Saturday, February 15, 2020

Slow Saturday Special: The Mask Is On

It's the first thing you want to do:

"Amid coronavirus fears, our relationship with masks remains complicated" by Beth Teitell Globe Staff, February 14, 2020

Jeannie Ding, a Boston University junior with an It girl vibe, was on the B Line, she said, when a Chinese-American man began yelling at her in Chinese, screaming that she shouldn’t wear a mask because it would spread the ugly stereotype of Asian people spreading disease. “He said I was bringing shame to all the Chinese people,” Ding said.

Now the more frivolous side, which explains why her mask was not currently covering her nose and mouth. “I feel like it’s not polite when I’m wearing my mask and talking to people,” she said. And: “If I put on makeup but no one can see my face it doesn’t make sense.” Her lipstick was covet-worthy MAC.

Yeah, you don't want to cover the cosmetics.

More than a month into the coronavirus scare, our relationship with masks is complicated. Unsure if they actually work at keeping us safe, we’re nonetheless hoarding them and at the same time suspicious of anyone who actually wears one. Not so many people are wearing masks that it’s common, but at the same time, enough people are wearing them that it’s become a thing around Boston.

Not really, when you think about it. People reacting to pre$$ propaganda and fear. Happens every 5 years or so.

When a mask appears, in a packed T car — or even just passing by on the sidewalk — you can almost hear the unasked questions: Are you sick? Or trying not to get sick?

The masks and fear of the coronavirus are fueling anti-Chinese racism, and also increasing suspicion of people with compromised immune systems whose mask use predates the outbreak.

They gin up the fear then criticize you for being fearful!

They then talk to a Nicki Kattouf, a colon cancer survivor, and Molly Kruko, an administrative assistant at MIT who was recently diagnosed with multiple sclerosis.

A face mask just made the red carpet at the Grammy Awards when the teenage singing star Billie Eilish rocked a sheer black Gucci number, but it’s safe to say that craze-wise, in this country, masks will not be the next athleisure.

That’s in contrast to countries such as China, according to a medical anthropologist, where masks are much more than simply a way to protect yourself from infection. 

Oh, yeah?

“In the West, the image of Asian people with masks is sometimes wielded, deliberately or not, as a signifier of otherness,” Christos Lynteris, a senior lecturer at the University of St. Andrews in Scotland, wrote in The New York Times. “But in East Asia, the act of wearing a mask is a gesture that communicates solidarity during an epidemic — a time when a community is vulnerable to being divided by fear, between the healthy and the sick.”

You mean, like, concern for the other person's health and well-being?


The Centers for Disease Control is not recommending that the general public in the United States wear masks to protect themselves from respiratory viruses, but with the director of the World Health Organization calling the coronavirus a “very grave threat to the world,” people nonetheless are on heightened germ alert.....

I gotta be honest with you guys. Between all the enemies who want to kill us because they hate our freedoms, the climate scare (strange how the record floods in the South are nearly absent from my printed pre$$), the threat of a president who is the greatest danger ever to our national security, and the myriad of other things promoted by a fear-threat pre$$, I'm plum tuckered out on the old eggshell walk. Sorry.


Coming soon to a community near you?

"Beijing sets stringent new quarantine rules for coronavirus" New York Times February 14, 2020

Chinese state-run television announced on its website Friday evening that everyone returning to Beijing would be required to isolate themselves for 14 days.

Anyone who does not comply “shall be held accountable according to law,” according to a text of the order released by state television. The order was issued by a Communist Party “leading group” at the municipal level, not the national Communist Party.

It was the latest sign that China’s leaders were still struggling to set the right balance between restarting the economy and continuing to fight the coronavirus outbreak.

Yeah, you wouldn't want it to affect touri$m or anything.

Even before Beijing issued its new rules, neighborhood committees had been playing an increasingly assertive role across the country, including in Shanghai.....

Ever get the feeling that China's government is more responsive than our own? 

Local grassroots efforts and citizens exerting control over their health care


From what I have read in the alternative media, China's response has been with textbook-like efficiency. That's probably why it hasn't received much notice in my pre$$.

As of now, China has United and Southwest extend halted all flights out of the country so Chinatown is safe.

"A second wave of flu is hitting the United States. The number of child deaths and the hospitalization rate for youngsters are the highest seen at this point in any season since the severe flu outbreak of 2009-10, health officials said Friday, and the wave is expected to keep going for weeks. This flu season got off to its earliest start in 15 years, with surges in parts of the South in October. Overall, the CDC estimated that 26 million Americans have gotten sick with flu this past fall and winter, with about 250,000 flu-related hospitalizations and around 14,000 deaths....."

Influenza kills more people than all the other scares of the last two decades combined, but the vaccine doesn't work (or does it? What is in that tube anyway?) so it is undercover and accepted as a fact-of-life.

"William Barr moves to take the reins of politically charged cases" by Charlie Savage and Adam Goldman New York Times, February 14, 2020

WASHINGTON — While Attorney General William Barr asserted his independence from the White House this week, he has also been quietly intervening in a series of politically charged cases, including against Michael Flynn, President Trump’s former national security adviser, people familiar with the matter said Friday.

Barr installed a phalanx of outside lawyers to re-examine national security cases with the possibility of overruling career prosecutors, a highly unusual move that could prompt more accusations of Justice Department politicization. The case against Flynn, who twice pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI in the Russia investigation, is a cause célèbre for Trump and his supporters, who say the retired general was ensnared in a “deep state” plot against the president.

The disclosures came as Trump made clear Friday that he believes he has free rein over the Justice Department and its cases, rejecting Barr’s public demand of a day earlier that the president stop commenting on such cases.

Citing Barr’s assertion in an interview Thursday that Trump had never asked him to act in a criminal case, the president declared on Twitter: “This doesn’t mean that I do not have, as President, the legal right to do so, I do, but I have so far chosen not to!”

Hours later, the Justice Department told defense lawyers for Andrew McCabe, the former acting FBI director who Trump has vilified for his role in the Russia case, that McCabe would not be charged in connection with a leak case, ending a nearly two-year criminal investigation.

“We consider the matter closed,” the department wrote to McCabe’s lawyers. 

(Blog editor throws hands up in air)

Together, the developments send conflicting signals at a time when the Justice Department’s independence from political interference by the White House has come under sharp scrutiny. Among the most politically charged is the case against Flynn.

Amid the heightened scrutiny of the Justice Department, the timing of officials’ decision to end their long-running investigation into McCabe without charges was striking.

Not really.

Prosecutors in the Washington office told McCabe’s lawyers of their decision Friday morning, said the lawyers, Michael R. Bromwich and David Schertler. “We said at the outset of the criminal investigation, almost two years ago, that if the facts and the law determined the result, no charges would be brought,” they said. “We are pleased that Andrew McCabe and his family can go on with their lives without this cloud hanging over them.”

Yeah, leaking information to the pre$$ and lying about it is okay as well as leading a subversive coup attempt within the government to overthrow a dually-elected president. That's the message I'm getting.

McCabe’s case centered on whether he made a false statement to the department’s inspector general about a disclosure to reporters regarding an investigation into the Clinton Foundation.....

Also see: Clinton Foundation Cleared

Barr is there to bury things, and I'm honestly tired of the intramural basketball game of politics.


I guess that means the Uranium One investigation has been sealed:

"Trump’s $1.5b uranium bailout triggers rush of mining plans" by Brady McCombs and Ellen Knickmeyer Associated Press, February 14, 2020

SALT LAKE CITY — President Trump’s $1.5 billion proposal to prop up the country’s nuclear fuel industry has emboldened at least one company, Canada-based Energy Fuels Inc., to take steps toward boosting operations at dormant uranium mines around the West, including outside Grand Canyon National Park.

Not going in the direction I would like.

The Trump administration asked Congress this week for $1.5 billion over 10 years to create a new national stockpile of US-mined uranium, saying that propping up production in the face of cheaper imports is a matter of vital energy security. Approval is far from certain in a highly bipartisan Congress.

Can you make a bomb out of that?

Some Democratic lawmakers, and market analysts across the political spectrum, charge that the Trump administration’s aim is really about helping a few uranium companies that can’t compete in the global market, and their investors.

Oh, then he is just doing his job the way any standard Republican president would.

Energy Fuels Inc. announced it was selling stock and putting the nearly $17 million in proceeds into mining operations in Utah, Wyoming, Arizona, Texas, and elsewhere in response to Trump’s plan. Company spokesman Curtis Moore said Friday that could mean opening the mine 15 miles outside the Grand Canyon.

Environmentalists and Democrats have opposed uranium mining outside the national park, mainly over concerns it could contaminate water resources. Republicans say mining could bring much-needed jobs to the region.

First question, is it worth it?

Second question, how can that be in the greatest economy of all times?

Demand for nuclear and coal power sources has fallen against marketplace competition from ever-cheaper natural gas and renewable wind and solar. Trump has been unable to stop a string of coal and nuclear power plant closings.

The US nuclear industry has sought help from the Trump administration, including asking for taxpayer subsidies to promote use of US uranium. US nuclear power plants in 2018 got 90 percent of their uranium from Canada, Kazakhstan, and other foreign suppliers and only 10 percent from US mines.

Our national security is dependent on other countries?



"Mandy Gunasekara, who pressed for President Trump to exit the Paris climate agreement as the Environmental Protection Agency’s top air policy adviser, is poised to return to the agency as its next chief of staff, according to two individuals briefed on the matter. Gunasekara left the EPA a year ago to start what she called a ‘‘pro-Trump nonprofit’’ in her home state of Mississippi. Gunasekara played a key role in working to scale back federal rules aimed at cutting greenhouse gas emissions and other forms of pollution....."

Now start up the turbines!

