a beloved pediatrician in Johnstown — and an elected school board member — with hundreds of supporters who flatly disbelieved he was a pedophile, and that such was the community’s support that ribbons were distributed and worn at a high school football game as he typically abused prepubescent girls, even an infant, and after he was charged last year, some people in the area still couldn’t accept the truth about him and launched a Facebook support group."

A real wolf in the fold, huh?

Of course, there are some things you can't talk about anymore, and truth never fears investigation no matter how objectionable the content. Call one the mother of all mass casualty events, and the other a resurrection after 7 years.


Speaking of mass casualty events, my top of the page World lead (of course):

"Pompeo: US forces in Persian Gulf just a deterrent" by Matthew Lee Associated Press, June 18, 2019

WASHINGTON — The Trump administration is not seeking conflict with Iran, and its military buildup in the Persian Gulf is aimed entirely at deterring Iranian aggression and threats to US interests and international shipping, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said Tuesday.

I guess that is why he got the job at the CIA first. What a splendid liar.

On a visit to US Central Command in Florida just before the defense establishment was jolted by the sudden departure of the acting Pentagon chief, Pompeo said he is confident the American military is acting to confront any challenge. It is prepared and ready, he said, to respond to any attack by Iran on US interests or Iranian disruption of international shipping lanes through which much of the world’s oil supplies flow.

First of all, what was the Secretary of State doing at Centcom? That's not his realm. 


"President Trump on Tuesday withdrew the nomination of Patrick M. Shanahan to be the permanent defense secretary, leaving the Pentagon in transition at a time of escalating tensions with Iran and questions about the role of the military at the border with Mexico. Shanahan, who had been serving as the acting defense secretary, announced his resignation as a routine FBI background investigation, conducted on all Cabinet nominees, was continuing because of Shanahan’s divorce. Shanahan’s ex-wife had accused him of punching her in the stomach, which Shanahan has denied. He said that his ex-wife started the fight, and his spokesman said that she was arrested and charged with domestic violence, charges which were eventually dropped. Trump named Mark T. Esper, secretary of the Army and a former Raytheon executive, to take over as acting secretary of defense. He did not say whether Esper would be nominated for the permanent position. In a Twitter post, the president said the withdrawal was the decision of Shanahan, who has served for six months as acting defense secretary. According to court documents viewed by The New York Times, in 2011 Shanahan’s son, who was 17 at the time, hit his mother repeatedly with a baseball bat, and she was hospitalized. The next day, Patrick Shanahan flew from Seattle to Florida and stayed with his son for several days before his son turned himself in to the authorities (New York Times)."

He's looking forward to being a “ good father,” and I guess there isn't any more to it, huh? Not like he might want to desert a sinking ship before a Gulf of Trumpkin or some such event, huh?

A day after the Defense Department announced the deployment of an additional 1,000 troops to the region, Pompeo stressed that President Trump doesn’t want war and only wants to reestablish a deterrent to Iranian threats.

‘‘President Trump does not want war, and we will continue to communicate that message, while doing the things that are necessary to protect American interests in the region,’’ he told reporters at Central Command headquarters in Tampa.

Pompeo said he made the trip to Florida to meet with commanders who would be responsible for any operations in the Gulf to ensure that America’s diplomatic and military efforts are coordinated ‘‘to make sure that we’re in the position to do the right thing.’’ The ‘‘right thing,’’ he said, ‘‘is to continue to work to convince the Islamic Republic of Iran that we are serious and to deter them from further aggression in the region.’’

Not a good sign, and the U.S.-created, directed, and funded ISIS™ is gone because of them! 

Trump, in an interview published Monday night, characterized alleged attacks by Iran against two oil tankers in the Gulf of Oman as ‘‘very minor’’ and suggested that the United States might not go to war to protect international oil supplies.

Have we finally gotten through to him, because the it didn't seem like it at the rally last night.

Trump’s assessment in Time magazine reflected a softer posture than that of senior administration officials at the Pentagon and the State Department, as well as some congressional Republicans, as tensions between the United States and Iran have flared recently.

In the interview, Trump said he would ‘‘certainly’’ go to war to prevent Iran from getting a nuclear weapon.

‘‘I would keep the other a question mark,’’ he said when asked whether he would take military action in response to attacks on oil tankers.

Not ruling it out, either, and I'm sure the world gets sick of this bad cop, good cop routine.

Last week, Trump administration officials blamed Iran for attacks against Norwegian and Japanese oil tankers.

‘‘So far, it’s been very minor,’’ he told Time, referring to those and other recent attacks the United States has blamed on Iran.

Then why is the pre$$ blowing it all up?

Meanwhile Tuesday, Iran’s president, Hassan Rouhani, said that while ‘‘we do not wage war with any nation,’’ Iranians will withstand mounting US pressure and emerge victorious.

