Wednesday, July 26, 2017

This Post a Fluke

Wasn't going to blog today because I'm sick of slop and had planned on taking the day off, but..... 

"Trump administration steps in on fishing limits, and the implications could ripple" by David Abel Globe Staff  July 25, 2017

The Trump administration, in an unprecedented decision, has rejected the recommendation of a commission that has long overseen fishing issues along the East Coast, raising deep concerns about political meddling in the ongoing preservation of fragile stocks from Maine to Florida.

More specifically, the decision by Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross has stirred worries about the consequences for summer flounder, one of the most fished species in the Northeast. The decline of summer flounder could have a wider impact across the region’s marine ecosystem.

This blog is floundering due to disinterest by the editor.

Ross earlier this month dismissed the findings of the 75-year-old Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission, which concluded that New Jersey was violating a conservation plan for summer flounder that all the other states in the compact approved. Many conservationists thought that New Jersey, while following protocols, was bowing to the fishing industry.

The decision, which effectively allows New Jersey to harvest more summer flounder, marked the first time the federal government had disregarded such a recommendation by the commission, and it drew a swift rebuke from state officials along the East Coast.

Millions of pounds of summer flounder, also known as fluke, are caught every year by commercial and recreational fishermen between Virginia Beach and Cape Cod. But the commission — an interstate pact established by Congress to manage migratory fisheries — has determined that fluke are being overfished, with an estimated population that is 42 percent below the level regulators consider to be sustainable.

The commission has reduced catch limits significantly since state and federal surveys found the fluke population had plummeted by nearly one-quarter since its 2010 peak. But if the population falls another 14 percent, reaching a critical threshold for the ability of the fishery to rebuild, commissioners will be required by their rules to reduce quotas drastically or implement a region-wide moratorium on catching fluke.

Officials in New Jersey, which has one of the region’s largest fluke populations, had drafted an alternative plan that they said would do more to protect the fishery, but it was rejected by the commission, whose scientists concluded the plan would result in nearly 94,000 additional fish being caught.

Ross, who oversees the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, overruled the commission, allowing New Jersey to proceed.

“New Jersey makes a compelling argument that the measures it implemented this year, despite increasing catch above the harvest target, will likely reduce total summer flounder mortality in New Jersey waters to a level consistent with the overall conservation objective,” Chris Oliver, assistant administrator of fisheries at NOAA, wrote the commission in a letter on behalf of Ross.

Killing more by catching them will reduce mortality?

The move infuriated commissioners and fishing officials throughout the area, as well as the region’s NOAA officials.

They said it was unprecedented for a Commerce secretary to make a decision without seeking their input. Such rulings are routinely vetted by NOAA’s regional officials and scientists, who review the commission’s recommendations and then prepare the agency’s response, they said.

“This is the first time that no one asked me for a formal recommendation,” said John Bullard, NOAA’s Greater Atlantic regional administrator. “The secretary’s decision goes against long-standing protocol, and there’s a cost to that.”

Some also raised concerns that Ross’s decision may have been influenced by President Trump’s close relationship with New Jersey Governor Chris Christie.

How close can it be? He was the first primary loyalist who was then cut out of a job in the administration and sent back to New Jersey with an opioid committee assignment. Methinks the Kushner are sticking it to him for jailing the father when Christie was U.S. attorney. Therefore, the whole jew$media spin is a colossal distortion!

Protocols have been dismissed here,” said Cheri Patterson, supervisor of marine fisheries at the New Hampshire Fish and Game Department.....

I'll get to protocols in a second.

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Related:

"A New England fishermen’s group is taking its fight over monitors who collect sea data to the U.S. Supreme Court.  The monitors are workers who collect data used to help develop government fishing regulations. The government shifted the cost of paying for monitors to fishermen last year. A group of fisherman, led by David Goethel of New Hampshire, then sued the government over the change and lost in a federal district court and later in the federal appeals court. His attorney filed a petition with the Supreme Court earlier this month seeking a review....."

I hope their ship doesn't sink.

"The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration is extending a voluntary speed restriction order for boats south of Nantucket because of the presence of rare whales.The federal agency says the endangered whales were spotted in the area on July 16. It is asking mariners to avoid the area or proceed at 10 knots or less until July 30. North Atlantic right whales are one of the most endangered marine mammals in the world. The animals are vulnerable to injury and death from vessel strikes. Separately, the agency announced Tuesday that a ban on whale entanglement rescues will continue — except in the case of right whales. The ban was implemented last week after the death Canadian lobsterman Joe Howlett who was killed by a right whale that he was trying to rescue. It was put in place in order to review the protocols responders must follow while disentangling whales. Scott Landry, the director of the marine animal entanglement response program at the Center for Coastal Studies in Provincetown, said these guidelines are in place to keep responders safe while they perform disentanglements. The Canadian government is investigating the circumstances that lead to Howlett’s death more closely, Landry said (AP)."

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Per protocol, readers:

Grieving For the Reeves'

"Lynda Roseman called police to get help for her son, an Iraq War veteran with post-traumatic stress disorder who was brandishing a knife and high on inhalants. Instead, the former Marine was shot in the chest and charged with 10 felonies, including assault with intent to murder. The violent encounter, she told legislators Tuesday, could have been avoided if the police officers who responded had been trained to handle people struggling with mental illness and drug addiction. “If the officers had had this training before this incident, it wouldn’t have unfolded the way it did,” she said, recalling the 2014 shooting. “They would have tried to talk to him. They would have tried to de-escalate. Instead, they escalated, because that’s how they were trained.” Roseman testified in support of legislation, backed by mental health advocates and several police chiefs, that would create a statewide training program to teach police how to respond safely when confronting people with mental illness and drug problems....." 

She knows about the high-quality VA care here, too.

Sunday Globe is a Piece of Junk

VA secretary expands probe of embattled Manchester, N.H., hospital

Well..... 

"Senate will now take on health bill, and outlook is far from certain" by Astead W. Herndon Globe Staff  July 25, 2017

WASHINGTON — Senate Republicans, after a dramatic return by an ailing Senator John McCain, suffered a setback Tuesday night in their effort to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act when they came up short of necessary votes in early maneuvering.

A plan to replace President Obama’s signature law stumbled during a vote, falling 57-43. It was a sign of the difficult road ahead for Republicans as they try to make good on a seven-year-old promise to ditch the federal health law.

Earlier in the day, majority leader Mitch McConnell muscled through an opening vote, 51-50, on a shell of a bill, with Vice President Mike Pence casting the tiebreaker to continue debate. That was enough to keep the repeal effort alive, but it began a confusing process of endless amendments, without any idea of what a final bill will look like, if the Senate can pass one at all.

“Let the voting take us where it will,” McConnell said, exposing the massive uncertainty of the debate moving forward.

His words summed up an extraordinary day on Capitol Hill. It included an anti-Republican protest in the Senate chambers that led to several arrests, a dramatic floor discussion between McConnell and a Republican holdout, and a passionate speech by McCain, who flew in from Arizona for the vote between treatments for brain cancer.

For a Senate that has struggled to make progress on a vow to repeal and replace Barack Obama’s signature Affordable Care Act, even advancing a dummy bill for debate counts as progress.

That how low is the bar?

“I’m extremely happy that we got this vote,” President Trump said at a Rose Garden press conference with the prime minister of Lebanon.....

What is going on over there anyway?

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McCain’s now a "hero" on the same level as Ted Kennedy, despite the controlled opposition protesters ruining it.