The BPD is wearing more than a mask regarding this murder:

"Boston police report on Brigham incident, pursuit mentions 2 shootings" by Danny McDonald and Tonya Alanez Globe Staff, February 14, 2020

A police report outlining the violence at Brigham and Women’s Hospital a week ago and a police pursuit that followed indicates there were two shootings during the law enforcement response, but does not mention if the man who was fatally shot in Brookline after the chase ended had fired gunshots at either location.

Questions persist about the chain of events that led to police’s fatal shooting of Juston Root, a 41-year-old Mattapan resident who had a lengthy history of mental illness, on Feb. 7.

He was a ‘very sensitive boy with a gentle soul.’

The police report says that a 911 call described a suspect, later identified as Root, as being “armed with a gun and threatening people” in the area of the hospital shortly before 9:25 a.m. Responding officers were given a description of Root, his vehicle, and his last known location, according to the report.

After a full week of silence, with no updates or explanations from police, the Globe received the police report Friday evening in response to a public records request.

Once at the scene, officers did encounter a man who fit the description of the suspect. The report says that the man displayed “what appeared to be a firearm and physically attacked said Boston police officers.” The officers are not identified.

The report states that an officer-involved shooting occurred, but does not spell out whether Root was struck by a bullet at the Brigham, nor does it say whether he was injured in another way during the confrontation at the hospital. Root was seen hobbling to a car near the corner of Fenwood Road and Vining Street in a video taken by a witness. In the video, the driver’s door to the car was open and police shouted for him to drop his weapon.

While the report does say that another man suffered a gunshot wound at the scene and was taken to a local hospital, it doesn’t specifically state who fired the gun that injured that man, whom authorities have said was a valet. The valet remained hospitalized as of Friday night, when a hospital spokeswoman said he was in good condition.

There are still questions about that.

Root fled the Brigham area in a car and officers gave chase in cruisers, according to authorities. Root “continuously refused to safely comply with their attempts to stop him,” according to the report.

About four miles away from the hospital, Root’s vehicle came to a halt only after “colliding with multiple, occupied, civilian vehicles at the intersection of Route 9 and Hammond Street, Brookline.”

Root then tried to flee on foot and Boston police officers, along with a state trooper, were able to catch up with him, the report said. Root “once again displayed what appeared to be a firearm,” according to the document.

“The Trooper and Boston Officers issued multiple verbal commands, ordering the suspect to drop his firearm,” the report stated. “A second officer-involved shooting then occurred at this location. The suspect was struck by gunfire and ceased resistance.”

The report makes no mention of Root firing a gun at the Brigham, during the car chase, nor during the foot pursuit in Brookline. How many shots were fired by police at the hospital and in Brookline is unclear.

Root was taken to a Boston hospital, where he was pronounced dead. The incident is under investigation by Boston police’s firearms discharge investigation team, State Police, and the district attorney’s offices for both Suffolk and Norfolk counties, according to the report.

A Boston police spokesman on Friday declined to answer questions about whether Root had a real gun during the incident, whether he was injured during the confrontation at the Brigham, and details about who fired the gun that caused the valet’s injuries, saying the matter is still under investigation.



They don't want to sully their good name:

"Boston detective sues department over shooting investigation; The suit says the investigation unjustly branded him a liar, which he says still hinders his ability to do his job" by Gal Tziperman Lotan Globe Staff, February 14, 2020

A Boston police officer is suing the department over its handing of a nearly 15-year-old shooting, in which one off-duty police officer accidentally injured another.

The officer, Detective Alvin Holder, claimed in a lawsuit filed in Suffolk Superior Court this week that the investigation unjustly branded him a liar, which he says still hinders his ability to do his job.

Sergeant Detective John Boyle, a department spokesman, declined to comment on the pending litigation. The department’s lawyers have not responded to the allegations in court.

Holder, who has been a Boston police officer since 1998, was in a car with two other off-duty officers and an off-duty firefighter on a residential street in Hyde Park on Oct. 19, 2005.

One of the officers — identified in the complaint as Frank Lee — accidentally fired a weapon, hitting Officer Eric Mencey’s shoulder. Holder drove them to Faulkner Hospital so Mencey could be treated, and told a police lieutenant that an officer had been shot, according to his complaint. Mencey survived the shooting and is still a Boston police officer, records show.

That day, a Boston police superintendent questioned Holder about what happened. Holder said he told the superintendent who was in the car, that he was in the driver’s seat, that Lee was holding the gun, and that the bullet’s trajectory went from the back seat to the front, according to the complaint, but, following the advice of his union representative and a Boston Police Patrolmen’s Association lawyer, Holder did not specifically tell the superintendent that Lee shot Mencey, according to court records.

“He gave them sufficient information to deduce who the players were and just followed his union rep’s instruction,” said Julie Halaby, Holder’s attorney. “It was improper to take this negative action against him.”

Just wondering where the truth is in all that.

Maybe you can find it:


Slow Saturday Slice of Toast

"Toast scores $400m funding boost" by Hiawatha Bray Globe Staff, February 14, 2020

Toast, a Boston-based maker of software for the restaurant industry, has raised an additional $400 million in venture funding.The new shares were sold at a price that values the company at $4.9 billion, Toast said.

Bessemer Venture Partners led the round, along with TPG, Greenoaks Capital, and Tiger Global Management. The latest round brings Toast’s total funding to more than $900 million.

Toast, with 2,700 employees, is a leading maker of software that restaurant operators use to manage customer orders, loyalty programs, inventory and payroll.. Toast also offers a number of hardware products, including the point-of-sale tablets and handheld order-taking devices for waitstaff that diners now commonly see in so many food establishments.

“We’ve been growing the business incredibly fast and we have lots of new products," said chief executive Aman Narang, who added that Toast will use the additional funding to “double down on what we’re already doing."

This will include investments in new hardware and software products, including financial services to assist restaurants in need of additional financing.....


Look who got burnt:

"Michael Avenatti is convicted of trying to extort Nike" by Larry Neumeister Associated Press, February 14, 2020

NEW YORK — Michael Avenatti, the combative lawyer who gained fame by representing a porn star in lawsuits involving President Trump, was convicted Friday of trying to extort sportswear giant Nike.

The verdict was returned Friday by a federal jury in Manhattan following a three-week trial. Avenatti glared at the jurors as the verdict was being announced but said nothing.

Afterward, he shook hands with his lawyers and told them “great job,’’ before he was led back to the cell where he has been held since a judge found he had violated his bail conditions. His lawyer, Scott Srebnick, declined to comment but said he would appeal the conviction.

Avenatti, 48, became a cable news fixture in 2018 and 2019 as journalists courted him for information about porn star Stormy Daniels and her claims of a Trump tryst before he became president, and a payoff to remain silent about it. At his peak of notoriety, Avenatti used Twitter and TV appearances to relentlessly criticize Trump and even considered running for president himself, but Avenatti’s fall was swift. He was arrested as he was about to meet Nike lawyers last March to press his demands for millions of dollars to conduct an internal probe of the apparel maker.

Avenatti maintained he was taking the aggressive position at the urging of his client, Gary Franklin, who ran a youth basketball league in Los Angeles and was angry that Nike ended a decadelong sponsorship that provided $72,000 annually and free gear.

Avenatti did not testify, but his lawyers said he was following the wishes of Franklin and an entertainment executive who advised him to be aggressive to force Nike to fire corrupt executives and fix its culture.....

Uh-huh. It was all altrui$tic and not a $cummy $hakedown.


Here is something to go with your frozen yogurt:

"Facebook reverses on paid influencers after Bloomberg memes" by Barbara Ortutay and Amanda Seitz Associated Press, February 14, 2020

SAN FRANCISCO — Facebook has decided to let political campaigns pay online influencers to spread their messages, a practice that had sidestepped many of the social network’s rules governing political ads.

Why not? It's a two-tiered society anyway.

Friday’s policy reversal highlights difficulties that tech companies and regulators have in keeping up with the changing nature of paid political messages.

Oh, the poor propagandists and thought police!

The change comes days after Democratic presidential candidate Mike Bloomberg exploited a loophole to run humorous messages promoting his campaign on the accounts of popular Instagram personalities followed by millions of younger people.

Already cheating, huh?

The Bloomberg posts weren’t much more than self-deprecating humor used to sell the candidate’s old-guy appeal, using a tactic that until now was largely used to sell skin care products or clothing-subscription services, but the lack of oversight and clear rules around influencer marketing, not to mention their effectiveness in reaching younger audiences, makes them ripe for misuse.

Bloomberg’s effort skirted many of the rules that tech companies have imposed on political ads to safeguard US elections from malicious foreign and domestic interference and misinformation. Online political ads have been controversial, especially after it was revealed Russia used them in an attempt to influence the 2016 presidential election. In response, Facebook has rolled out a number of rules to prevent a repeat of that, though it has declined to fact-check political ads and refuses to ban even blatantly false messages from politicians.

Yeah, the politicians can lie with impunity along with the pre$$ narrative regarding Russian interference being promoted.

Before the explosion of social media, it was clearer what’s an ad and what isn’t — and thus what’s subject to disclosures and other rules. With social media, a campaign can pay celebrities and other influential users to spread a message on their behalf, without ever buying an ad and be subject to its rules.

They think that is going to win them votes?

“This is a new kind of activity that simply didn’t exist when the rules for Internet political communications were last updated,” said Commissioner Ellen L. Weintraub of the Federal Election Commission.  

A Jew is in charge of the FEC?

Friday’s policy change involves what Facebook calls “branded content,” sponsored items posted by ordinary users who are typically paid by companies or organizations. Advertisers pay the influential users directly to post about their brand.

Facebook doesn’t make money directly from such posts and doesn’t consider them advertising. As a result, branded content wasn’t governed by Facebook’s advertising policies, which require candidates and campaigns to verify their identity with a US ID or mailing address and disclose how much they spent running each ad.