His comments came after Iran announced on Monday that it could soon start enriching uranium to just a step away from weapons-grade levels, a challenge to Trump’s assurances to allies that the US withdrawal from the deal last year made the world a safer place.

The Pentagon responded by ordering the additional troops to the region, including security forces for additional surveillance and intelligence-gathering.

Not only are those clear indications of military action (like the lead-up to the Iraq War, remember), but the pre$$ got the timeline wrong. Pentagon sent that stuff before the announced uranium enrichment enhancement that still doesn't come close to weapons grade, yet it is portrayed as a "step away" -- like they could have a bomb tomorrow (to hand of to Syrian terrorists so they can be smuggled into Chicago for a poof, right?).

Iran has denied responsibility for the attacks on the oil tankers. With details murky and no one owning up to the incidents, the Pentagon released new photos intended to bolster its case.


That's new$peak for false flag! 

The details are "murky."

So more forged, fake, or out of context photos are going to convince us? 


In announcing the new deployment before he resigned, Shanahan said the forces are ‘‘for defensive purposes to address air, naval, and ground-based threats’’ in the Mideast.

‘‘The United States does not seek conflict with Iran,’’ Shanahan said, describing the move as intended ‘‘to ensure the safety and welfare of our military personnel working throughout the region and to protect our national interests.’’

He said the United States will continue to adjust troop levels as needed.


Jut a reminder:

"How far back does concern about foreign influence in the US go? All the way back" bMartin Finucane Globe StaffJune 14, 2019

How far back does concern about foreign influence in US politics go? All the way back.

Right back to the Revolution, where synagogues gave aid and comfort to the enemy, but it is the slave history that is to be remembered as he went to sleep Father’s Day evening and did not awaken.

The Founding Fathers were worried about the same things that many observers of President Trump are worried about today.

President Trump said earlier in the week that “I’d take it” if hostile powers offered incriminating information about an election opponent — and that he would not necessarily call the FBI.

The words sparked a firestorm of criticism from Democrats — and Republicans distanced themselves from the statement.

Trump appeared to backtrack Friday, saying he would “absolutely” inform law enforcement if he were approached, but his startling initial comments raised questions once again about his willingness to profit from the aid of a hostile foreign power.

To experts, the concern is nothing new, but let’s go straight to the sources. Here are a few of the many instances of the founders warning of the dangers of foreign influence:

“You are apprehensive of foreign Interference, Intrigue, Influence.—So am I—” — Letter from John Adams to Thomas Jefferson, Dec. 6, 1787

“So likewise, a passionate attachment of one nation for another produces a variety of evils. Sympathy for the favorite nation, facilitating the illusion of an imaginary common interest in cases where no real common interest exists, and infusing into one the enmities of the other, betrays the former into a participation in the quarrels and wars of the latter without adequate inducement or justification. It leads also to concessions to the favorite nation of privileges denied to others which is apt doubly to injure the nation making the concessions; by unnecessarily parting with what ought to have been retained, and by exciting jealousy, ill-will, and a disposition to retaliate, in the parties from whom equal privileges are withheld. And it gives to ambitious, corrupted, or deluded citizens (who devote themselves to the favorite nation), facility to betray or sacrifice the interests of their own country.” — George Washington Farewell Address, Sept. 19, 1796

Boy, does that ever translate to our current time as Washington must be whirling at Warp 10 inside his tomb.

Elbridge Gerry of Massachusetts “wished that in the future the eligibility [for congressmen] might be confined to Natives. Foreign powers will intermeddle in our affairs, and spare no [expense] to influence them. Persons having foreign attachments will be sent among us & insinuated into our councils, in order to be made instruments for their purposes. Every one knows the vast sums laid out in Europe for secret services. He was not singular in these ideas. A great many of the most [influential] men in Massts. reasoned in the same manner.” —James Madison, notes of the Constitutional Convention, Aug. 13, 1787

What is he saying, no dual nationals?

Alexander Hamilton warned, “Foreign powers also will not be idle spectators. They will interpose, the confusion will increase, and a dissolution of the Union will ensue.” — James Madison, notes of the Constitutional Convention, June 18, 1787

“Nothing was more to be desired than that every practicable obstacle should be opposed to cabal, intrigue, and corruption. These most deadly adversaries of republican government might naturally have been expected to make their approaches from more than one quarter, but chiefly from the desire in foreign powers to gain an improper ascendant in our councils.” — Alexander Hamilton, Federalist 68


“One of the weak sides of republics, among their numerous advantages, is that they afford too easy an inlet to foreign corruption. An hereditary monarch, though often disposed to sacrifice his subjects to his ambition, has so great a personal interest in the government and in the external glory of the nation, that it is not easy for a foreign power to give him an equivalent for what he would sacrifice by treachery to the state. The world has accordingly been witness to few examples of this species of royal prostitution, though there have been abundant specimens of every other kind. In republics, persons elevated from the mass of the community, by the suffrages of their fellow-citizens, to stations of great pre-eminence and power, may find compensations for betraying their trust, which, to any but minds animated and guided by superior virtue, may appear to exceed the proportion of interest they have in the common stock, and to overbalance the obligations of duty.” —Alexander Hamilton, Federalist 22

“An avaricious man might be tempted to betray the interests of the state to the acquisition of wealth. An ambitious man might make his own aggrandizement, by the aid of a foreign power, the price of his treachery to his constituents.” — Alexander Hamilton, Federalist 75

My printed copy had portrait of George Washington, not Hamilton, who was nothing more than a Rothschild agent who pushed the idea of a central bank upon us.