Meanwhile, in the chamber waiting room:

"Caught on hot mic, New England senators unload on Trump" by Philip Bump Washington Post  July 25, 2017

WASHINGTON — At the end of a Senate subcommittee hearing on Tuesday morning, chairwoman Susan Collins, a Maine Republican, didn’t switch off her microphone. Apparently speaking to Senator Jack Reed of Rhode Island, the ranking Democrat of the committee, Collins discussed the federal budget — and President Trump’s apparent lack of familiarity with the details of governing.

After Reed praises Collins’s handling of the hearing, held by the Transportation, Housing and Urban Development, and Related Agencies subcommittee of the Senate Appropriations Committee, she laments the administration’s handling of spending.

‘‘I swear, [the Office of Management and Budget] just went through and whenever there was ‘grant,’ they just X it out,’’ Collins says. ‘‘With no measurement, no thinking about it, no metrics, no nothing. It’s just incredibly irresponsible.’’ 

Like what I do with a lot of the Globe every day.

‘‘Yes,’’ Reed replies. ‘‘I think — I think he’s crazy,’’ apparently referring to the president. ‘‘I mean, I don’t say that lightly and as a kind of a goofy guy.’’

‘‘I’m worried,’’ Collins replies.

‘‘Oof,’’ Reed continues. ‘‘You know, this thing — if we don’t get a budget deal, we’re going to be paralyzed.’’

‘‘I know,’’ Collins replies.

‘‘[Department of Defense] is going to be paralyzed, everybody is going to be paralyzed,’’ Reed says.

Maybe the wars will grind to a halt? 

Not such a bad thing then!

‘‘I don’t think he knows there is a [Budget Control Act] or anything,’’ Collins says, referring to a 2011 law that defines the budget process.

‘‘He was down at the Ford commissioning,’’ Reed says, referring to a weekend event launching a new aircraft carrier, ‘‘saying, ‘I want them to pass my budget.’ Okay, so we give him $54 billion and then we take it away across the board, which would cause chaos.’’

‘‘Right,’’ Collins replies.

‘‘It’s just — and he hasn’t — not one word about the budget. Not one word about the debt ceiling,’’ Reed says.

‘‘Good point,’’ Collins replies.

‘‘You’ve got [Budget Director Mick] Mulvaney saying we’re going to put in all sorts of stuff like a border wall. Then you’ve got [Treasury Secretary Steve] Mnuchin saying it’s got to be clean,’’ Reed continues. ‘‘We’re going to be back in September, and, you know, you’re going to have crazy people in the House.’’

In a more salacious part of what was recorded, Collins then addressed a radio interview in which US Representative Blake Farenthold, a Texas Republican, suggested that if Collins were a man, he’d have challenged her to a duel for opposing the Senate Republicans’ Obamacare overhaul bill.

‘‘Did you see the one who challenged me to a duel?’’ Collins asks.

‘‘I know,’’ Reed replies. ‘‘Trust me. Do you know why he challenged you to a duel? ‘Cause you could beat the s___ out of him.’’

‘‘Well, he’s huge,’’ Collins replies. ‘‘And he — I don’t mean to be unkind, but he’s so unattractive it’s unbelievable.’’

So is the elite hypocrisy, and she ain't exactly no looker either!

‘‘Did you see the picture of him in his pajamas next to this Playboy bunny?’’ she continues, referring to an infamous photo of Farenthold.

At that point, the mike went dead.

--more--" 

The question must be asked: was the mike left open on purpose?

"Will Jeff Sessions keep his job? ‘We’ll see what happens,’ Trump says" by Devlin Barrett, Philip Rucker and Sari Horwitz Washington Post  July 25, 2017

WASHINGTON — The public standoff between the White House and the nation’s senior law enforcement official took another strange turn Tuesday as President Trump escalated his verbal attacks on Attorney General Jeff Sessions, who was urged by fellow conservatives to stand his ground.

Trump was asked at a Rose Garden news conference if he would fire the attorney general, and where is the scandal?

Trump’s reluctance to act on his anger and fire Sessions may be based in part on the lack of an immediate plan for a successor at the Justice Department. While Trump has discussed potential candidates to replace Sessions, senior White House officials have not settled on anyone and may not anytime soon, administration officials said. If Sessions were to be fired without even a temporary replacement lined up, the deputy attorney general who oversees the Russia probe, Rod Rosenstein, would assume authority over the entire Justice Department.

One Republican close to the White House said a number of senior aides, including newly hired communications director Anthony Scaramucci, have urged Trump to sit down with Sessions and work through their differences. So far, there has been little enthusiasm for the suggestion, the Republican said.

One informal adviser to the Trump White House said there is another reason Trump has yet to fire Sessions.

‘‘The president doesn’t want to be seen as firing another law enforcement official.’’

Who are these sources?

After Trump fired Comey, one unintended consequence was the appointment of Robert Mueller as special counsel overseeing the Russia probe.

Related: Former CIA Director Calls For A Coup If Trump Fires Mueller 

Isn't that treason?

Earlier Tuesday, Trump had tweeted that Sessions was ‘‘very weak’’ on investigating Hillary Clinton’s ‘‘crimes’’ and had not aggressively hunted those who have leaked intelligence secrets.

The president’s insistence that Clinton be investigated runs contrary to his own past statements and the decision by the Justice Department and the FBI last year to close the investigation into her use of a private e-mail server when she was secretary of state. Sessions has recused himself from Clinton-related matters, citing his involvement with the presidential campaign as one of Trump’s major advisers.

Related: "Trump's constant tweeting about the DNC emails remains bizarre when apparently nothing is being done about it by his own DoJ.  But is it possible that he knows what went on and is attempting to have it both ways - use the hints of DNC wrongdoing to protect himself, while secretly ordering Sessions to stay away in order to protect his long time good friends, the Clintons?" -- xymphora

The public humiliation of Sessions at the hands of the president he helped get elected was galling to many conservatives, who see Sessions as the Cabinet official who has most assiduously pursued Trump’s policy goals, from cracking down on illegal immigration to targeting street gangs.

Officials said Sessions is due to announce in coming days a number of criminal leak investigations based on news accounts of sensitive intelligence information. And within hours of Trump’s public broadside, the Justice Department announced it would change a police funding program to add new requirements that cities help federal agents find undocumented immigrants to receive grants.

SeeJustice Dept. to withhold some grant money in crackdown on sanctuary cities

On Tuesday, Republicans publicly rallied to Sessions’ defense, and Breitbart, the conservative website, posted an article saying the president’s public attack on Sessions ‘‘only serves to highlight Trump’s own hypocrisy,’’ warning that the president’s stance could ‘‘fuel concerns from his base [which sees] Sessions as the best hope to fulfill Trump’s immigration policies.’’

Related: Breitbart News: Founded for and by Israel? 

Seems like all my news organs are when cited by the pre$$.

Even among Democrats, Trump’s treatment of Sessions raised concerns.

‘‘What’s happening is just terrible,” said Senator Dianne Feinstein of California. “The attorney general did the right thing. The attorney general was nothing but loyal to Donald Trump. He took an oath of office to represent the Constitution, the law and the people.’’

OMG! These are the same people who were calling him a bigot and racist during his confirmation hearings. No fluke that the printed paper 

Current and former Justice Department officials said they hope Sessions holds out, refusing to resign as a means of defending the department’s independence.

One former Justice Department official said the president’s anger seems to stem from a misunderstanding about how the department actually works. The White House, he said, should not be interfering with criminal investigations.

‘‘For those of us that want this administration to succeed, this is incredibly self-destructive behavior,’’ the official said.

Justice Department employees said the president’s comments are damaging the reputation and morale of the department.