Until Friday, Facebook tried to deter campaigns from using such branded content by barring them from using a tool designed to help advertisers run such posts on Facebook and Instagram, which is owned by Facebook. The rule change now allows campaigns in the United States to use this tool, provided they’ve been authorized by Facebook to run political ads and disclose who paid for the sponsored posts. Campaigns that avoid using the tool, as Bloomberg had, risk having their accounts suspended.

I'm sure he will get a pass on that.


Related: Why Is Bloomberg's Long History of Egregious Sexism Getting a Pass?

At least Fox has refused to run his ads.

Too bad we aren't France

"Sex tapes sink Macron’s candidate, spark outrage in France" by Associated Press, February 14, 2020

PARIS — Rivals from across France’s political spectrum joined in a chorus of alarm and dismay Friday and warned that French democracy is in danger after an online leak of graphic sexual images led an associate of President Emmanuel Macron to pull out of the race for mayor of Paris.

Rapid expressions of support for Benjamin Griveaux were a striking reminder of the longstanding and widely held view in France that public servants’ private lives are largely off limits, especially what they do in private settings with consenting adults.

Maybe it should have been that way one day, but in light of Bill Clinton, Epstein, and the rest, not anymore.

A Russian performance artist who accused Griveaux of lying to Paris voters and “big hypocrisy” claimed responsibility for sexually explicit posts that apparently prompted the candidate to end his bid for City Hall.

Politicians warned that using sex to shame a public figure represented an Americanization of French politics, a shift toward more puritanical standards.

WTF are they talking about? The U.S. is awash in moral turpitude.

So what are the French saying, you can't use perversion or pedophelia against a public figure?

“We’re a country with 2,000 years of history of buttocks and wantonness,’’ said Julien Aubert, a lawmaker from the rival Republicans party, in an interview. “A line has been crossed through social media, because no French media would ever have published this.’’

Others warned that people will no longer want to stand for elected office if they run the risk of their private affairs becoming public, and that the leaking of sexually explicit material to take Griveaux out of next month’s municipal elections was a threat to France’s proud democratic traditions.

Well, they probably shouldn't be in "public service" anyway!

Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo called for “respect for the private lives of people and of families” and said the affair “isn’t worthy of the democratic debate.”

A grim-faced Griveaux announced the withdrawal himself on Friday morning, saying he’d been targeted by “vile attacks.”

“My family doesn’t deserve this,” he said.....

Yeah, he's the victim.


Better be careful. The criticism could be interpreted as hate speech. Might need to move to Britain to speak freely.

: Weinstein saw victims as ‘complete disposables’

Prosecutors say he treated them like underwear as Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance Jr. shot reporters a thumbs up.

"Victoria’s Secret is out; women want comfortable underwear that fits" by Janelle Nanos Globe Staff, February 14, 2020

On a recent day off from school, teenagers Ellie Sung and Isabella Mas were wandering the Copley Place mall. As she paused for a break, Sung took out her phone and began searching for bras online — ignoring the Victoria’s Secret store a few feet away.

Sung, 15, is just not a fan of the brand, which she said doesn’t reflect her values. “I know they’re transphobic and not inclusive,” she said, echoing a prevailing criticism of the retail giant. “If young girls are shopping, they need to see every body type.”

Young women like Sung have helped upend Victoria’s Secret’s status as the lingerie industry’s juggernaut. The company once synonymous with sexy is now seen by many as passé, out of step with what modern women seem to want: comfortable bras and underwear that fit properly on a range of body types. Its parent company, L Brands, has seen its stock sag 75 percent since 2015 as it’s faced a litany of troubles, including investigations into chief executive Lex Wexner’s ties to Jeffrey Epstein, and a scathing report this month from The New York Times alleging its executives created a “culture of misogyny, bullying, and harassment.” According to CNBC, a possible sale of the company could happen soon.

Well, you can see right through that, can't you?

Epstein runs a honey pot blackmail operation that ensnares the powerful while dressing the girls up in lingerie from Victoria's Secrets. Sick.

The chaos at Victoria’s Secret has been a boon for new entrants into the $11.9 billion intimate apparel category, and local retailers and lingerie designers are now eager to steal their share of the underwear drawer.

The Globe has no clothes!

Lisa Mullan, who in a previous life helped usher HubSpot through its IPO, got her start making “beautiful, functional” silk undies because she didn’t want to choose between style and comfort. The cofounder of Uwila Warrior now sells her underwear on Neiman Marcus and Free People websites and in her store on Charles Street in Beacon Hill.

“I have young kids and I’m working,” she said. “I don’t need underwear that is giving me a wedgie.”

Local lingerie purveyors say they are seeing a lift in part thanks to the blitz of Instagram ads from direct-to-consumer brands like ThirdLove, Lively, and Cuup that use algorithms, quizzes, and “fit therapists” to help women find their perfect size. They also point to the messaging of brands like American Eagle’s Aerie and Rihanna’s Savage X Fenty, which feature full-figured women on full display.

Meredith Amenkhienan and Rachel Wentworth, owners of the Forty Winks boutique in Harvard Square, will celebrate a decade in the lingerie business in April, and say they had their strongest year in 2019. The “better fit” messaging that ThirdLove promotes is actually driving shoppers into their store. You can’t get one-on-one fittings when you’re getting a bra in the mail, Amenkhienan joked.

“It’s good for the industry, it’s pushing a lot of people to rethink what lingerie means,” she said. “But we have had customers who come in who tried ThirdLove and it didn’t work for them. They want to come in and touch and feel. It’s helping us.”

Now in her 40s, Lauren Beitelspacher, a marketing professor at Babson College, said she used to be the target audience for Victoria’s Secret. “But I’ve gotten older, and it hasn’t gotten older with me," she said. "I don’t want to shop there anymore, and the younger generation doesn’t want to shop there because they don’t want the things that it stands for.”

The prospect of receiving a frilly, lacy little number for Valentine’s Day doesn’t jibe with the current cultural climate, Beitelspacher said. Customers are less concerned with the male gaze, she said, and are instead responding to marketing messages promoting self-love and empowerment.

“I don’t see it as being a gift that people want to give anymore,” she said. “My husband is not going to buy that for me, I want to buy it myself.”

Victoria’s Secret just "didn’t change with the times,” said James West, who’s worked as a Boston-based lingerie salesman since the ’80s and now represents several European brands. Other lingerie brands like Chantelle and Cosabella have proven more nimble, and are increasingly pushing T-shirt bras, wireless bralettes, and larger cup sizes.

“Most of the US brands used to go to a triple D — most of them now are going G and H cups,” he said. “Women want to be comfortable.”

Younger shoppers are seeking out American Eagle’s Aerie line for bras, panties, and sleepwear. The company’s #AerieREAL campaign ads feature a full spectrum of body types and use unaltered photos of models like athlete Aly Raisman and actress Busy Philipps.

Noelle Scarlett, 24, who works as an associate at Wayfair, said she’s been shopping at Aerie since she was a teen. Their ads “have really authentic, beautiful women of all different shapes and sizes," she said, and their garments are both cute and comfortable.

“I don’t want things that are wedged up there,” she joked.

Does she still have a job?

When she thinks of Victoria’s Secret, said Scarlett, it’s all “thin bombshell models with angel wings.” Even if they are taking steps to be more inclusive, she said, “they don’t showcase it.”

The Globe then goes shopping with Masha Titova at Rebecca Minkoff’s SoHo store.


What stinks?

"New disposable smart diaper sends caregiver’s phone a message when a change is needed" by Caroline Enos Globe Correspondent, February 14, 2020

A new smart diaper developed by researchers at MIT can send a message to parents via their smartphones or computers to let them know when their bundle of joy needs a change.

A small moisture sensor in the diaper contains a radio frequency identification tag, which transmits a radio signal to a nearby receiver when the diaper becomes wet. The receiver, which must be located within about three feet of the diaper, then notifies caregivers of the dirty diaper.

“This could prevent rashes and some infections like urinary tract infections, in both aging and infant populations,” said Sai Nithin R. Kantareddy, a graduate student in MIT’s Department of Mechanical Engineering and a collaborator on the project, in a university statement.

Researchers said the diaper could be especially helpful for nurses in neonatal units, or those who care for adults who use diapers. The study was published in the journal IEEE Sensors.

“Diapers are used not just for babies, but for aging populations, or patients who are bedridden and unable to take care of themselves,” said Pankhuri Sen, a research assistant in MIT’s Auto ID Laboratory, in the statement. “It would be convenient in these cases for a caregiver to be notified that a patient, particularly in a multibed hospital, needs changing.”

The sensor so far only indicates when a person has urinated. A university spokeswoman said researchers hope to improve the sensor at some point so it detects — ahem — solids. This is not the first smart diaper that has been developed. However, the MIT researchers say theirs is the best.....


This next article will make you shit your pants:

"A man took a woman on a first date and robbed a bank in the process. Now he’s in prison" by John R. Ellement Globe Staff, February 14, 2020

It wasn’t the wine he was drinking that afternoon as he rode in the front seat of her car on their first date back in 2016 that apparently gave her pause about the match. It wasn’t even his abrupt request to stop at a bank in North Attleborough.

The moment when prosecutors said she began to wonder about Christopher Castillo, the Rhode Island man she met on a dating app, came when he ran from the bank toward her Nissan Maxima "sweating and carrying the hat, sunglasses, a gun, and cash.”

He gave the panicked woman an order — “[Expletive] go!"

Frightened by the gun, the sudden infusion of cash, and the sweaty man in her car, the woman drove away, but only until she saw the blue lights of pursuing police cars behind her. She pulled into the parking lot of a Dunkin’ and got out of the car, allowing police to pull Castillo out and arrest him for armed robbery at the bank, along with other charges, including assault and battery on a police officer.