"US deploys advanced anti-missile system in Israel" by Isabel Debre Associated Press, March 4, 2019

JERUSALEM — The United States has deployed a highly advanced missile defense system in Israel for the first time, the American and Israeli militaries announced Monday, reflecting their shared concerns about Iran’s development of powerful missiles.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu hailed the deployment of the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense system, or THAAD, as a testament to the strength of the two countries’ military ties, saying that it makes Israel ‘‘even stronger in order to deal with near and distant threats from throughout the Middle East.’’

Lieutenant Colonel Jonathan Conricus, an Israeli army spokesman, told reporters that a THAAD battery, flown in from the United States and Europe, arrived Monday at an air force base in southern Israel. He said that the defense battery has only been installed a few times elsewhere in the world, and tested the US ability to carry out accelerated deployment of such powerful and complex weapons.

Israel already has an advanced multilayered missile defense system, capable of intercepting everything from advanced guided long-range missiles outside the atmosphere to short-range unguided rockets fired from neighboring Gaza.

During this week’s drill, the THAAD battery, which shoots down long and intermediate range missiles, will bolster Israel’s existing systems. The deployment is temporary, and, for now, the THAAD system will not be permanently integrated into the Israeli defense shield, Conricus said.

The US military said the deployment demonstrates the United States’ ‘‘continued commitment to Israel’s regional security’’ and more broadly shows that US forces can ‘‘respond quickly and unpredictably to any threat, anywhere, at any time.’’

Yes, it is a "very loving relationship."

Conricus described the deployment as a defensive drill unrelated to current developments in the region, but it comes amid tensions with Iran and its Lebanese proxy Hezbollah. Earlier this year, tensions nearly escalated into a confrontation between the longtime foes when Israel struck Iranian military targets in Syria in retaliation for Iran launching a missile from Damascus toward northern Israel. The Iranian missile was successfully intercepted by Israel’s defensive shield.

Israeli officials have repeatedly raised concerns about Iran’s development of long-range missiles as well as Hezbollah’s vast arsenal of rockets and missiles in neighboring Lebanon.



Netanyahu to cut US trip short after Gaza rocket strikes central Israel

Netanyahu, in Washington to meet President Donald Trump, held emergency consultations with military officials back in Israel and decided to cut his visit short, cancelling a planned address to the AIPAC conference and meetings with congressional leaders.

Also see: The Child of Gaza

Did you know that flipping through the $unday Globe is a form of free speech (which is oddly what they got after turning these two down)?

"Boris Johnson builds lead in race to be UK prime minister" by Jill Lawless Associated Press, June 18, 2019

LONDON — Boris Johnson increased his lead Tuesday in the race to become Britain’s next prime minister as one of his rivals was eliminated in a party vote, leaving a five-strong field.

Johnson won 126 of the 313 votes cast Tuesday in a second-round ballot of Conservative Party lawmakers, all but guaranteeing he will be one of the final two candidates in a runoff that will be decided by party members.

Dominic Raab, who tried to vie with Johnson for the votes of committed Brexit supporters, got 30 votes, three short of the threshold needed to go through to the next round.

Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt, Environment Secretary Michael Gove, International Development Secretary Rory Stewart, and Home Secretary Sajid Javid all remain contenders in what is now effectively a race for second place.

All five candidates were taking part in a live television debate on Tuesday evening, two days after Johnson skipped another televised debate despite being the front-runner for the post.

Tory lawmakers will vote again Wednesday and, if needed, Thursday. The final two contenders will go to a postal ballot of all 160,000 Conservative Party members nationwide.

The winner, due to be announced in late July, will replace Theresa May as both party leader and British prime minister. May stepped down as party leader earlier this month after failing to secure Parliament’s approval for her Brexit deal.

The divorce sure is taking a long time, for she should have moved out by now. I know it means less money and her chances of winning a seat in Parliament appear slim after the rebuke:

"British lawmakers opened Round Two in their bruising battle with Prime Minister Theresa May’s government over her Brexit deal, as the release of previously secret legal advice provided more ammunition for opponents of her unpopular divorce agreement with the European Union. British lawmakers opened Round Two in their bruising battle with Prime Minister Theresa May’s government over her Brexit deal, as the release of previously secret legal advice provided more ammunition for opponents of her unpopular divorce agreement with the European Union....."