‘‘It’s just insanity,’’ said one employee who, like others, spoke on the condition of anonymity to speak frankly. Another official said there was still hope in the building that Sessions could survive, and that Trump’s fury might abate. ‘‘This might be the one instance where everyone else just kind of rolls their eyes and moves on,’’ the official said.

The surge of support for Sessions is remarkable, considering how isolated he has been within the government. Sessions is viewed warily by many at the FBI for his role in Comey’s firing, and he is increasingly distant from the White House, despite the fact that some of his former Senate staffers serve there.

So says the Washington Post.

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Is the Washington Post trying to destroy Jeff Sessions?

Look, Trump is no Boy Scout:

"Boy Scouts, in spotlight after Trump’s speech, say they are ‘wholly nonpartisan’" by Alan Blinder and Mitch Smith New York Times  July 26, 2017

NEW YORK — A barrage of political remarks by President Trump delivered Monday to the Boy Scouts of America National Jamboree in West Virginia has enraged many parents and former Scouts, thrusting the Scouts once again into the middle of the nation’s culture wars and providing yet another example of the unusual and polarizing nature of the Trump presidency.

Either way, the firestorm was an unwelcome and surprising development during a gathering that is among Scouting’s most important events, a quadrennial meeting that attracts tens of thousands of people and, very often, presidents, who in the past have spoken about service, values, or citizenship, not partisan politics.

Trump’s appearance before an enthusiastic crowd of neckerchief-clad, saluting Scouts at a 14,000-acre compound was a distinct break from 80 years of presidential speeches to the nation’s Scouts.

In the speech’s opening moments, it seemed that Trump, who was not a Boy Scout as a youth, would mostly avoid talking about the partisan clashes that have divided Washington.

“I said, who the hell wants to speak about politics when I’m in front of the Boy Scouts? Right?” Trump said shortly before he extolled the Scouts as “young people of character and integrity who will serve as leaders in our communities, and uphold the sacred values of our nation.”

Future soldiers.

But the speech by Trump was ultimately punctuated by a brand of political oratory that proved startling at a Boy Scout gathering. He recounted how he won last year’s presidential election: “We won Florida. We won South Carolina. We won North Carolina. We won Pennsylvania,” and when he landed on the second point of the Scout Law — loyalty — Trump interrupted himself to say, “We could use some more loyalty, I will tell you that.” 

Pledge allegiance to the flag, whatever flag they offer.

RelatedClaims that medical school dean led drug-fueled secret life stun many in Boston

“He’s always been loyal.”

Presidents of both parties have been connected to the Boy Scouts: Their signatures have been affixed to Eagle Scout certificates, they have hosted boys and leaders in the Oval Office and many have appeared at jamborees.

In 2005, George W. Bush reminded the Scouts that Franklin Delano Roosevelt had appeared at a jamboree in 1937, and he spoke about themes that are familiar to Scouts, including service and character.

“When you follow your conscience, and the ideals you have sworn as a Scout, there is no limit to what you can achieve for our country,” Bush said.

Bill Clinton, who spoke in 1997, had made similar comments.

“We need you to remain focused on the strong values you learned in Scouting, to remember that character counts and service counts,” Clinton said. “We need you if we’re going to build our communities and bring our people together across all the lines that divide us.” 

I'm wondering how rampant is pedophilia in Scouts because that has been an open secret for years.

The organization has faced frustration and anger in recent decades for its policies about gay and transgender policy, and the issue even reached the US Supreme Court in 2000. Although the Scouts won that case, which involved the organization’s expulsion of an openly gay adult leader, the group has struggled to cultivate cultural relevance and stem a collapse in membership.

The group said this year that it had more than 2.3 million youth participants. About a decade earlier, it had close to 2.9 million participants.

In January, the Boy Scouts announced that troops would accept transgender members. It had earlier ended bans on gay members and leaders.

Zach Wahls, a cofounder of Scouts for Equality, which pressured the Boy Scouts to allow gay and transgender members, said Trump’s speech put the Scouts “in a very difficult position that they didn’t want to be in.”

“The Boy Scouts were not in the wrong here,” said Wahls, 26, who became an Eagle Scout while growing up in Iowa. “We should not be blaming the organization that always invites the president to speak. We should be talking about the president who took that opportunity and twisted it.”

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Time to hit the greens:

"The commandant of the Coast Guard said Tuesday that recreational paddlers can use the Maryland side of the Potomac River when the president or senior administration officials visit Trump National Golf Club, amending a controversial policy that kicked boats off the river whenever the president golfed. Admiral Paul F. Zukunft announced the surprise policy change while testifying before a House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee panel....."

RelatedTrump bans transgender individuals from military

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Speaking of the wars:

"House passes Russia sanctions bill, setting up veto dilemma for Trump" by Mike DeBonis and Karoun Demirjian Washington Post  July 25, 2017

WASHINGTON —  The House voted 419 to 3, targeting Russia, as well as Iran and North Korea.

Speaking of those two


It's a pos by Sanger of the New York Times. 

Until a few weeks ago, the official estimate was that it would take roughly four years, give or take a year, for North Korea to develop a missile that could carry a nuclear weapon small enough to fit into the missile’s warhead and capable of surviving the stresses of re-entry and deliver it to the United States. But the realities of the past few months, especially a July 4 test, forced intelligence experts to conclude that their estimates have been too conservative and a growing recognition that they underestimated Kim Jung Un. 

Okay, the first thing is the claim is crap and this whole narrative regarding another intelligence failure..... they not only underestimated the North Koreans, they have disrespected them. Never mind that this is the usual NYT war-shoveling shit.

The essence of the assessment, which was first reported by The Washington Post, is that Washington has no more time, providing a different lesson than the one that emerged from Saddam Hussein’s weapons of mass destruction program in Iraq. 

SIGH! 

The pos initiated with WaPo! Then the NYT tells us we are out of time and that the lesson of Saddam Hussein must be learned, even implying that he had a WMD program. 

That's not journalism or reporting, that's propaganda pushing with lies and distortions. 

Can it get any worse?

In the Iraq case, the intelligence agencies overestimated Saddam’s ability to reconstitute what was once a healthy nuclear weapons program. In the North Korean case, one senior intelligence official noted last week, the speed and sophistication of the program have been consistently underestimated —


OMFG!!! 


In Iraq's case it "overestimated" the lies, 'er, intelligence, while in this case it overcompensated and underestimated (btw, he never had a nuclear program, not since 1981 when Israel bombed Osirak). 

Putting aside the blatant foolishness of such a statement and another "failure" of the intelligence community, one is left apoplectic regarding the Times turning the Iraq War lies on their head in order to support a war with North Korea!

And they wonder why no one believes their fake bullshit anymore?


U.S. is just spoiling for a war -- with anyone!

Back to the House floor:

‘‘These three regimes in different parts of the world are threatening vital US interests, and they are destabilizing their neighbors,’’ House Foreign Affairs Committee chairman Edward Royce, Republican of California, said Tuesday. ‘‘It is well past time that we forcefully respond.’’

Fine, Ed, here is your rifle, here is your parachute, a nice Afghan camo for you, and I'll let 'em know you are on your way!

White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders declined to say Monday whether Trump would sign or veto the bill, adding that the president ‘‘has been very vocal about his support for continuing sanctions on those three countries.’’

‘‘He has no intention of getting rid of them, but he wants to make sure we get the best deal for the American people possible,’’ Sanders said. ‘‘Congress does not have the best record on that . . . He’s going to study that legislation and see what the final product looks like.’’

Uh-huh, but he's all for health bill, etc.