According to prosecutors, Castillo went into the bank on that December afternoon, pulled back his jacket to reveal a pistol -- an antique .44 caliber weapon owned by a relative -- and demanded $1,000 cash from the teller, who obliged.....

Said he was going to use the money to buy drugs.


Maybe she should have taken the T to meet him:

"The T asked people to share some transit love on Valentine’s Day. The responses were heartbreaking; The request for appreciation was for an online competition launched on Twitter Friday" by Steve Annear Globe Staff, February 14, 2020

When the MBTA launched a Valentine’s Day contest that asked riders to share videos expressing the reasons they love a particular bus stop, train station or neighborhood, some customers wondered if it was actually April Fool’s Day instead.

Here is how late the train is?

“This Valentine’s Day, we want to know what you love about your MBTA stop, dock, or station & the neighborhood it serves,” the T said in a tweet promoting the contest, called Next Stop: The World. “Make a video, 60 seconds or less, and share it on Twitter for your chance to win.”

In a statement Friday, Andrew Cassidy, the T’s director of social media, said while “we still have a lot we need to improve on to provide our riders with the transit experience they deserve,” the contest is meant to infuse positivity into the transit experience, and highlight the communities the T passes through.

He said they “expect a level of skepticism and negativity to come with what we produce, especially on social media,” but they don’t let that stop them from looking at new ways to engage with customers.

“We’re putting humanity back in the T," he said. “We truthfully care about our riders and take their issues to heart."

These guys are so full of themselves and tone deaf it defies words. Give yourselves another pat on the back despite the decrepit service and neglected maintenance, etc, etc.

For those without a cold heart, there’s still time to enter a legitimate submission to the contest. The deadline for the competition is Feb. 28. Officials from the MBTA said the winner will be picked by a 3-judge panel chosen by the transit agency. The judges will be looking for “originality and creativity” rather than high-quality production.

Well, I guess we know who the Globe rides with! Let's hope the car doesn't derail.

According to the official rules, participants are encouraged to take video of "the people, or a local restaurant, library, park, or special event” in their community, and the MBTA bus route, subway, trolley, train, ferry, or station that gets them there. Once finished, they should upload it to Twitter using the hashtag #NextStopTheWorld.

The winning contestant will be notified via direct message, on Twitter, in mid-March, according to a special website set up for the contest.

“We’re very much looking forward to seeing the videos our riders produce and learning more about their communities,” Cassidy said.

The competition promises the person with the best submission a pair of roundtrip plane tickets on a JetBlue flight to any city that the airliner travels to.

While they were clearly looking for positive content from passengers, what the T received from some of its 339,000 followers was something else entirely: a heaping helping of chocolate-covered snark.....

That was when the train came to a sudden stop!



"It was a Valentine’s Day story for the ages, a tale both bizarre and tantalizing, and everyone was talking about it. On Feb. 14, 1895, a wealthy Massachusetts widow caused an uproar and made national headlines because she was married to a man less than half her age. She was 50, he was 21. Newspapers across the country — including The Boston Globe — ran the unfortunate tale of Mary S. Breckenridge’s scandalous relationship....."

The chemistry was perfect, and can you imagine the tales she told?

"Senate President Spilka wants to focus on housing, transportation" by Chris Lisinski and Michael P. Norton State House News Service, February 14, 2020

Up next on Senate President Karen Spilka’s agenda after passing major mental health access and carbon pricing bills: “comprehensive” housing legislation, transportation policy, and one — or maybe two — more health care packages.

While she did not specify the order in which the bills would be taken up or a timeline, Spilka outlined those three topics as the next priorities for the Senate this legislative session following Thursday’s passage of legislation to improve mental health care access.

“Clearly, we’re looking at transportation,” Spilka said.

Lawmakers have until July 31 every even year to wrap up major legislative business for their two-year sessions. Spilka said she hopes to see work spaced out more over the next five-plus months than the last-minute sprint featured in previous cycles.

"We are trying to get really big bills done sooner in the session so that hopefully we can get more done and continue to be productive and maybe not have that logjam at the end of the year that we tend to have," she said.

Here is how they usually put together a state budget.

House leaders have spent much of the latter part of 2019 and this year working behind the scenes on a bill to raise new revenues for transportation. The House this month also approved a bill empowering state regulators to regulate and enforce the legally required contracts between marijuana businesses and their host communities.

House plans for a carbon pricing bill, as well as health care and housing, are unknown.

Thursday’s passage of mental health care access legislation came two weeks after another lengthy session where the Senate approved three bills calling for net-zero statewide emissions by 2050, implementation of carbon pricing, adoption of an all-electric MBTA fleet, and more.

When a reporter noted that the Senate had passed two significant bills in a three-week span, Spilka replied, “We’re cookin', huh? We’re really hot.”



Maybe they can clean up this:

"Expanding state bottle law could help curb recycling crisis" by David Abel Globe Staff, January 30, 2020

Six years ago, the bottling industry spent millions of dollars to undermine a cause long championed by environmental advocates.

As part of a barrage of TV ads, Peggy Ayres, a former chairwoman of the Marlborough Recycling Committee, urged state residents to vote against a ballot initiative to expand the state’s bottle law.

“Thirty years ago, the redemption deposit was a good idea,” she said in one ad financed by the American Beverage Association. “But now with curbside recycling, it’s an idea whose time has come and passed.”

The industry’s main argument: Expanding the bottle law to include non-carbonated beverages would deprive communities of much-needed revenue from curbside recycling, but times have changed. Now, with a national crisis that has made recycling more an economic burden than boon for most communities, environmental advocates and local officials are turning that argument on its head.

At a recent hearing on Beacon Hill, they argued that requiring deposits on bottled water and sports drinks — the vast majority of beverages sold today — would do more than reduce litter and the amount of plastic that ends up in landfills. It would save cities and towns millions of dollars by reducing the increasingly onerous costs of recycling and shifting the disposal cost to the beverage industry.

So they are shifting the costs to taxpayers and consumers.

“For the first time since the inception of recycling, our cities will now be forced to pay a costly tipping fee for the disposal of recycled goods,” said Michael Bloomberg, chief of staff to the mayor of Holyoke, which in good years earned as much as $70,000 from its recycling program. This year, the city expects to pay $160,000.

I thought he was running for president.

Reading a letter signed by mayors throughout western Massachusetts, where a state contractor recently told many communities they must pay as much as $150 a ton for their recycling, Bloomberg urged lawmakers to alleviate the financial burden by giving people a financial incentive to redeem bottles and cans. The current deposit is a nickel, though some are calling for it to be increased to a dime.

Yeah, taking more money out of your pocket gives you an incentive to try and get it back!

Adding beverages to a new law — such as wine bottles and nips, which are responsible for increasing amounts of pollution across the state — could reduce some 300,000 tons of bottles from curbside recycling and save municipalities an estimated $45 million a year, according to a draft version of the state Department of Environmental Protection’s 2030 solid waste plan.

Looks to me like alcohol prohibition should be reinstated to save the environment!

“Recycling is failing, and while our residents and our planet pay the price, large packaging companies and the waste industry are experiencing record profits,” Bloomberg told the lawmakers. “Now is the time for producers to take responsibility for the damage they are causing,” but opposition remains firm. In 2014, the bottling industry spent $9 million to oppose the ballot initiative, a move that had a significant impact on public opinion.

One reason they have long opposed expanding the law: Bottlers are required to pay a handling fee of 3 cents a bottle or can to cover a portion of the costs of redemption centers, and 2 cents to other collection sites, such as package stores.

Before the industry began blanketing the airwaves with ads, which often contained misleading statistics, a 2014 Boston Globe poll found 62 percent of likely voters supported expanding the landmark environmental law, but when voters went to the polls that November, nearly three-quarters of them rejected the initiative.

Yeah, how rotten that a political advertising campaign would work when it isn't a position promoted by the Globe

At the recent State House hearing, Steve Changaris, northeast region vice president of the National Waste and Recycling Association, a trade group for waste companies, repeated some of the old arguments, despite the challenges facing the recycling market.


“If you want to kill curbside recycling, do that,” he told lawmakers, suggesting that if too many bottles are removed from the system with an expanded law, there wouldn’t be enough revenue for waste companies. “We need the value of the current plastics at the curb. If we lose those, there will be additional costs.”

In a letter to lawmakers, the Massachusetts Package Stores Association urged the Legislature to “protect the health and vigor” of state recycling programs and raised concerns about the viability of the state’s dwindling number of redemption centers.

“These bills appease the public’s desire for expanded programs while ignoring existing flaws within the current recycling framework,” they wrote.

The group noted that handling fees, paid for by the bottling industry, for processing cans and bottles have not increased in more than a decade. They also complained that many of the recyclables at the redemption centers can go uncollected for months.

“The problem has become so acute that [the association] routinely submits complaints” to the state, which oversees the redemption program, they wrote, but environmental advocates said that an updated bottle law, especially one that would raise deposit fees from a nickel to a dime, would help redemption centers and improve the overall system. Moreover, millions of dollars of unclaimed deposits could be used to support curbside recycling and other environmental programs.

Yeah, a pot of gold, 'er, plastic is out there.

They are LITERALLY nickel-and-diming you!

If a deposit is not redeemed, the money goes to the state treasury.

Let me go gather my redeemable then!

Proponents estimate an expanded law could raise an additional nearly $50 million for the state from unclaimed deposits.

It would also increase the number of bottles that are recycled, they said.

In Michigan, where the deposit is now a dime, the redemption rate is greater than 90 percent; in Massachusetts, the amount of cans and bottled recycled by redemption centers is little more than 50 percent, according to the Container Recycling Institute, a California group that monitors the industry.

An updated law also would go a long way to reducing litter — the initial rationale for bottle laws that were passed in the 1980s. One study by the Australian federal government, which surveyed US states, found that those with bottle laws had 40 percent less litter, and less for trucks to pick up curbside.