You would think she is trying to swim around Cape Horn given all headwinds against her, and “I can't follow it anymore.” She is a dead duck no matter how she scrambles with her demise just weeks away.

Johnson, a flamboyant former foreign secretary, was already the front-runner after last week’s first round of voting in a race that started out with 10 competitors. He has since been backed by several lawmakers who have dropped out, including hard-line Brexit supporters Esther McVey and Andrea Leadsom and moderate Matt Hancock.

Johnson added a dozen votes to his tally from last week, securing more votes than the combined total for the next three challengers. All the contenders vow they will succeed where May failed and lead Britain out of the European Union.

Johnson’s rivals are divided over how willing they are to contemplate a no-deal Brexit. Javid says no-deal would be preferable to further delay, while Hunt warns it would cause ‘‘potentially severe economic disruption’’ and Gove says he would be willing to postpone Brexit further in order to secure a deal.

I would wager that Javid has no chance.

Johnson’s team is keeping him on a tight leash, wary of gaffes that could derail his campaign. Johnson is admired by many Conservatives for his ability to energize voters, but others mistrust him for his long record of misleading and false statements, verbal blunders, and erratic performance in high office.

Stewart, who started the campaign as a rank outsider but has electrified the race, accused Johnson of selling ‘‘fairy tales’’ about how he would solve the Brexit puzzle.

Stewart’s energetic campaign and call for compromise has won praise from many outside the Conservative Party. He urged Tory lawmakers to put him into the final two and give the party a distinct alternative to Johnson.

Isn't that election interference, and who was it, the Russians again?

‘‘I would love to go against him,’’ Stewart said.....

Be careful what you wish for. Just ask Scott Brown.


Maybe this guy should be Prime Minister:

"Man who threw milkshake at Farage must pay him 350 pounds" by Palko Karasz New York Times, June 18, 2019

LONDON — A man who threw a milkshake at Nigel Farage, the leader of Britain’s Brexit Party, pleaded guilty Tuesday to the attack and was sentenced to carry out 150 hours of community service and to pay Farage 350 pounds, about $440, in compensation.

The man, Paul Crowther, 32, hurled the milkshake at Farage during a campaign event last month in the northeastern city of Newcastle, where the politician was trying to garner support for his newly established Brexit Party before the European Parliament elections.

Crowther was charged with assault and criminal damage to property for covering Farage’s suit and face in bright patches of banana and salted caramel milkshake.

As one of the earliest proponents of Brexit, Farage has been a controversial figure in Britain. During the European Parliament campaign, he spoke in favor of the country’s leaving the European Union without a deal if necessary, a move that analysts warn could lead to shortages of food and medicine, hurt manufacturers, and severely damage Britain’s economy.

Prosecutors said Tuesday in a statement that “in an open democracy, people should be free to conduct legitimate political campaigns without fear of physical assault,” but they said that the actions of Crowther, who entered his guilty plea in a Newcastle court Tuesday, had crossed the line into criminal behavior.

Britain has experienced passionate and sometimes violent episodes since the Brexit referendum in June 2016. Against the backdrop of a polarized public debate, lawmakers, journalists, and campaigners have been insulted and attacked in public, and Farage was not the first to be doused in sticky liquid.

Stephen Yaxley-Lennon, a British far-right activist known as Tommy Robinson who also ran for a seat in the European Parliament, received two doses in one day during the campaign. A flurry of users then shared video of the incident online.

Robinson censored for following pedophile ring trial. Gotta keep all that hush-hush, like the BBC and Saville and over at the Parliament.

It was also video material that enabled prosecutors to build a case against Crowther. They said they hoped the case would act “as a deterrent to others considering any criminal form of political protest.”

Crowther, who was arrested at the scene, later wrote on Facebook about Farage that “the bile and the racism he spouts out in this country is far more damaging than a bit of milkshake to his front,” according to Sky News.

In court Tuesday, a lawyer for Crowther described the episode as a “moment of madness” and said his client now regretted what he had done, the BBC reported.

The assault charge he faced carried a maximum penalty of six months in prison. The charge of criminal damage, which Crowther faced for damage caused to Farage’s suit and remote microphone, also includes a maximum sentence of six months in prison.

Some supporters suggested that it was Crowther who had suffered a loss — of his milkshake, which Crowther said he had purchased at a nearby fast-food outlet for 5.25 pounds (about $6.50). They raised more than 1,700 pounds on a crowdfunding page to “Get Paul Crowther his milkshake money back.”