The House voted hours after one of Trump’s closest advisers, son-in-law Jared Kushner, visited the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence to give testimony on possible Russian involvement in Trump’s president campaign. Also Tuesday, the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence interviewed former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort, who has had close ties with Ukraine’s Moscow-aligned government.

Kushner was interviewed Monday by the Senate panel and issued a statement afterward denying wrongdoing. ‘‘I did not collude with Russia, nor do I know of anyone else in the campaign who did so,’’ he said. 

IRS to get involved?

But the administration’s posture toward Russia has emerged as one of the few areas where congressional Republicans have been willing to openly buck the White House’s wishes.

An initial Senate bill targeting Iran and Russia passed in June on a vote of 98 to 2, with only Rand Paul, Republican of Kentucky, and Bernie Sanders, the Vermont independent, opposed.

That bill hit a procedural snag over claims that it ran afoul of the constitutional requirement that revenue bills originate in the House. The roadblock came as Trump administration officials stepped up a lobbying campaign against it, prompting Democrats to accuse House GOP leaders of stalling on Trump’s behalf.

New obstacles emerged earlier this month. House Democrats objected to Senate changes to the bill that could freeze out the House minority’s ability to block sanctions relief. The energy industry also raised concerns that US companies could be frozen out of projects with Russian partners.

House leaders agreed to vote on an expanded version of the bill last week after adding sanctions aimed at freezing North Korea’s nuclear program and targeting banks that provide revenue to its government. The measures against Pyongyang, which passed the House 419 to 1 as a stand-alone bill in May, were inserted at the request of House Republican leaders.

Democrats were more aggressive during floor debate Tuesday than Republicans in casting the bill — and its congressional review requirement — as a rebuke of Trump’s foreign policy.

‘‘This is critical at a moment when our allies are uncertain about where this administration stands with respect to Russian aggression,’’ said House minority whip Steny H. Hoyer, a Maryland Democrat who brokered a deal on the bill with GOP House leaders. He said Congress could pursue additional sanctions targeting the Russian energy industry if Russian President Vladimir V. Putin and allies ‘‘fail to heed the message of this bill that their business as usual cannot and must not continue.’’

Really? Where?

The House voted under special procedures for noncontroversial bills expected to pass with a two-thirds majority. The near-unanimity means the House could override a presidential veto.

‘‘The bill we just passed with overwhelming bipartisan support is one of the most expansive sanctions packages in history,’’ Speaker Paul Ryan, Republican of Wisconsin, said in a statement following the vote. ‘‘It tightens the screws on our most dangerous adversaries in order to keep Americans safe.’’

The Senate has not yet had the chance to vet the sanctions against Pyongyang, but Senator Bob Corker, chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, said he expects the House bill to pass the Senate, with ‘‘minor details’’ about procedure still to be worked out....

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Speaking of aggression:

"‘I’m going to fire everybody,’ White House communications director says; Scaramucci vows to stop the leaks" by Ashley Parker The Washington Post  July 25, 2017

WASHINGTON— Anthony Scaramucci, the new White House communications director, wearing blue-tinted aviator sunglasses and speaking to a small group of reporters in the White House driveway Tuesday morning, said, ‘‘I’m going to fire everybody.’’

The exodus has begun, and it soon looks like it will be he ‘‘and Sarah Huckabee.’’

Kellyanne Conway, counselor to the president, said that in a meeting of White House communications staff, Scaramucci had promised all aides ‘‘a clean slate’’ and ‘‘amnesty’’ to prove that they are not leaking and are working hard to defend the president and support his agenda, but Scaramucci also made clear he’s ‘‘1,000 percent’’ prepared to fire any communications staff member he suspects of disloyalty.

Spicer resigned in protest.

‘‘There are leakers in the comms shop, there are leakers everywhere. And leaking is atrocious. It’s outrageous. It’s unpatriotic. It damages the president personally. It damages the institution of the presidency, and I don’t like it. I just don’t like it,’’ he said. 

Of course, everyone knows some of the stuff is from Trump's team, it's how they float trial balloons and how this game with the pre$$ is played.

Typically, the job of firing staffers — even those in the press shop — would be left to the chief of staff, but chief of staff Reince Priebus has found himself increasingly isolated in recent days, with few areas of the White House reporting directly to him.....

Priebus is rumored to be a huge leaker, but that is troubling. He's chief of staff and he doesn't know what is going on?

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Just who is Anthony Scaramucci anyway?

Related:

"Left-leaning MSNBC, which has been no fan of President Trump, racked up big numbers last week on its way to becoming the most-watched network across all of primetime cable....."

I don't watch any of those shows.

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Around the U.S.A.:

"Va. middle school principal charged with assault over spanking allegations" The Washington Post  July 18, 2017

A principal at an Alexandria, Va., school has been charged with assault and battery over allegations that he spanked a 12-year-old student after she was asked to pick something up off the cafeteria floor and refused.

The alleged incident occurred April 4 when the student was in the cafeteria with a few friends at Carl Sandburg Middle School, according to Fairfax County police. The principal — Terrence Yarborough — allegedly came into the cafeteria and asked her to pick a piece of trash off the floor. She said no.

It was not clear whether the student had dropped the item on the floor.

Yarborough then asked her again to pick it up and she refused a second time, according to police. Yarborough, 53, then allegedly smacked the girl on her buttocks, police said. The student reported the alleged incident to a teacher.

Police said Yarborough was removed from the school and placed on administrative leave as police and the county school system’s internal affairs department investigated.

Reached Tuesday, Yarborough said the charge was ‘‘unexpected.’’

He said the incident involved ‘‘a simple playing around’’ interaction. Yarborough said he asked the student to pick up paper in the cafeteria.

She said no and got ‘‘smart alecky,’’ Yarborough said. ‘‘That was typical of her. We continued to joke.

‘‘I said, ‘Girl, if you don’t pick that up, I’m going to spank you.’ ”

Yarborough said he then ‘‘gave her one swat to the rear end with the flick of my wrist.’’

--more--"

Given the sex abuse crisis in the schools, probably not a good idea -- never mind the message it sends regarding violence.

"Sheriff blames animal rights activists for 35,000 lost mink" AP  July 18, 2017

ST. CLOUD, Minn. — Authorities say they believe animal rights activists set free 35,000 mink incapable of surviving in the wild from a pelt farm in central Minnesota.

Someone dismantled parts of the exterior fence at Lang Farms near Eden Valley late Sunday or early Monday and released the mink from their cages, according to the Stearns County sheriff’s office.

Eden Valley is about 75 miles northwest of Minneapolis.

Sheriff Don Gudmundson said Tuesday that he believes members of an animal rights group released the mink, but didn’t steal any of the animals, together worth $750,000.

‘‘It’s pretty hard to steal 30,000 to 40,000 mink. What are you going to do, put them in a trunk? They’d chew your fingers off,’’ Gudmundson said.

Hundreds of mink have already been found dead in the area of the farm, the sheriff said.

‘‘If they actually cared about animals they wouldn’t release thousands of mink to die out in the heat,” Gudmundson said.

The mink don’t know where to go because they’ve never been out of their cages, authorities said. The FBI is assisting in the investigation.

Gudmundson said the farm doesn’t have surveillance video. The Tri-County CrimeStoppers group is offering a $1,000 reward for information leading to the vandals.

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"Family vacation ends as son shoots father on I-75" Associated press  July 18, 2017

PERRY, Ga. — A feud between a father and son ended in homicide on the highway as their vacationing family returned home to Birmingham, Alabama.