“This is about saving cities and towns more money,” Kirstie Pecci, a senior fellow at the Boston-based Conservation Law Foundation, testified at the state hearing before the Joint Committee on Telecommunications, Utilities, and Energy.

Responding to arguments that the change would raise costs for curbside recycling programs, she said that shouldn’t be the case, as most cities and towns base their contracts on the tonnage of what they recycle.

In Boston, where it now costs taxpayers nearly $5 million for curbside recycling — up from just $200,000 before the crisis began in 2017 — city officials said they support expanding the bottle law.

“It’s a priority in Boston that we increase recycling and reduce litter in our neighborhoods,” said Samantha Ormsby, a spokeswoman for Mayor Martin J. Walsh.

When John Coughlin came up to speak at the hearing on Beacon Hill, the member of the Massachusetts Sportsmen’s Council called it “outrageous” that the Legislature has repeatedly failed to update the law.

“Anyone who says we shouldn’t pass this law is out of their mind,” he said. “It’s proven beyond a reasonable doubt that it works.”



Sunday Globe Special: Garbage For Breakfast

Also see: 

Sunday Globe Special: Downtown Dining

Full up now?

Friday, February 14, 2020

Happy Valentine's Day

From the Bo$ton Globe to you:

"Barr pushes back against Trump’s criticism of Justice Dept., says tweets ‘make it impossible for me to do my job’" by Devlin Barrett, Matt Zapotosky and Josh Dawsey Washington Post, February 13, 2020

WASHINGTON — Attorney General William Barr pushed back hard Thursday against President Trump’s attacks on the Justice Department, saying, ‘‘I’m not going to be bullied or influenced by anybody,’’ an assertion of independence that could jeopardize his tenure as the nation’s top law enforcement official.

Yeah, right. This is all theater. Puppet show illusion and imagery and political diversion masking itself as substantive journalism.

The remarkable public rebuke of the president by a sitting member of his Cabinet arose from a crisis of confidence at the Justice Department, which had been accused this week of buckling to an angry tweet the president issued after learning of prosecutors’ initial prison recommendation for his longtime friend Roger Stone.

‘‘I think it’s time to stop the tweeting about Department of Justice criminal cases,’’ Barr said in an interview with ABC News, adding that such statements ‘‘about the department, about people in the department, our men and women here, about cases pending here, and about judges before whom we have cases, make it impossible for me to do my job and to assure the courts and the prosecutors and the department that we’re doing our work with integrity.’’

So much for praising him

People close to Barr said that in recent months he has become increasingly frustrated with Trump’s tweets about the Justice Department. The president, they said, seemed not only to be undercutting his own political momentum but also to be causing doubts about the department’s independence.....

As if.

See: Slow Saturday Special: Clinton Foundation Cleared

Barr is there to keep the secrets. This front-page lead is a nothing-burger.


Right below was this nonsense:

"Former prosecutors weigh in on DOJ handling of Stone case" by Shelley Murphy Globe Staff,  February 13, 2020

As criticism escalated over the Justice Department’s unusual decision to seek less prison time for a longtime ally of President Trump, several former federal prosecutors Thursday said the reversal was an alarming display of political interference that compromised the department’s independence.

How quickly they have forgotten the "prosecution" of Epstein, 'eh?

“There’s no attempt to even avoid the appearance of improper political influence in this matter,” former Massachusetts US attorney Carmen Ortiz said. “I think people need to start realizing that we are a country that is being led by someone who thinks he is completely above the law and is proud of it."

Former Massachusetts US attorney Carmen Ortiz said, “I think people need to start realizing that we are a country that is being led by someone who thinks he is completely above the law and is proud of it.
Former Massachusetts US attorney Carmen Ortiz(Jonathan Wiggs/Globe Staff/file).

So says the former Obama attorney and prosecutor of Bulger and Tsarnaev, among others

On Monday, federal prosecutors asked a judge to sentence Roger Stone, Trump’s former campaign adviser, to as long as nine years in prison for lying to Congress and obstructing its investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election.

Those would be the Deep State Obama holdovers, of course.

The next day, just hours after Trump denounced the sentencing recommendation on Twitter as a “horrible and very unfair situation," prosecutors rescinded the original recommendation, saying it “would not be appropriate or serve the interests of justice in this case.”

The new filing did not recommend a specific sentence. Stone is slated to be sentenced Feb. 20.

In an apparent protest, the four career prosecutors who took the case to trial withdrew Tuesday, while Trump praised Attorney General William Barr for “taking charge of a case that was totally out of control and perhaps should not have even been brought.”

There are protests, and then there are prote$ts -- so don't choke or drown on them, pffft.


Back above the fold with a front-page feature:

"Warren’s campaign to save the party may not save her" by Liz Goodwin and Jess Bidgood Globe Staff, February 13, 2020

DERRY, N.H. — The New Hampshire primary was days away, and Senator Elizabeth Warren was in trouble, but surrounded by skeptical reporters after a town hall here, she batted away questions on what she needed to change to lift her middling polling numbers, and pointed instead to one aspect of her campaign.

“I’m not someone who shaped a campaign with a bunch of consultants,” Warren said defiantly. “I didn’t pick the proposals I have because they would be appealing to big-dollar donors.”

It might have seemed an odd time to stress her strict fund-raising rules and aversion to consultants instead of a more personal appeal to New Hampshire voters, but to Warren, the purity of her operation has long been central to a presidential bid that was supposed to get her elected while also leaving the Democratic Party better than she found it.

She has run her campaign in keeping with the anticorruption message that animates it, swearing off private fund-raisers and constantly reminding voters what she’s doing with her time instead: taking 100,000 pictures with supporters in her famous “selfie lines,” visiting 30 states, and calling to thank her small donors instead of begging wealthy people for money.

Somehow it is not enough to overcome rigged voting apps and machines.

Yet in the days between her third-place showing in Iowa and her fourth-place finish in New Hampshire, the path Warren blazed seemed to take her right out of the limelight.

The Globe still front-pages her; however, their preferred candidate has already withdrawn.

So much for sticking to the planI gue$$ the price tag for Elizabeth Warren’s Medicare for All plan was too expensive for the Democratic primary voters (I'm sure the Globe is a fair and impartial arbiter). The sad truth is her plan was a health care pipe dream and a complex idea with huge ramifications for Massachusetts even as Baker eyes a legacy-defining revamp of Mass. health care

Looks like it is too late to hit back after making nice for so long. She never won over the moderates and one can trace the problem back to her public apology over the Native American issue.

Instead, former South Bend, Ind., mayor Pete Buttigieg — who happily attended high-roller fund-raisers and put consultants on the payroll — beat her for a second time, and Minnesota Senator Amy Klobuchar finished a surprising third in Tuesday’s contest.

Warren’s disappointing early performance suggests many Democrats weren’t sure the year they were trying to defeat President Trump was the time to get money out of politics, and the voters who were sold on her anticorruption message had another progressive candidate, Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders, who rocketed to political fame in 2016 by railing against millionaires and billionaires, to consider.

“Donald Trump will do anything to win, everybody knows that,” said University of Virginia political scientist Larry Sabato. “So it’s only logical for some people to say, ‘We’ll worry about these ethical rules next time.’ ”

It can seem like Warren wants to change the Democratic Party and politics itself by running the perfect campaign, but some of the very rules she had in place to embody her message, like rejecting outside ad agencies, may have made it harder for her to defeat rivals who were not so shackled.

“The fight we’re in — the fight to save our democracy — is an uphill battle,” Warren said Tuesday night, speaking to her disappointed supporters.

Her campaign has vowed to stay in the fight, positioning her as a “unity candidate” and hoping that the large and chaotic field will help her overcome two losses in a row. She told the Associated Press Thursday that she had raised $6 million since Iowa, but the danger remains that her grass-roots funding could dry up if she doesn’t post wins soon.

In a call with her entire staff on Tuesday night, Warren said “we are not close” to knowing what will happen in the race.

“Even so, I recognize that doesn’t make this easy, I don’t kid myself,” she said. “I know that when the pundits and naysayers criticize us, I know it gets hard.”

“These are the moments we find out who we are,” she added. “We find out why we’re in this fight.”

There are many possible reasons why Warren’s campaign faltered in Iowa or New Hampshire, including the pummeling she received for her Medicare for All plan and Sanders’ post-heart attack comeback that allowed him to consolidate much of the left wing of the electorate, but the early results are discouraging for a campaign that drew admiration and envy from Warren’s rivals for its ability to put other candidates on the spot over their own tactics.....

What isn't mentioned under the alleged Medicare for All cover is her criticism of Israeli actions in Gaza last year. She was ahead at the time, then came a precipitous drop soon after.

I know she thought she was just pandering to base like with reparations and a transgender Sec of Ed, but she crossed the line when it came to the Zionist string-pullers that rule us.


Senator Elizabeth Warren greeted supporters outside a polling place in Manchester, N.H., on Tuesday.
Senator Elizabeth Warren greeted supporters outside a polling place in Manchester, N.H., on Tuesday (Jessica Rinaldi/Globe Staff).


I suppose beauty is in the eye of the beholder and that love is a Mistry:

"Wayfair lays off 550 employees, including 350 in Boston; While the job cuts aren’t severe, they mark a moment of reckoning for a company that is one of the state’s few consumer-focused tech superstars" by Janelle Nanos Globe Staff, February 13, 2020

After more than doubling its workforce in the past two years, Wayfair is tapping the brakes.

The online seller of furniture and other home goods said Thursday that it would cut 550 employees worldwide, as its chief executive acknowledged the Boston-based company had grown too quickly and become less efficient as its red-hot sales growth shows signs of cooling.

That's not tapping brakes while still moving forward, that's going in reverse!