British politics are governed by one simple rule at the moment, and it is as easy as ABC: Anybody But Corbyn

It's a promise, and he's going to get the royal treatment:

"A UK judge has sentenced a teenager who created an ‘‘abhorrent’’ online image of Prince Harry to four years and three months in a young offenders’ institution. Judge Rebecca Poulet lambasted student Michal Szewczuk, 19, for creating an image of Harry with a pistol to his head against a blood-spattered background. The post, which was shared a few months after Harry married biracial ex-actress Meghan Markle, included the phrase ‘‘See Ya Later Race Traitor.’’ Szewczuk pleaded guilty to two counts of encouraging terrorism and five counts of possession of terrorist material. He was sentenced at London Criminal Court alongside Oskar Dunn-Koczorowski, 18, who admitted two counts of encouraging terrorism. Poulet said the posts ‘‘are abhorrent as well as criminal by reason of their clear intention to encourage terrorist acts.’’

couple allegedly acted on it and shut down the airport, but were later freed and Gatwick: investigators were flummoxed:

"More than a week after somebody (or somebodies) with a drone (or drones) shut down a major airport and ruined the travel plans of tens of thousands of people, the British police had little to offer Thursday except warnings about how little they had to offer. The shutdown of Gatwick Airport for almost a day and a half last week showed how easily the sophisticated global aviation network can be crippled by someone with even limited resources, how vulnerable the system is to mischief — or worse — and how hard it can be to find the culprits. The police have no one in custody in the case, they have suggested that they are still unsure of a motive, and they are not certain how many drones were involved....." 

Yeah, no lone gunman there despite the country being the most surveilled place on Earth, and I hate to say it but the whole event smells like a mind-fook psyop and more Gladio tension!

Had to sell the airport:

"Vinci SA agreed to acquire control of Gatwick Airport for $3.7 billion as the French construction company jumped on the chance to add a major London hub to its aviation portfolio. The purchase of a 50.01 percent stake in the world’s second-busiest single-runway airport from a group of investors including sovereign wealth funds from Abu Dhabi and Australia will be financed with pound-denominated debt, Vinci said Thursday. Existing shareholder Global Infrastructure Partners will manage the remaining holding. With 45.7 million passengers in 2018, Gatwick will become the largest airport in Vinci’s global network that spans Brazil to Sweden. Gatwick has been under pressure due to intensifying competition from London’s other airports and lost out to Heathrow, Europe’s busiest hub, in a contest to win government backing for the construction of a new runway."

All see: Migrants crossing the English Channel has become ‘major incident,’ UK says

They rerouted the ship to Denmark, but somehow the ship ended up docking in Germany before ending up in New Guinea because of the French workers who were brought in to manage customs:

"French President Emmanuel Macron’s government has unveiled plans to make it more difficult for the unemployed to claim benefits, as part of an overhaul of France’s labor market that aims to boost the nation’s economy. Labor Minister Muriel Penicaud said Tuesday that the changes were ‘‘tough, yet important.’’ Unions have denounced the plans as unfair and damaging to the country’s social security system......"

Whatever happened to the Yellow Vests, I mean, “one would have to be deaf and blind not to see or hear the anger.” Instead the coverage was scrapped because the $y$tem is $tacked against them -- and so the pressure builds until “life is no longer worth living and there is no more hope” -- for Australia has recognized Jerusalem as Israel's capital and it is snowing in South, raising fears of a "rapid unraveling" of the environment.

If only you had a puppy to play with:

"Britain has banned third-party sales of puppies and kittens to protect the animals from exploitation. The government says the new law will help crack down on ‘‘puppy farms’’ and make it harder for unscrupulous dealers who have little regard for animal welfare. The decision follows a public consultation that found overwhelming support for banning third-party sales....."

How about a Playmate instead?

"Ted Baker PLC, the UK fashion retailer investigating complaints about founder Ray Kelvin’s conduct, has dismantled a “hug zone” in its London offices. The area had been identified by a sign on the floor near Kelvin’s desk, which was removed earlier this week, a representative of the company said. The move follows the launch of an online petition by employees who complained about workplace hugging at Ted Baker."

"Employees of the high-end British retailer Ted Baker have accused chief executive Ray Kelvin of harassment, claiming the workplace is dominated by a culture of inappropriate hugging and touching, as well as sexually suggestive comments. More than 200 employees released a petition saying the company’s HR department has ignored reports of harassment, which include Kelvin’s ‘‘sexual innuendos at staff,’’ stroking people’s necks, taking off his shirt, and openly talking about his sex life. The petition has racked up more than 2,500 public signatures on the employee campaign site Organise. In a statement, Ted Baker said Kelvin often greets people with hugs, including shareholders, investors, suppliers, customers, and colleagues......"

Damn fool, but at least he has "sobered up."

Remember the good old days when the sun never set on the Empire?

"Pakistani military helicopter teams rescued six mountain climbers on Tuesday after an avalanche trapped them on a treacherous stretch of the Hindu Kush on the border with Afghanistan, officials said. The rescued climbers — four of them Italian, two of them Pakistani — were hit on Monday. Their Pakistani guide was killed immediately, officials said....."