According to the Georgia Bureau of Investigation, the family left their Orlando vacation early because of the fighting between the father, 40-year-old Daniel Lee Young, and son, 21-year-old Deontae Leqwan Young. There were eight people in the Ford Expedition, including three children younger than five, and the father had been drinking ‘‘pretty heavily’’ that day, said Peach County Sheriff Terry Deese.....

Proving once again that booze kills.

--more--"

"Officials: Boy, 10, among youngest victims of opioid crisis" AP  July 18, 2017

MIAMI — Prosecutors in Florida believe a 10-year-old boy who died with the painkiller fentanyl in his system is among the state’s youngest victims of the opioid crisis.

Preliminary toxicology tests show Alton Banks had fentanyl in his system when he collapsed and died at his home on June 23, the Miami Herald reported. Health officials say fentanyl and other synthetic forms of the drug are so powerful that just a speck breathed in or absorbed through the skin can be fatal.

That’s what investigators believe happened to Alton.

The fifth-grader started vomiting after coming home from an outing at the neighborhood pool.

He was found unconscious that evening and rushed to the hospital, where he was declared dead.

Investigators said there’s no evidence he came into contact with the drug at home. They think he may have been exposed to it at the pool or on his walk home in Miami’s Overtown community, which has been hard-hit by the opioid epidemic.

Detectives are still trying to piece together his final day. The Miami-Dade medical examiner’s office is doing additional testing, and a final report is pending.

State Attorney Katherine Fernandez Rundle spoke publicly about the case because of its unusual nature and the need for tips to find out how the boy came into contact with the drug.

The boy’s mother, Shantell Banks, was informed of the preliminary findings last week.

Fentanyl is so powerful that some police departments have warned officers about even touching the drug.

Last year, three police dogs in Broward County got sick after sniffing the drug during a federal raid, officials said.

--more--"

And yet authorities are all bunged up regarding marijuana.

"Florida man threatens to be judges’ ‘biggest nightmare’" Associated Press  July 19, 2017

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. — A convicted drug trafficker is accused of stalking nearly a dozen judges in one Florida county by making obscene phone calls and sending letters in which he threatened to be their ‘‘biggest nightmare.’’

Todd Watson, 53, was arrested Tuesday in Fort Lauderdale on 15 misdemeanor charges, including five counts of stalking judges and 10 counts of making obscene calls, news outlets reported.

Investigators said Watson was sentenced in Broward Circuit Court in 2011 to six years in prison. Watson began stalking and harassing judges after his release in March, according to a 39-page complaint.

The complaint says he called a Jewish judge ‘‘Hitler’’ and an African-American judge ‘‘Uncle Tom.’’

Authorities said he accused judges of fabricating evidence, doctoring transcripts, and colluding to wrongfully convict people. Watson vowed to see all the judges die in prison.

‘‘I pretty much have never seen somebody so dangerous, reckless, and relentless in my entire life,’’ Broward Sheriff’s Detective Joseph Kessling said.

Six judges were initially targeted.

--more--"

Psyop or not, you be the judge.

"Police: Tennessee mother tried to smother son in hospital" AP  July 19, 2017

NASHVILLE — A Tennessee woman was charged with attempted murder after authorities said she tried to smother her son at a hospital.

News outlets reported that 22-year-old Alexis Bagwell was arrested Monday after a Metro Nashville Police investigation found she allegedly tried to harm her son on two occasions while he was at Vanderbilt Children’s Hospital in January 2016.

Police said hospital staff became suspicious of Bagwell, who had brought 5-month-old Josiah in for reported seizure issues.

The boy was placed in foster care. Police say he is healthy.

Bagwell is charged with three counts of aggravated child abuse in addition to the attempted murder charge. One of the charges is related to alleged abuse in October 2015 when the child was a patient.

Bagwell was held on $100,000 bond.

--more--"

Think of it as a late-term abortion.

"Brothers, 5 and 2, crash mom’s car on way to see grandfather" AP  July 19, 2017

RED HOUSE, W.Va. — Authorities in West Virginia said a 5-year-old and a 2-year-old who wanted to visit their grandfather took their mother’s car for a 3-mile ride on a curvy, winding road before crashing it and escaping unharmed.

Putnam County Sheriff Steve Deweese said officials think the brothers worked together to steer the vehicle, but aren’t sure because the boys haven’t confessed details about their Monday ride. The car crashed into a ditch, and a neighbor found them.

‘‘Luckily, they didn’t pass anybody because they would’ve probably had a wreck before then,’’ Deweese said Wednesday.....

--more--"

Took the long way home.

*******************************

Around the STATE:

"Bristol County District Attorney Thomas M. Quinn III is investigating the death of a man whose burned body was found in Attleboro on Tuesday as a homicide “while awaiting official word from the medical examiner,” district attorney spokesman Gregg Miliote said. The man’s body was found near a small brush fire in a neighborhood closed to an Interstate 95 interchange. Quinn’s office said the death appeared “suspicious.”

How could it not be suspicious?

"Authorities say the death of a man whose body was found by hikers on the highest mountain in Massachusetts is not considered suspicious. The Berkshire district attorney’s office said in a statement Tuesday that the body of 54-year-old Kurt Kruger, of Great Barrington, was found Monday afternoon on a trail well below the 3,491-foot summit. State police detectives assigned to the district attorney’s office responded to the scene along with several other agencies. The body was removed with the help of an all-terrain vehicle. An autopsy is scheduled to determine the cause of death."

"Suspects pistol-whipped an elderly man during a violent home invasion Tuesday morning in Canton, in an attack that bore similarities to recent crimes in the Boston area, officials said. The incident occurred shortly before 11:05 a.m. in the northeast sector of town on Route 138, according to a statement from Canton police. Three Hispanic males wearing hoodies broke into a home belonging to “an elderly man and his wife,” and “the male resident was pistol-whipped,” the statement said. Two assailants were armed, and the men fled in a black Chrysler Pacifica, according to police. The victim was taken to a local hospital for treatment for head injuries that were serious but not life threatening, authorities said. “Our detectives are working closely with Boston PD to identify the suspects, as we have received information that there may be a nexus to a similar crime in that jurisdiction within the past month,” Canton police said. Deputy Chief Helena Rafferty declined to provide further details on the possible Boston connection, writing in an e-mail that the investigation was “still fluid.” Chief Ken Berkowitz was scheduled to brief reporters later Tuesday afternoon. The Route 138 incident is similar to a home invasion that occurred in Hyde Park on July 6, in which Cesar Lara Aguasvivas, 23, allegedly broke into a woman’s Beaver Street residence with three other armed men and ransacked the place while she was held at gunpoint. Law enforcement officials previously told the Globe that investigators are probing whether Aguasvivas also participated in a home invasion on July 10 in Milton. In that case, prosecutors say Odalis Pascual German-Perez, 21, and another man tied up a husband and wife in their Blue Hill Avenue home, stole some of their belongings, and then escorted the husband to a bank where he was forced to withdraw a large amount of money....."

Boston cops doing a great job of disarming them.

Career criminal should get 9 years for bank heist, prosecutors say

"A Chicopee man faces charges including drunken driving and speeding after State Police said he was found naked while behind the wheel of a pickup truck on Interstate 91 Tuesday. Alexander Shanwenda, 24, of Chicopee, was arrested on I-91 southbound after reaching a speed of 105 miles per hour in a 45-mile-per- hour construction zone in Whately, police said. State Police initially reported that a black 2005 Ford pickup was driving erratically and speeding Tuesday evening. The vehicle was spotted by a trooper when it changed lanes without signaling and nearly hit a truck, according to State Police. The pickup then accelerated through the construction zone, and the trooper pulled it over. The trooper saw Shanwenda wearing no clothes with only a pair of work pants on his lap, State Police said. Shanwenda failed several field sobriety tests and was placed under arrest, police said."