“We find ourselves at a place where we are, from an execution standpoint, investing in too many disparate areas, with an uneven quality and speed of execution,” chief executive Niraj Shah said in an e-mail to employees. “Through two years of aggressive expansion, we no doubt built some excess, inefficiency, and even waste at times, in almost every area.”

While the job cuts aren’t severe — Wayfair said they would affect 3 percent of its 17,000 workers, including 350 in Boston — they mark a moment of reckoning for a company that is one of the state’s few consumer-focused tech superstars.

Tell that to the people losing them!

Even as revenue soared 37.5 percent to $6.6 billion in the first nine months of last year, Wayfair has failed to turn a profit. Its executives have argued that despite a prolonged track record of losses, the company has been in growth mode, investing heavily in its supply chain and European expansion. Its board members and executives point to Amazon as a model, which for years was unprofitable and funneled revenue back into growth, but Wayfair’s critics argue that selling furniture is more challenging than shipping books and boots — and besides, Amazon is now positioning itself to become one of Wayfair’s largest competitors online.


"Jeff Bezos is on a shopping spree befitting the world’s richest man. The Inc. founder agreed to pay $165 million for a Beverly Hills mansion on nine acres, according to a person with knowledge of the matter, setting a record for a Los Angeles-area home. The property designed for Hollywood film titan Jack Warner in the 1930s was described by Architectural Digest in 1992 as the “archetypal studio mogul’s estate,” built in Georgian style with expansive terraces and its own nine-hole golf course. News of the sale emerged just days after filings showed Bezos cashed out $4.1 billion of Amazon shares and comes amid reports that he’s also entered the art market. He reportedly set a record for artist Ed Ruscha at a Christie’s auction with a $52.5 million purchase of “Hurting the Word Radio #2” in November and also bought “Vignette 19” by Kerry James Marshall for $18.5 million."

Ah, the #MeToo memories that must be in that place.

Also seeSiding With Amazon, judge halts work on Microsoft’s JEDI contract

He must be a Sith Lord (btw, the most recent film was the most cartoonish of all).

Some analysts downplayed the significance of the cuts. Sucharita Kodali, a retail analyst at Forrester, said Wayfair, like many fast-growing and unprofitable digital companies, clearly decided to make cuts to appease Wall Street, but the company did not appear to be facing cash constraints. “They’re only laying off 3 percent,” she said. “It’s not that many.”


What a callous disregard for people's lives. 

At least she is still working!

Wayfair said none of the layoffs will affect a new service center in Pittsfield, for which it received $31.4 million in state subsidies to open in 2018.

Oh, they are getting tax loot as the transportation system and schools are crumbling and there isn't enough money for healthcare.

The job cuts rattled a workforce that has grown so large that employees often wait in line for the escalators up to its offices in the Copley Place mall. At 2 a.m. Thursday, employees got a Slack message that said the company had locked some internal systems, so engineers would not able to deploy code or make significant data changes.

Several employees said workers who were about to lose their jobs were notified by e-mail at about 9:30 a.m. that they would be affected by major organizational restructuring. They were invited to conference rooms in groups of 50 to 100 people, one employee said, where they were informed they’d lost their jobs. Around 10 a.m., scores of employees, many of them visibly upset, began to descend the escalator from Wayfair’s headquarters.....

Maybe the walkout wasn't a good idea after all, 'eh?

Meanwhile, Dharmesh Mistry, a senior research manager at Wayfair in Boston and immigrant with a visa, said, “My life is over.”


Maybe someone could show Mistry this:

"Solace for laid-off Wayfair workers: Other Boston tech companies are hungry for talent; With tech companies in Boston looking for talent, many laid-off Wayfair employees should have options" by Andy Rosen Globe Staff, February 13, 2020

Maria Cirino, cofounder of the Boston tech investment firm .406 Ventures, described layoffs like those at Wayfair as part of the normal cycle of turnover and hiring in the tech industry: “These people will all have jobs in two weeks if they want them. Good companies make adjustments as they have to from time to time in order to meet their financial objectives, and other good companies gain from jumping on great talent.”

Tech companies in Boston routinely describe a shortage of talent as one of the main limits to their growth here, so it’s no surprise that other Boston-area tech firms moved quickly at the sight of hundreds of workers streaming out of Wayfair’s offices. On social media and in interviews, some laid-off workers said they had been contacted by recruiters within hours of leaving.

One person who said he had been laid off from Wayfair Thursday morning reported hearing from six recruiters by late afternoon.

“I do generally hear from a recruiter or two each week in any case, but today there’s been a surge,” the former employee said in an e-mail. “One recruiter asked me if I knew of any one else who’d been affected at Wayfair. I mentioned a couple of other engineers and he’d already spoken to both of them.”

Several people interviewed by the Globe about the layoffs asked that their names not be used, citing concerns about potentially violating severance agreements or hurting their professional prospects.

It’s not certain that all former employees will be so lucky.....

Wha.... what?


And yet I'm supposed to feel sorry for lying pre$$ sleaze at the papers (since when hasn't my pre$$ liked private equity and venture capital, 'eh)?

Time to take a rest.

"Boston officials reach out to Chinatown to quell coronavirus fears, misinformation" by Deanna Pan Globe Staff, February 13, 2020

Businesses and restaurants in Boston’s Chinatown have seen a sharp decline in customers. Local retailers have reported widespread shortages of face masks. On WeChat, the popular Chinese messaging app, an unfounded rumor has been circulating that the University of Massachusetts Boston student infected with the new coronavirus had visited a local hotpot restaurant before isolating himself at home.

Rumors and misinformation, much of it fueled by social media, have whipped up alarm about the virus, here and abroad. Now city officials are stepping up their efforts to quell the tide of fear and misinformation.

Yeah, the main purveyors of fear and misinformation are out there combatting it. 

Orwell is spinning at light speed, and this is looking more and more like another in a series of virus scares every five years or so to drill the procedures for a martial law lockdown while goosing vaccine sales. Please, Gawd, don't let it affect Chinese touri$m into Bo$ton!

“We’re hearing a lot of rumors and we’re hearing a lot of negative comments about the Chinese community, but that’s not what your city is about,” Boston councilor Ed Flynn told a group of seniors at Quincy Tower, an affordable housing complex for the elderly in Chinatown. “It’s about empathy and working together as a city.”

On Thursday, Mayor Martin J. Walsh’s Office of Economic Development launched a social media campaign to encourage residents and tourists to patronize Chinatown’s small businesses and post photos of themselves online with the hashtag #LoveBostonChinatown.....

Don't hug or kiss though.


I always feel like I need to wash hands after handling a Globe.


"In bipartisan bid to restrain Trump, Senate passes Iran War Powers Resolution" by Catie Edmondson New York Times, February 13, 2020

WASHINGTON — The Senate voted Thursday to require President Trump to seek congressional authorization before taking further military action against Iran, as Democrats joined forces with eight Republicans to try to rein in the president’s war-making powers.

The bipartisan vote, 55-45, amounted to a rare attempt by the Senate to restrain Trump’s authority just over a week after it voted to acquit him of impeachment charges and nearly six weeks after the president moved without authorization from Congress to kill a top Iranian security commander, but it was a mostly symbolic rebuke of the president, as support for the measure fell short of the two-thirds supermajority needed to override a promised veto by Trump. The House passed a similar measure last month on a nearly party-line vote that also fell well short of the two-thirds margin.

Still, indignant at the administration’s handling of a drone strike in Iraq last month that killed a top Iranian official — a major provocation that pushed the United States and Iran to the brink of war — an unusually large number of Senate Republicans crossed party lines in an attempt to claw back Congress’s authority to weigh in on matters of war and peace.

A symbolic nothing, but still!!!!!

“We don’t send a message of weakness when we stand up for the rule of law in a world that hungers for more rule of law,” Senator Tim Kaine, Democrat from Virginia, the lead sponsor of the measure, said. 

Yeah, the world's rogues regime that holds itself above the law must stand up for the rule of law.

Can you see why I'm not loving this anymore?

“We need a Congress that will fully inhabit the Article I powers,” Kaine added, referring to the portion of the Constitution that grants Congress the power to declare war. “That’s what our troops and their families deserve.”

Why have you waited 18 fucking years?

Kaine drafted the resolution in early January as tensions ratcheted up with Iran after the strike in Baghdad that killed General Qassem Soleimani, Iran’s most important general. In briefings with Trump’s national security team, lawmakers on both sides of the aisle, already angry that the administration had not consulted with them before the operation, complained that top officials demeaned and dismissed them in briefings for questioning the president’s strategy.

Look at how the war-criminal assassination and impeachable offense has been whitewashed.

Their only disagreement is you didn't tell us!

(Btw, ignore the endless stream of lies coming from Trump and the Pentagon regarding the alleged retaliation by Iran. You've been lied to from the start. First it was no injuries, then it was a dozen, then it was 35 or so, and now it is over 100)

Both Republicans and Democrats who sponsored the resolution insisted that the measure was not intended to tie Trump’s hands but to reassert Congress’ constitutional prerogatives on matters of war. For decades, lawmakers in both parties have ceded those powers with little resistance, deferring to an increasingly assertive executive branch.

More puppet show theater for you.

Senators Mike Lee of Utah and Rand Paul of Kentucky, who have advocated disengaging US troops from prolonged military conflicts abroad, were infuriated by a contentious congressional briefing delivered last month by Trump’s top national security advisers on the operation. They complained that administration officials had been unwilling to engage in a genuine discussion about a possible military escalation in the Middle East.

Well, we have lost Syria and will soon be out of Afghanistan.

Still, Trump viewed the resolution as a personal affront.....

Well, they had their chance to get rid of him and voted to acquit!



Former White House chief of staff Kelly takes issue with Trump for ousting Vindman, among other things

The insubordinate traitor is baaaaack.