On the other side of the hill we find:

Hong Kong’s leader publicly apologizes for extradition bill

It is a New York Times piece so I didn't bother.

Photo, page A4China earthquake

It was the third photo of the fifteen in the slide, and at least the Globe reported it.

"Giant Manufacturing saw the writing on the wall early on. The world’s biggest bicycle maker started moving production of US-bound orders out of its China facilities to its home base in Taiwan as soon as it heard President Trump threaten tariff action in September. Giant is part of a growing number of global firms that are pivoting production out of China in reaction to the increasingly hostile trade relations between the two superpowers. Intel Corp. this week became the latest to say it’s reviewing its global supply chain, while Li & Fung, the world’s largest supplier of consumer goods, said the trade war is spurring it to diversify away from China."

Obama wins for he was the first to pivot toward Asia!

"President Trump said Tuesday that he and President Xi Jinping of China had spoken by phone and would have an “extended” meeting at the Group of 20 meeting next week in Osaka, Japan. His comments were the first confirmation that the two leaders would actually meet after trade talks between the United States and China stalled in May and suggested that the two countries were once again trying to find compromise. “Had a very good telephone conversation with President Xi of China,” Trump said on Twitter. “We will be having an extended meeting next week at the G-20 in Japan. Our respective teams will begin talks prior to our meeting.” Stocks jumped after the president’s tweet, as skittish investors took comfort in the potential for renewed discussions between the world’s two largest economies....."

They did more than that, stocks surged, even as recession fears grow in Europe.

Blame this guy:

"The White House explored the legality of demoting Federal Reserve chairman Jerome Powell in February, soon after President Trump talked about firing him, according to people familiar with the matter. The White House counsel’s office weighed the legal implications of stripping Powell of his chairmanship and leaving him as a Fed governor, the people said, in what would be an unprecedented move. A replacement would have to be nominated by Trump and confirmed by the Senate. Trump’s team conducted the legal analysis and came to a conclusion that has remained closely held within the White House, the people said, requesting anonymity to discuss internal deliberations. It isn’t clear whether Trump directed the legal review, and the people didn’t describe the outcome. A White House official who declined to be identified said he wouldn’t comment on what he called alleged discussions from months ago. Trump’s top economic adviser, Larry Kudlow, said demoting Powell isn’t currently under consideration. “It’s not happening today so therefore I have nothing to say on it,” Kudlow told reporters. Fed spokeswoman Michelle Smith said in an e-mail: “Under the law, a Federal Reserve Board chair can only be removed for cause.” 

Unlike a president, who can be
killed anyway (how is his health, btw?), and I'm sure he will be getting plenty of letters.

Either that or his presidency will end up like a beached whale:

"A beached whale found in the Philippines on Saturday died with 88 pounds of plastic trash inside its body. Ingesting plastic gives whales a false sensation of fullness without providing any of the nutrients they need. The whale’s grisly death brought renewed focus to the worldwide problem of plastics ending up in oceans....."

Not that I am indifferent (it was a demoralizing few days for women in Italian courts), but I didn't learn anything. If only you could track and trap them.


Althea Garrison seeks to challenge council from the right

She's the Republican version of Maxine Waters, and with an ex-priest as her top aide.

High school athletes file complaint over transgender policy

The "girls" lo$t out on top finishes and college scholarships, but the complaint filed Monday was submitted by a conservative Christian law firm on their behalf, saying transgender girls have been consistently winning track and field events as they break barriers in sports around the world from high school to the pros, and thus the suit must be dismissed without merit (sorry, girls, just try harder next time).

All that training only to have some anatomical man come in at the last minute and win. 

Where is #MeToo when you need them?

NH to expand medical treatment for substance use disorder

Vermont requires testing of schools’ water for lead

That's a blot on us:

"Two men used a fake heart attack to distract a cashier before robbing a store Sunday evening in Malden, officials said. Surveillance video released Monday from the CVS at 575 Broadway shows a man leaping over the counter, pushing the cashier, and clearing out the cash drawer before the two men run out of the store, said Malden Police Captain Marc Gatcomb. “Two white males entered the store together, one eventually approaching the front counter” and faking a heart attack, Malden police said in a statement. Gatcomb said police believed as of Tuesday morning that they had identified one of the men, but they were not releasing his name, pending an arrest warrant. “We would like to make sure they’re both held accountable for their actions, and also to make sure his ‘heart problems’ have been taken care of by a medical professional,” the statement said. The men fled with an undetermined amount of cash, but Gatcomb said one suspect did leave a hat behind. “The fella wearing the knit hat left it behind when he fled! I’m sure if the public’s help doesn’t lead to your identity, the hat you left behind likely will,” the statement said. The two men, once apprehended, will be charged with unarmed robbery. Gatcomb encouraged anyone with information to call the detective division....."

You will have to click on the link because I don't give out phone numbers of any kind.