"Interdepartmental cooperation and a quick response from officials were credited in the successful rescue of a Cohasset man from an open septic hole there early Wednesday....."

*****************************

Median home price in Mass. tops $400,000 for the first time

Oddly, right below that is this:

South End renters hope legal fight stops evictions

Couldn't pay the rent, huh? 

Will have to move somewhere new then, and so much for the nest egg

Breaks your heart, doesn't it?

Jamaica Plain apartment complex sold for $103 million

Court ruling clears the way for redevelopment of East Cambridge courthouse tower

*************************

Phone call:

"Discovery Channel wants Shark Week viewers to be donors as well. The channel’s annual celebration of all things shark will include requests to support Oceana, an advocacy group focused on ocean conservation. Viewers can use their smartphones to donate and also to receive Shark Week program information, said technology company Pledgeling, which is working with Discovery on the Oceana fund-raising by texting....."

I never thought of that kind of $hark tank.

"The Samsung Galaxy S8 has a facial recognition feature that can identify a black guy in a dimly lit room. I should know; I’m the guy. But I don’t think I’d trust it with my credit card information. Has Apple figured out a way to make facial recognition as accurate as a fingerprint? Maybe. Analyst Rod Hall of JPMorgan predicted the new iPhone will include a front-facing laser scanner capable of mapping objects — such as faces — in three dimensions. Such a laser could generate a super-accurate “faceprint” of the user and make fingerprint readers obsolete. A similar laser scanner might also find its way onto the other camera of the new iPhone, as part of Apple’s bid to add “augmented reality” or AR to its portfolio. With AR, a video device blends digital images with objects in the real world. Words can’t convey the quality of Apple’s VR efforts, but you can take a peek at YouTube. Just look up “ARKit” and prepare to be awed....."

The term is horrified.

"A Wisconsin company is offering to microchip its employees, enabling them to open doors, log onto their computers, and purchase break room snacks with a simple swipe of the hand. Three Square Market, also known as 32M, says it expects about 50 employees to take advantage of the technology. The chips are the size of a grain of rice and will be implanted underneath the skin between the thumb and forefinger. 32M provides technology for the self-serve break room market."

I said that wouldn't make the Globe; I was wrong.

Chipotle reopens Va. store closed due to suspected norovirus

Caused by snail slime?

"Snail slime. On your face. All for the sake of beauty. And, hopefully, a handsome profit for US retailers looking to push it along with other K-beauty trends into the mainstream. Korean consumers are on a constant hunt for innovative products and unusual natural ingredients. Now, the decade-old craze is making its way to everyday consumers in the United States, as K-beauty products jump from niche websites and slide onto the shelves at Target Corp., CVS Health Corp., and Ulta Beauty Inc. stores. The retailers earlier this year announced expansions of the merchandise."

More scum:

"Bad news for financial titans like JPMorgan Chase’s Jamie Dimon (right) and Goldman Sachs Group’s Lloyd Blankfein: Most Americans hold unfavorable views of Wall Street banks and corporate executives, and distrust billionaires more than they admire them. Despite efforts by Wall Street firms to regain trust since the 2008 financial crisis, fewer than a third of Americans view the industry positively — unchanged from 2009, according to the latest Bloomberg National Poll. Yet the poll shows that Americans are much more likely to distrust billionaires than admire them, 53 percent to 31 percent. And just 31 percent look favorably on corporate executives and Wall Street."

Better stay off the planes then:

"Mexican authorities say the US Department of Homeland Security has instituted heightened security measures for laptops and tablets on US-bound flights from the country. Mexico’s Transportation Department says in a statement that the measures that took effect Wednesday for ‘‘electronics larger than a cellphone.’’ It recommends passengers carry as few of those devices as possible in carry-on bags and advises that such electronics must undergo separate security checks without cases or covers. In March, US authorities banned cabin electronics on departing flights from 10 airports in the Middle East over concerns extremists could hide bombs inside of laptops."

Now that you are back in the U.S.S.A:

"Carrier Corp. is beginning job cuts at the Indianapolis factory that became a rallying cry for President Trump because of the company’s plans to shift work to Mexico. About 300 employees will leave this week as part of a previously announced plan to relocate production of fan coils, Carrier said in a statement Wednesday. A total of 600 jobs will be eliminated during the next few months, the unit of United Technologies Corp. said."

So much for the Trump effect.

"President Trump said Tuesday that he’s considering either re-nominating Janet Yellen for a second term as Fed chair or replacing her with someone else, possibly Gary Cohn, who leads his National Economic Council. Trump said in an interview with the Wall Street Journal that he has a ‘‘lot of respect’’ for Yellen and thinks she is serving capably. The president said he’s still considering asking her to serve four more years after her term ends in February. But he said he’s also considering other candidates, including Cohn, who joined the Trump administration after a 26-year career at Goldman Sachs."

Then who will be president?

Time to brainwa$h the kids:

"Big firms hope to lure teenagers with tech futures" by Amanda Gordon Bloomberg News  July 25, 2017

NEW YORK — At the first New York edition of Internapalooza, engineers from Goldman Sachs Group Inc. and Quicken Loans Inc. greeted hundreds of computer science students with smiles and swag as their firms worked to recruit young talent.

But one high school senior on a day off from from his internship at a venture capital firm wasn’t sold.

“They’re looking pretty desperate,” said Shreyas Parab, wearing a mustache-print necktie made by a company he founded. “They’re not super attractive for people who are entrepreneurial.”

Luckily he had someone to set him straight, someone he trusted implicitly even though they had just met: a software-engineering intern at Google.

“Any of these can be interesting experiences,” Mahmoud Atef, a senior at Alexandria University in Egypt, said of the opportunities he’d surveyed including at startup mortgage-technology firm Blend and hedge fund Two Sigma. “These companies will be as competitive as Google,” he said. The Quicken Loans staff “had a lot of energy,” he added.

“I’m still figuring things out,” Parab, 16, conceded.

Financial-services companies have contended with a bias among younger job-seekers who are dazzled by tech startups after the conspicuous success of firms like Alphabet Inc.’s Google, Amazon.com Inc., and Facebook Inc.

Students attending Sunday’s Internapalooza seemed receptive to overtures from the world of finance, even without some of the creature comforts long associated with a Wall Street firm’s recruiting. Soda, snacks, and coffee — not steak — were offered at the midtown event space where air conditioning never really kicked in, though the Quicken Loans fans powered by iPhones came in handy.

Hundreds of STEM students — science, tech, engineering, and math — heard about the event through word of mouth, said organizer Cory Levy. They showed up ready to learn — and to stand in lines, some of them more than 15 people plus backpacks deep, just to meet an engineer or recruiter at a company that might one day offer them a position.

Top STEM students with a bachelor’s degrees can earn up to $150,000 at most leading banks, hedge funds, and tech firms, according to research by Options Group, an executive-search firm. At some tech firms, stock bonuses can increase the total package to $200,000, said Jessica Lee, an executive director at Options Group.

This is the ruling elite cla$$ looking to skim off the cream of the rabble crop to be used as drones in their $y$tem.

“I’m fine working in finance or tech,” said Naeem Hossain, 21, a senior at Rutgers University in New Jersey who has a software-engineering internship at Prudential Financial Inc. this summer and talked with an engineer at Blend. The jobs sounded hands-on, which he liked. “My criteria is, I get to learn a lot and I am personally invested in the project.”

Rohan Doshi, who’s 20 and a senior at Princeton University, said his job search is about “optimizing my chance to have as much impact as possible.” He’s majoring in computer science and minoring in financial engineering and East Asian studies.