"President Trump said Thursday that he might end the long-running practice of letting other administration officials listen in on presidential calls with foreign leaders. That’s after Trump’s impeachment was triggered by his July phone call with the president of Ukraine. “I may end the practice entirely,” Trump told Geraldo Rivera in a radio interview that aired Thursday. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and White House staffers listened in on Trump’s July 25 call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky....."

And then there are those chosen ones who are above it all:

"Hope Hicks, the president’s former communications director who served an outsize role in the White House and spent many hours a day in the Oval Office, will rejoin the administration, officials said Thursday. She will work for Jared Kushner, the president’s son-in-law and political adviser, the White House said, on political affairs and other ‘‘strategic’’ matters. She will not be part of the White House communications shop. ‘‘There is no one more devoted to implementing President Trump’s agenda than Hope Hicks. We are excited to have her back on the team,’’ Kushner said. Hicks left the White House to become a senior executive at New Fox in California and had embraced a different life, people close to her said. She wrestled with the whether to return to Washington for weeks, trying to decide if she wanted to leave a lucrative salary and a quieter life to return to the fray, according to people who discussed the matter with her and spoke on the condition of anonymity to describe the private conversations. She was repeatedly courted by Kushner and the president who argued to Hicks that they needed her for the reelection, a person with knowledge of the discussions said. Also returning to the White House is Trump’s former personal assistant John McEntee, who will serve as head of presidential personnel, according to a senior administration official. McEntee lost his White House job in March 2018 because an investigation found he was a frequent gambler whose habit posed a security risk, two people familiar with his departure said at the time. Hicks began working for Trump before he announced his candidacy and had been a trusted confidante for three years, shaping his image and counseling him on nearly all matters, from the substantive to the trivial. The president would regularly yell for Hicks to come into the Oval Office. Hicks exerted extraordinary influence in Washington and the president treated her almost as a surrogate daughter even as other aides said she knew little about policy, but she left the administration in 2018 after she drew scrutiny from an investigation by Special Counsel Robert Mueller III, and her personal relationship with Rob Porter, who left his job as White House staff secretary after the Daily Mail reported that his former wives accused him of abuse. Hicks had admitted to a House committee that she told ‘‘white lies’’ on the president’s behalf....."

President Trump posed with Hope Hicks on her last day as White House communications director in March 2018.
President Trump posed with Hope Hicks on her last day as White House communications director in March 2018. Andrew Harnik/Associated Press/File/Associated Press

She is hot as hell but looks like a slut, sorry.

Trump, Bloomberg trade Twitter taunts

He crossed a redline:

"Bloomberg once blamed end of ‘redlining’ for 2008 collapse" by Brian Slodysko Associated Press, February 13, 2020

WASHINGTON — At the height of the 2008 economic collapse, then-New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg said the elimination of a discriminatory housing practice known as “redlining” was responsible for instigating the meltdown.

“It all started back when there was a lot of pressure on banks to make loans to everyone,” Bloomberg, now a Democratic presidential candidate, said at a forum that was hosted by Georgetown University in September 2008. “Redlining, if you remember, was the term where banks took whole neighborhoods and said, ‘People in these neighborhoods are poor, they’re not going to be able to pay off their mortgages, tell your salesmen don’t go into those areas.’ ”

He continued: “And then Congress got involved — local elected officials, as well — and said, ‘Oh that’s not fair, these people should be able to get credit.’ And once you started pushing in that direction, banks started making more and more loans where the credit of the person buying the house wasn’t as good as you would like.”

Then you bundle them all up as securities and sell them to investors and pensions funds while betting against them before beginning fraudulent foreclosure proceedings without the required paperwork.

I suppose all he is doing is laying the blame for the skyrocketing homelessness under his watch at their feet.

Bloomberg, a billionaire who built a media and financial services empire before turning to electoral politics, was correct that the financial crisis was triggered in part by banks extending loans to borrowers who were ill-suited to repay them, but by attributing the meltdown to the elimination of redlining, a practice used by banks to discriminate against minority borrowers, Bloomberg appears to be blaming policies intended to bring equality to the housing market.

The term redlining comes from the “red lines” those in the financial industry would draw on a map to denote areas deemed ineligible for credit.

Campaign spokesman Stu Loeser said that Bloomberg “attacked predatory lending” as mayor and, if elected president, has a plan to “help a million more Black families buy a house, and counteract the effects of redlining and the subprime mortgage crisis.’’

Why did they capitalize Black as if they were Jewish?

After this story was published, Loeser added: ‘‘He’s saying that something bad — the financial crisis — followed something good, which is the fight against redlining that he was part of as mayor.”

Careful, you will hurt yourself trying to twist out of that.

His redlining remarks are the latest instance of past comments by him that have resurfaced in recent days that make him appear racially insensitive.


Good old Republican-turned-Independent-turned-Democrat Stop-and-Frisk Mayor-for-Life Mike racially insensitive? 

Surely you jest!


Oh, btw, please wish him a happy birthday

Also see:

House removes ERA ratification deadline, one obstacle to enactment

So it can be kicked around like abortion.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and other members of Congress spoke to the media after the House’s vote on Thursday.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and other members of Congress spoke to the media after the House’s vote on Thursday.

Looks more like Halloween to me.

Former law clerk alleges harassment by late prominent judge

$10 million gift to help Library of Congress upgrade its Jefferson Building

The donation is from philanthropist David Rubenstein.

Pentagon to divert $3.8 billion from its budget to build more of President Trump’s border wall

Fiery train derailment in Kentucky spills ethanol into river

It turned the lobsters blue after hopping the seawall, but at least the horses escaped the carbon monoxide at the mall.


"Sudan says it agrees to compensate families of USS Cole bombing" by Abdi Latif Dahir New York Times, February 13, 2020

NAIROBI — Sudan’s interim government said Thursday that it had reached a financial settlement with families of the victims of the attack on the USS Cole in Yemen, an effort to persuade the United States to remove Sudan from a list of state sponsors of terrorism.

Seventeen sailors died and another 39 were wounded in the attack, which took place in 2000.

It was an Israeli false flag, much like the USS Liberty, to be soon followed by 9/11.

US officials have pressed Sudan for reparations in recent months, the State Department said, saying compensation for the victims of terrorism remained a priority if the United States was to remove Sudan from the list.

The Trump administration has been looking at lifting the terrorism designation for Sudan “for quite some time,” said Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, speaking to reporters on a plane to Germany, before visiting several countries in Africa and the Middle East.....

Pulling out of Africa, too and keep those last two paragraphs in mind as we move to the Philippines and complaints against China.



"Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Thursday said he is “outraged” by the UN’s publication of a list of companies accused of violating Palestinian human rights by operating in Israel’s West Bank settlements. In a statement, Pompeo said the list supports a Palestinian-led boycott movement and “delegitimizes” Israel. He urged other countries to join the US in rejecting the effort. “The United States has long opposed the creation or release of this database,” Pompeo said. “Its publication only confirms the unrelenting anti-Israel bias so prevalent at the United Nations.”

It only balances off the outrageous pro-Israel bias of the United States government, and prepare to be sanctioned!

"US admiral hopes Philippine security pact can still be saved" by Rod McGuirk Associated Press, February 13, 2020

CANBERRA, Australia — The move by the Philippines to end a security pact that allowed US forces to train in the country potentially “challenged” future American operations with Filipino forces, a US admiral said on Thursday.

Admiral Philip S. Davidson, commander of the US Indo-Pacific Command, told a foreign policy think-tank in Sydney that he hoped the US State Department would be able to negotiate a solution that would keep the Visiting Forces Agreement in place.

“It’s a 180-day notice, so we have some time for diplomatic efforts to be pursued here,” Davidson said. “I hope we can get to a successful outcome.’’

That's Pompeo's State Department, right?

Good luck!

The Philippines notified the United States on Tuesday it would end the agreement, in the most serious threat under President Rodrigo Duterte to their 69-year bilateral treaty alliance.

In Washington, President Trump, when asked about the Philippines’ decision, said “I never minded that very much, to be honest. We helped the Philippines very much.’’

He added: “We helped them defeat ISIS. I get along, actually I have a very good relationship there. But I really don’t mind if they would like to do that. That’s fine, we’ll save a lot of money. My views are different than other people. I view it as thank you very much, we save a lot of money. But if you look back, if you go back three years ago, when ISIS was overrunning the Philippines, we came in and literally single-handedly were able to save them from vicious attacks on their islands.”

What is he babbling about?

A senior administration official said Washington was disappointed.

“The United States shares a long history with the government and people of the Philippines and recognizes that regional and global security is best served through the strong partnership that is enabled by the Visiting Forces Agreement,” the official said, speaking on condition of anonymity.

Yeah, a long history that includes squelching their drive for independence after "liberating" them from Spain.

Davidson said the United States did not have such agreements with every country in the region.

“But our ability to help the Philippines and their counter-violent extremist fight in the south, our ability to train and operate within the Philippines and with Filipino armed forces would be challenged without that Visiting Forces Agreement,” Davidson said.

I would expect ISIS™will be sent to the Philippines and soon be activated again.

American forces have provided intelligence, training, and aid that allowed the Philippines to deal with human trafficking, cyberattacks, illegal narcotics, and terrorism. US military assistance helped Philippine forces quell a disastrous siege by Islamic State group-aligned militants in southern Marawi city in 2017.

The accord, known by its acronym VFA, legally allows the entry of large numbers of American forces along with US military ships and aircraft for joint training with Philippine troops. It specifies which country will have jurisdiction over American soldiers who may be accused of crimes while in the Philippines.

A separate defense pact subsequently signed by the allies in 2014, the Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement, allows the extended stay of US forces and authorizes them to build and maintain barracks and warehouses and store defense equipment and weapons inside five designated Philippine military camps.

The US Embassy in Manila described the notice as “a serious step with significant implications for the US-Philippines alliance.”