"A 47-year-old taxi driver was stabbed after he got into an argument with a customer in Hyannis on Monday evening, according to the Barnstable Police Department. The stabbing occurred around 7:30 p.m. as the Town Taxi driver was picking up a fare on Camp Street in Hyannis, police said. “During the pick-up, the taxi driver became involved in an argument with the customer and refused to take him to his destination,” police said in a statement. “As the taxi driver backed out of the parking lot, the male suspect stabbed him through the open driver’s window of the car, striking him in the chest and arm.” The suspect, initially identified as a 19-year-old Bourne man, was taken into custody at the scene. Police later determined he was actually a juvenile and had falsely identified himself as an adult, according to the police statement. The taxi driver received injuries that were not life-threatening and was taken to Cape Cod Hospital, where he was treated and released, police said."

"A 22-year-old man convicted Monday of fatally stabbing a teenager in a Brockton park will be free before he reaches his mid 30s, officials said. Plymouth Superior Court jurors found Anildo Lopes Correia guilty of voluntary manslaughter in the April 2015 stabbing death of 18-year-old Ywron Martins, who suffered injuries to his face and torso during an altercation at James Edgar Park Playground, prosecutors said. District Attorney Timothy J. Cruz’s office asked that Lopes serve 18 to 20 years for the crime, but Judge Brian A. Davis sentenced him to 10 to 12 years, according to prosecutors......"

"A 26-year-old woman is facing charges in connection with a stabbing Monday night in Plymouth. Plymouth police responded to Algonquin Terrace around 8:45 p.m. Two women, ages 22 and 36, were treated for possible stab wounds at Beth Israel Deaconess-Plymouth, according to a statement from the Plymouth Police Department. Courtney M. Massey, 26, a resident of Algonquin Terrace, was arrested and charged with two counts of assault and battery with a dangerous weapon (knife) and two counts of assault with intent to murder, police said. Plymouth Police Chief Michael E. Botieri said anyone with information about the incident should contact the Plymouth Police Department’s detective division....."

Again, I don't give out phone numbers of any kind.


Saltie Girl joins the lineup at soon-to-open Time Out Market in the Fenway

It's right next to the ballpark, and look who is picking up the tab:

State agency loses $20m case over New Bedford terminal

Isn't that $weet?

Consider yourself warned, and if you are looking to rent an apartment, you might need a summer job:

"Charitable giving by individual Americans in 2018 suffered its biggest drop since the Great Recession of 2008-09, in part because of Republican-backed changes in tax policy, according to the latest comprehensive report on Americans’ giving patterns. The Giving USA report, released Tuesday, said individual giving fell by 1.1 percent, from $295 billion in 2017 to $292 billion last year. It ended a four-year streak of increases, and was the largest decline since a 6.1 percent drop in 2009. Experts involved with the report said 2018 was a complex year for charitable giving, with a relatively strong economy overall and a volatile stock market. Giving by corporations and foundations increased, so that total giving — including donations from individuals — edged up by 0.7 percent to $427.7 billion. Among various factors affecting charitable giving was a federal tax policy change that doubled the standard deduction. More than 45 million households itemized deductions in 2016, according to Giving USA, and that number likely dropped sharply in 2018, reducing an incentive for charitable giving."

WTF is with the mixed me$$age? 

I'm told it was big drop because of the icky Republican tax cut, but corporate giving went up (they are called tax $helters) while they are sitting on all that dough. 

At least some are lining a hand:

"Google pledged $1 billion worth of land and money Tuesday to build affordable housing in the San Francisco Bay Area, the latest effort by tech industry leaders to address housing shortages near their headquarters, Sundar Pichai, Google’s chief executive, said in a blog post....."

Maybe the homeless will quit pooping in the streets.

"German industrial equipment maker Siemens says it is cutting 2,700 jobs globally at its power and gas company as it seeks to make cost savings. Siemens said Tuesday that the cuts include 1,400 jobs in Germany and would take place over the course of several years. The layoffs come in addition to the 10,400 from its core units that the company already announced last month. Siemens in May said it was undertaking a major restructuring that would involve spinning off its oil, gas, and power generation business and creating new areas of growth."

They are talking about expanding while contracting, and I can see why the German people are angry:

"Berlin plans to freeze rents in response to public outrage over a growing shortage of affordable housing, setting a legal precedent in Germany on an issue that’s increasingly creating political waves across Europe....."

 And in the US, and those Siemens folk will need a new place to stay.

Either that or you can migrate:

"A group of financiers with $100 billion of loans to shipowners are about to get stricter on the kinds of vessels they’ll finance as part of a drive to improve the maritime industry’s environmental performance. Eleven major financiers including Citigroup Inc. and Societe Generale SA are for the first time adopting a set of principles requiring them to maintain their lending books in a way that matches goals in the Paris climate agreement, as well as related targets adopted by global regulator the United Nations’ International Maritime Organization. It means banks will favor financing of cleaner vessels while shying away from those carriers that are more polluting."