Wall Street is working to reach out to STEM students with campus recruiting visits and “hackathons,” intensive coding events that promote collaboration. Goldman Sachs analyst Maria Samuel, 24, who works on Marquee, the firm’s digital platform for institutional investors, talked to about 50 students at Internapalooza and noticed a change in attitudes since a Goldman Sachs hackathon she attended a year and a half ago.

She said that students at Internapalooza had “done their homework” and had less aversion to financial services.

“We can train you in the business,” she said. “What we’re looking for is curiosity, the desire to learn.” The Marquee team alone is looking to double in size to 100 people, she said.

I know what I no longer have a desire for.

--more--"

US stocks back to record highs

All that really matters. 

Time to head for home:

GM second-quarter net earnings fall on loss from sale of European unit

“The result underlines the fact that each case must be tried on its own merits,” but....."

Left something in your Uber? It will now cost $15 to get it back

That's what happens when you drink.

Lyft gross bookings are said to exceed $1 billion last quarter

Driver fires into Lyft car on Southeast Expressway in Quincy

Take the bus next time, even if you can't find a seat

"A fugitive has been arrested in New Jersey in connection with the death of a man in Milford, officials said. Jusselo D. Dos Reis, 44, was arrested in Newark after being declared a fugitive from justice, the Worcester district attorney’s office said. A warrant charged Dos Reis with aggravated assault and battery with a dangerous weapon in relation to the Milford case, the statement said. The Milford victim, who has not been identified, was found dead Sunday."

I must be brain damaged to keep doing thisAlready been at it too long today, and it's lost its luster.

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Looking Towards Wednesday

No foretelling what the Globe will bring:

"Remember Google Glass? It’s back and ready for work" by Hayley Tsukayama Washington Post  July 19, 2017

WASHINGTON — The much-ridiculed augmented-reality goggles from Google, once known as Google Glass, are back after two years of relative silence.

On Tuesday, Google’s parent company, Alphabet, reintroduced the device to the world, calling it simply ‘‘Glass’’ and announcing that it is under the company’s experimental ‘‘X’’ department.

Google stopped a retail test of Google Glass in 2015, effectively ending its early ambitions to make it a consumer device. Google Glass faced major criticisms, including concerns about the device’s camera making it easy to encroach on others’ privacy, as well as the simple fact that the glasses looked unfashionable. The device’s high price tag — $1,500 for the retail edition — was also a major impediment.

But even then, analysts said that the device had potential for use in businesses as a tool for training, or to make information more accessible away from one’s desk. Promising trials in hospitals and with emergency-response teams drew the most lasting excitement from potential customers — far more than, for example, the headset’s turn on the catwalk at Fashion Week.

Now Glass seems to be embracing those less glamorous but arguably more practical uses.

The Glass team highlighted several companies in its blog post reintroducing the product to the world: the agricultural manufacturing company AGCO, the shipping giant DHL, and the California health system Dignity Health.

Alphabet boasted that Glass had made factory workers at AGCO more efficient.

‘‘By reducing the amount of back-and-forth workers have to do accessing checklists, viewing instruction manuals, or sending photos from tablets or laptops as they assemble machines, Glass has reduced machinery production time by 25 percent and inspection times by 30 percent,’’ wrote Jay Kothari, Glass’s project leader.

There are still some lingering questions about how well the Glass makeover will work.

You tell me this now, three-quarters of the way through the piece?

Thes more-focused Glass strategy also hits at a time when many Google competitors have jumped into the world of augmented reality, a major growth area for technology. Virtual and augmented-reality devices are expected to generate $162 billion in revenue by 2020, according to the market research firm International Data Corp.....

So what do they look like?

--more--"

"Facebook has plans to expand New Mexico data center" by Susan Montoya Bryan Associated Press  July 18, 2017

ALBUQUERQUE. — Facebook’s plans for New Mexico now call for a half-billion-dollar investment and a data center that will span an area equal to 17 football fields.

The data collection center is how huge?

Governor Susana Martinez’s office announced early Tuesday that the social media giant will be doubling its investment in the state with the planned expansion of its data center currently under construction near Los Lunas, a rural area outside of Albuquerque, New Mexico’s largest metropolitan area.

The governor praised the announcement, saying Facebook is among the state’s key partners as it works to diversify its economy.

‘‘New Mexico’s powerful incentives are bringing more opportunities to our state — once again ahead of schedule with more jobs and investment than initially anticipated,’’ the governor said in a statement.

The news comes as New Mexico looks to turn the corner after a crippling budget crisis that stemmed from a downturn in the oil and natural gas sectors and an overall weak economy. The state also has struggled with high unemployment numbers, only recently ending its stretch at the top of the nation’s jobless rankings. 

It's a Democratic state, too.

Had it not been for the oil and gas downturn, Martinez has said New Mexico’s over-the-year job growth in 2016 would have been the strongest it’s been in a decade.

State officials and business owners have been scrambling in recent months to take advantage of the windfall expected to come from the data center during construction and once it’s online in 2018. They’re pushing for more high-tech industries in hopes of guarding against the volatility of the energy industry.

Facebook broke ground on the first building in October. It’s expected to go live in late 2018.

The second building will likely keep construction crews busy through 2020.

Tom Furlong, Facebook’s vice president of infrastructure, thanked the Martinez administration and the village of Los Lunas for their support and said the company continues to find a strong pool of talent to build the data center.

More than 280,000 hours of work on the project have already been logged, more than 3 million cubic yards of dirt have been moved and more than 30,000 cubic yards of concrete have been poured, according to the company.

In August 2015, the two-term Republican governor led an economic development team to California to meet with company executives to promote New Mexico. Facebook selected the state over Utah for the data center after a mini bidding war.

Los Lunas agreed to give up property taxes for 30 years in exchange for annual payments starting at $50,000 and topping out at under $500,000. State utility regulators also cleared the way for Facebook and Public Service Co. of New Mexico to create a renewable energy tariff, which allows the company to secure solar- and wind-generated electricity to power the data center.

Facebook says the Los Lunas facility will be one of the most advanced, energy-efficient centers in the world. It will have an evaporative cooling system capable of protecting the servers inside from New Mexico’s frequent dust storms.

State economic development officials have estimated that New Mexico could gain about $65 million in gross-receipts tax revenue over the next decade from construction and infrastructure costs related to the project.

--more--"

They will be able to match your retirement contribution:

"The 401(k) match is back, and it’s getting bigger" by Thomas Heath Washington Post  July 18, 2017

WASHINGTON — A common axiom among investors is to save early and often. Let time do the rest.

If you save enough, the thinking goes, the stock market’s inexorable path upward will make you rich. And if you save in a tax-sheltered retirement savings account, you may get there faster.

One of the best tools to get there over the past three decades has been the 401(k) — and the corporate match — free money — that came with it. In many places, one of the first casualties of the financial crisis was the company match.

Now it seems, the match is roaring back. Many companies are boosting their matches in employee 401(k) plans, according to a report by Vanguard Group, the investment firm with $4.4 trillion under management.

The study’s results, titled ‘‘How America Saves,’’ were reported in the The Wall Street Journal.

Many firms are using the automatic matches as an inducement for people to save more, creating more peace of mind and loyalty among employees.

Now that labor participation rates are at historic lows.

‘‘Increasing contributions into your retirement plan, especially when you are younger, is a no-brainer,’’ said Christopher Poch, an adviser with Morgan Stanley Private Wealth Management. ‘‘The more you can save for retirement, and the earlier you start, the better off you will be.’’