Duterte has often criticized US security policies while praising those of China and Russia, despite the Philippine military’s close historic ties with its American counterpart.

He better be careful or he will find himself the victim of a CIA hit.

Davidson said countries in the region are beginning to take a stand against Chinese attempts to manipulate them through debt-trap diplomacy, coercion, and bullying.

You read that last paragraph and absolutely puke at the pre$$ propaganda in favor of the US empire. It is exactly the policies of debt austerity that the West foists on nations, with the US as the main bully (see Sudan above).

All nations in the region were involved in a strategic competition “between a Beijing-centric order and a free and open Indo-Pacific,” he said.

China has scoffed at what it calls US interference in the Asia-Pacific region and has denied linking aid to politics.

No, the American government does that with its sanctions policy (otherwise known as coercion).


Also see:

Woman awakens from coma two months after volcano eruption

That's in New Zealand.

UK Treasury chief quits as Johnson shakes up Cabinet

Titanic, deck chairs.

"An American woman wanted in the 2002 death of her husband, whose remains were so badly burned they weren’t identified for more than a decade, was arrested in Rome, police said Thursday. Rome police arrested Beverly McCallum, 59, overnight after she and her teenage son checked into a Rome hotel on the northwest outskirts of the Italian capital. US authorities had been seeking to extradite McCallum from Pakistan, where she was believed to be living, to stand trial in the slaying of her husband, Robert Caraballo. In 2002, he was beaten and suffocated, and his body was dumped and burned in a blueberry patch....."

Why did Amanda Knox just come to mind?


"Teacher unions: Children terrified by active shooter drills" by Pat Eaton-Robb Associated Press, February 13, 2020

HARTFORD— The nation’s two largest teachers unions want schools to revise or eliminate active shooter drills, asserting Tuesday that they can harm students’ mental health and that there are better ways to prepare for the possibility of a school shooting.

“Everywhere I travel, I hear from parents and educators about active shooter drills terrifying students, leaving them unable to concentrate in the classroom and unable to sleep at night,” said Lily Eskelsen Garcia, president of the National Education Association. “So traumatizing students as we work to keep students safe from gun violence is not the answer. That is why if schools are going to do drills, they need to take steps to ensure the drills do more good than harm.’’

It's no different than playing cops and robbers, and that's the price that must be paid to indoctrinate and inculcate students and pre-program them for the future surveillance and police state.

The report released Tuesday issued guidelines for schools that decide to use drills. Those include never simulating an actual shooting; giving parents, educators, and students advance notice of any drill; working with mental health officials to create age-appropriate and trauma-informed drills; and tracking the effects of drills.

About 95 percent of schools drilled students on lockdown procedures in the 2015-16 school year, according to a survey by the National Center for Education Statistics.....



Two suspects in custody for fake gun incident at Wrentham high school

Just don't mention the Sandy Hook hoax, 'kay?

Middle school hires security for basketball games after spat

Youths destroy merchandise, pull out stun gun and mace at Downtown Crossing Macy’s

They are still at large.

Speaking of being at-large soon, are you ladies ready for an acquittal?

"Weinstein lawyer: Prosecutors have a ‘tale,’ not a case" by Tom Hays, Jennifer Peltz and Michael R. Sisak Associated Press, February 13, 2020

NEW YORK — Harvey Weinstein’s lawyer told jurors Thursday that prosecutors in the rape case against him were acting like moviemakers, conjuring up a world ‘‘where women had no free will.”

“In the alternative universe that prosecutors have created for you, Harvey Weinstein is a monster,” lawyer Donna Rotunno said in her closing argument, but, she said, he’s an innocent man relying on jurors not to be swayed by a “sinister tale.’’

“The irony is that they are the producers and they are writing the script,” Rotunno said, urging the jury to not buy into “the story they spun where women had no free will.”

“In their universe, women are not responsible for the parties they attend, the men they flirt with, the choices they make to further their own careers, the hotel room invitations, the plane tickets they accept, the jobs they ask for help to obtain,’’ or the messages they send, Rotunno said.

Witnesses testified they were seeking a professional relationship with Weinstein, who produced many Oscar-winning movies. Rotunno dismissed that as an expedient excuse.

“If they label it what it was, we wouldn’t be here,” she told the jury of seven men and five women in a case seen as a watershed for the #MeToo movement against sexual misconduct.

About the witnesses’ continued relationship with Weinstein, she told the jury: “This is where you need to say, ‘Wait a minute — do I have doubt about the story she’s telling?’ How could you not?”

“He was the target of a cause and a movement,” Rotunno said, asking jurors to ignore “outside forces’’ and weigh the facts.....


See: Weinstein accuser called him her ‘spiritual soul mate,’ witness says

If the case is shit, you must acquit.


The Globe asks if love belongs in the classroom given the pressure to reform schools, and don't be nervous because as we all know cops and preachers make good teachers.


Now for the challenges of climate change at the bedside.

That's crazy and could be expensive. Better try New Hampshire as the legalization of marijuana has led to bribery in Ma$$achu$etts. 

DEA raids Newburyport office of Dr. Keith Ablow, controversial psychiatrist who settled malpractice lawsuits

He apparently drew three female patients into sexual relationships and improperly prescribed medications, including addictive narcotics, to eight people who worked for him for years and sometimes asked the workers to share the drugs with him.


Three women settle medical malpractice lawsuits against prominent psychiatrist Keith Ablow

By Laura Crimaldi Globe Staff,June 27, 2019,

He told them he owned them as he was turning prescription writing into an art, and his suspension was an explosion that rocked Newburyport.

Defrocked Massachusetts priest appeals sex abuse conviction

Sad that Globe is now in pre-Spotlight mode! 

State reports rise in students experiencing homelessness

Could have used some of that Wayfair tax loot, and at least some will not have to worry:

UMass Boston interim chancellor Katherine Newman to return to university central administration

UMass Boston Interim Chancellor Katherine Newman
UMass Boston Interim Chancellor Katherine NewmanJonathan Wiggs/Globe Staff

They created a new position for her!

Lori Loughlin’s attorneys want her to stand trial in Feb. 2021 at the earliest

Justus delayed is Justus for the privileged elite!

Lori Loughlin and her husband, Mossimo Giannulli, departed federal court in Boston after facing charges in April.
Lori Loughlin and her husband, Mossimo Giannulli, departed federal court in Boston after facing charges in April (Steven Senne/Associated Press)

I guess I would be smiling, too.

In 1929, the ‘‘St. Valentine’s Day Massacre’’ took place in a Chicago garage as seven rivals of Al Capone’s gang were gunned down.

In 1949, Israel’s Knesset convened for the first time.

In 2013, double-amputee and Olympic sprinter Oscar Pistorius shot and killed his girlfriend, Reeva Steenkamp, at his home in Pretoria, South Africa; he was later convicted of murder and is serving a 13-year prison term. American Airlines and US Airways announced an $11 billion merger that turned American into the world’s biggest airline.

In 2018, a gunman identified as a former student opened fire with a semi-automatic rifle at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School near Fort Lauderdale, killing 17 people in the nation’s deadliest school shooting since the attack in Newtown, Conn.

Last year, William Barr was sworn in for his second stint as the nation’s attorney general..... 

It's only been a year?


They mean business in Parkland:

Parkland parents, survivor seek support of businesses on gun control

Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey held up a pin with the new Gun Safety-Certified logo designed by Manuel and Patricia Oliver, parents of Joaquin Oliver, who was killed in the Parkland mass shooting on Valentine's Day of 2018, during a press conference on Thursday.
Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey held up a pin with the new Gun Safety-Certified logo designed by Manuel and Patricia Oliver, parents of Joaquin Oliver, who was killed in the Parkland mass shooting on Valentine's Day of 2018, during a press conference on Thursday (Blake Nissen/The Boston Globe).

She's also taking on JUUL even as the opioid crisis festers.

Gaming commission OK’s machine-made drinks at Encore

It's getting tough at the gaming tables as revenue remains sluggish and others fold.

The beer is finally flowing at the Sam Adams taproom

Just don't smoke pot.

Trump Fed nominee Shelton faces skepticism at Senate hearing

Judy Shelton, one of President Trump’s nominees for the Federal Reserve, said she would bring “intellectual diversity” to the Fed.
Judy Shelton, one of President Trump’s nominees for the Federal Reserve, said she would bring “intellectual diversity” to the Fed.J. Scott Applewhite/Associated Press/Associated Press

Boston-New York seaplane service gets the go-ahead

So much for climate change!

Record number of 401(k) millionaires

The bull market is minting plenty of millionaires.

Consumer prices up slightly in January

You can afford it!

Russia fines Twitter and Facebook for refusing to store data on Russian server

What's good for the goose.....

American Airlines to use Seattle as gateway to India

Nissan struggles in wake of Ghosn scandal

The results don’t take into account possible damage from production halts in China caused by the new virus outbreak.

China car sales dropped last month

US stocks edge mostly lower after China virus cases spike 

That is going to be the excuse given for when the economy implodes, with designated enemy to blame.

Name dropper:

"After days of blistering criticism, Snoop Dogg has finally apologized to Gayle King for attacking her over her interview with former basketball star Lisa Leslie about the late Kobe Bryant. “Two wrongs don't make no right. when you're wrong, you gotta fix it," he said in an Instagram post on Wednesday. “So with that being said, Gayle King, I publicly tore you down by coming at you in a derogatory manner based off of emotions of me being angry at a question you asked. Overreacted," he said. "I should have handled it way different than that, I was raised way better than that, so I would like to apologize publicly for the language that I used and calling you out your name and just being disrespectful.” Snoop Dogg was furious that the “CBS This Morning” anchor brought up rape allegations from Bryant’s past in her interview with Leslie, a friend of Bryant. The retired Lakers star was killed in a helicopter crash last month along with his young daughter and seven others....."

Of the dead say nothing but good.