They will be able to navigate around the plastic!


‘Modern Love Live’ brings reflections on mortality, platonic love, and emergency room visits

That back page name-drop reminded me about McCabe:

"Andrew McCabe speaks at Provincetown film festival, skips public reading of Mueller Report" by Nora McGreevy Globe Correspondent, June 17, 2019

PROVINCETOWN — One of the films that former FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe saw at the Provincetown International Film Festival over the weekend “hit very close to home.”

“Official Secrets” directed by Gavin Hood, dramatizes the true story of Katharine Gun (played by Keira Knightley ), a whistleblower who leaked information about the U.S.’s illegal attempts to push the U.N. Security Council into sanctioning the 2003 invasion of Iraq.

And yet Assange and Manning sit in jail while Snowden hides out in Russia.

I guess there are good leakers and bad leakers, huh -- and leaking to the New York Times while serving on the special counsel's investigation is okay, no matter how self-serving, self-aggrandizing, and self-adulating.

“She goes through the torture of wondering whether or not she’ll be prosecuted — so, an experience I can relate to,” McCabe said Saturday at the film festival. McCabe served as acting director of the FBI in 2017 after President’s Trump dismissal of James Comey. In 2018, McCabe himself was fired by then-Attorney General Jeff Sessions. He has since become an outspoken critic of the Trump administration.

I'm sure it's better than the real thing, something that Bloody Gina would have done.

McCabe spoke at a PIFF garden party on the deck of the Land’s End Inn, overlooking a panoramic view of Provincetown on a clear, windy day. He visited Provincetown with his wife, Jill, and her sister Kim McFarland, who produces the catalog for the film festival.

The ince$tuous ruling cla$$ that is above the law.

On Sunday, McCabe delivered a PIFF keynote, “Speaking Truth to Power,” at The Pilgrim Monument, and spoke with author and screenwriter Casey Sherman . Sherman’s book about the Marathon bombing, “Boston Strong: A City’s Triumph over Tragedy,” was adapted as the film “Patriots Day” in 2016; McCabe was part of the FBI team that investigated the Boston bombing in 2013.

So he was part of the Marathon false flag and cover-up, and he has the Truth to Power thing wrong. Power already knows the Truth; his job was as a gatekeeper to keep the public from finding it out.

At Saturday’s party, McCabe said, “people [in Provincetown] have been so supportive. They’re walking up and down the street and coming up and shaking hands.

“Having lived a really quiet and non-public life — and all of a sudden, people coming up to you in the crowd and stuff is totally off-putting,” he admitted.

The same weekend as McCabe’s talk, community members were taking turns reading the Mueller Report out loud from 10 a.m. to nightfall on Friday and Saturday on the lawn of the Provincetown Public Library.

Came over from Cambridge, did they?

McCabe said on Saturday he knew the reading was taking place. He had been asked to participate, but politely declined.

“I thought, you know, maybe I’ll pass on that,” he said with a laugh. “It might be a little more disruptive than helpful.”


Time for the $tand-up comedians:

"John Waters and John Cameron Mitchell trade jokes at Provincetown International Film Festival" by Nora McGreevy Globe Correspondent, June 17, 2019

PROVINCETOWN — “Do you watch porn today?” John Waters asked.

No, I read it between the hours of 6 a.m and 8 a.m.

Sitting in front of more than 100 festival attendees at the Provincetown International Film Festival, John Cameron Mitchell laughed. “I do, I do,” he said.

“But there’s no good porn stars anymore. It shouldn’t be free, you need that guilt!” Waters replied, to whoops and laughter from the audience.

From porn to drugs to political correctness and the “death” of independent film, the filmmakers chatted candidly on the Provincetown Town Hall stage at PIFF on Saturday, where Mitchell was awarded the 2019 Filmmaker on the Edge Award. Earlier in the evening, Judith Light was awarded the festival’s 2019 Excellence in Acting award in conversation with The Hollywood Reporter’s David Rooney.

On Saturday evening, Waters and Mitchell traded stories and jokes for an hour, buoyed by an enthusiastic crowd. Mitchell earned one of the biggest sustained laughs from the audience when he told a story about a meeting he had in Toronto with Lionsgate representatives.

It was a high-stakes, last-minute meeting — made all the more urgent by the fact that Mitchell had just dropped MDMA. He left for the meeting panicked, he said. “Then it finally kicked in, and I said, ‘Let’s do this.’ ”

More commonly known as Ecstasy, and I can't imagine where he got the stuff.

Good thing nobody died.

Anybody pick them up for questioning?

“By the end [of the meeting,] we’re all crying. And we got the best deal we’ve ever gotten for a film,” he said.

The moral of the story?

“Always negotiate” on drugs, Mitchell said.....


What kind of message does that send (tax loot paid the tab)?


I'm so glad I've never seen any of those movies, or even know what they are about.