Give your money to Wall Street is the mantra.

Many companies reduced their 401(k) matches in recent years as a way to save money when earnings dropped in the wake of the financial crisis or due to outside forces like the digital economy, which has wreaked havoc on business models from media to retail.

But as finances stabilized, some firms are increasing their matches. The motives behind the increase in matches vary, but they mostly break down into two groups.

‘‘One is competitive sectors and one is employers with a high degree of paternalism,’’ said Jean Young, a research analyst at the Vanguard Center for Investor Research. She views paternalism here as a sign of a benevolent employer who is nurturing good financial habits of its workers.

Not only is the elitism sickening, but it is coming from a woman.

Employers use matches as a carrot to woo new employees, especially in the highly competitive technology sector.

Then what is with all the visa requests for foreign workers?

‘‘We are seeing a higher proportion of tech industry firms providing a match than the broader all-industry average, particularly within the mid-to-larger size firms,’’ said Aimee DeCamillo, head of T. Rowe Price Retirement Plan Services. ‘‘In 2016, we saw almost 81 percent of tech firms offering a match, compared to slightly less than 75 percent across all industries.’’

A generous 401(k) match — or any match — including of up to 6 percent of a salary is free money. That goes a long way to luring employees and keeping the ones you have.

Microsoft last year boosted the match. Lower-earning employees, those making $80,000 a year, saw their maximum potential match go from $2,400 to $9,000. An employee under 50 who saves the federally allowed limit of $18,000 can now get a Microsoft match of $9,000, boosting their annual tax sheltered retirement savings to $27,000.

‘‘The principal reason was to enhance competitiveness in order to attract, retain and motivate the best talent available,’’ said Fred Thiele, Microsoft’s general manager of global benefits.

‘‘We wanted to encourage greater retirement savings at the lower income tiers of the company,’’ Thiele said. ‘‘The goal is to get early-in-career, lower-income savings. When you add the power of compounding and average weighted investment fees of 0.21 percent, these people are in a much better position later in life.’’

What if dead before then?

Some companies use it as a way for current employees to beef up their retirement savings and smooth the path toward an exit. The 401(k) matches also boost morale.

‘‘We increased our 401(k) match in honor of our people and their accomplishments,’’ said Scott Scherr, founder and chief executive of Ultimate Software, a human resources software maker in Weston, Fla.

DAD!

--more--"

"Boston-based corporate network security company Rapid7 Inc., has purchased another Boston company, Komand, which builds security automation systems. Rapid7 analyzes activities on corporate networks, to identify security vulnerabilities and hacking attacks. Komand makes a system that automates responses to security threats, enabling users to respond more quickly. Financial terms of the transaction were not disclosed, but it’s not expected to have a material impact on Rapid7’s 2017 revenue and earnings. As part of the deal, Rapid7 has awarded 270,000 shares of common stock to 12 Komand employees as an inducement to stay with the company."

No pension?


"When Bank of America Corp. and Goldman Sachs Group Inc. posted earnings Tuesday, one had record income from lending while the other had better-than-expected trading. The surprise is which was which. Goldman Sachs, the vaunted trading house, pointed to growth in its effort to lend to wealthy people as a bright spot. Bank of America, with 4,500 branches across the United States, relied on a smaller drop from its trading unit to help beat revenue estimates. Weakness at each bank’s bread-and-butter business sent shares of the firms falling despite both topping profit expectations. Goldman Sachs trailed rivals for a second straight quarter in fixed-income trading, while Bank of America posted a surprise decline in net interest income, which is a fundamental part of banks’ revenue."

Several major banks reported strong second-quarter results, but that wasn’t enough to get investors excited.

Look who is the victim of more corporate sabotage:

"Chipotle’s efforts to move past its food scares have been complicated by fresh reports of illnesses, which prompted it to temporarily close a restaurant this week. The company said Tuesday that it closed the restaurant in Sterling, Va., after it became aware of a ‘‘small number’’ of reported illnesses consistent with norovirus. The news sent its shares down more than 4 percent as skittish investors worried about the chain’s past food scares. The company said it planned to reopen the restaurant, which is in a suburb of Washington, D.C., on Tuesday after a ‘‘complete sanitization,’’ but did not provide a specific time. Chipotle has been working to bounce back from food scares that included an E. coli outbreak in the fall of 2015 and a norovirus case in Boston later that year. It subsequently said that it made tweaks to cooking methods and added training for employees to tighten its safety measures."

What are the odds that it would happen again? 

That anti-GMO stand really cost them.

You and I would be better off ordering pizzas:

"Pizza Hut will hire 14,000 drivers this year as the restaurant chain plays catch-up with rivals in delivery, an area that’s fueled much of the industry’s growth in recent years. The company will add about 3,000 drivers a month through the end of this year, Pizza Hut said in a statement Tuesday. The pizza chain also is using a new algorithm to better predict delivery times, as well as relying on Google Maps to improve its accuracy. Pizza Hut, a chain that built its reputation on sit-down pizza service, is adapting to an industry where delivery rules. Domino’s Pizza Inc. and Papa John’s International Inc. have spent years making it easier to order — via mobile apps and loyalty programs — and have the food dispatched quickly to customers’ front doors."

Can you track it (answer: yes)?

The delivery guy rode a motorcycle?

"Shares in Harley-Davidson tumbled more than 5 percent after the company reported lagging retail sales and shipments as new riders opted for used motorcycles over newer, more expensive ones. The company lowered its guidance for motorcycle shipments in 2017 by about 6 to 8 percent as retail sales of Harley-Davidson motorcycles fell 9.3 percent in the United States and 6.7 percent globally from the same quarter last year. Motorcycle shipments for the second quarter fell 7.2 percent from last year’s second quarter. The company said it is strategizing how to better balance sales of new and used motorcycles as the industry tries to attract millennials and other young adult riders."

(Blog editor revs motor)

At least it didn't come by train:

"A railroad owner plans to appeal a jury’s decision that it must pay $3.9 million to the family of a movie worker killed on a Georgia railroad trestle in 2014, a spokesman for the company said. The jury in Savannah decided in a civil verdict Monday that CSX Transportation shared in the blame for the deadly freight train collision even though the film crew was trespassing. The parents of Sarah Jones sued CSX in Chatham County State Court, saying the railroad shared blame for their daughter’s death. The 27-year-old camera assistant died in the crash Feb. 20, 2014, during the first day of shooting ‘‘Midnight Rider,’’ an ill-fated movie about Gregg Allman of the Allman Brothers Band."

Time for me to ramble on. The time is now.

"Clarus has shifted its strategy from investing in startups to making “risk-sharing partnerships” with big pharmaceutical companies. Clarus identifies promising drugs that are in phase 3 clinical trials, the final stage necessary to gain approval from the Food and Drug Administration. Clarus then pledges to fund, and in many cases, oversee the final testing of these drugs for safety and effectiveness in order to win FDA approval. If the medicine reaches certain benchmarks or wins approval, the pharmaceutical company will pay Clarus a pre-negotiated amount of cash or royalties, or both....."

Vertex reports strong findings from cystic fibrosis drug trials

Errors delay US News & World Report’s annual hospital ranking

Meaning the AmeriKan health $y$tem is so bad they can't report it!

Substance abusers to move out of sex offender facility

Daimler to modify 3 million Mercedes cars over diesel concerns

They all lied, and yet they all agree on carbon taxes and the climate change agenda.

Uber discriminates against riders with disabilities, lawsuit says

Sexist grill still par for the course at Charles River Country Club

How are the greens over there?

NDU:

Investors want more women, minorities on corporate boards