Thursday, October 19, 2017

Thursday's Weining

First, I would like to admit that I was wrong. I didn't mean to throw out the baby with the bath powder.

He watched a grisly murder and helped try to cover it up. He’ll go to prison for 7 years

They have a room ready for him

"Massachusetts legislators attempting a sweeping overhaul of the criminal justice system are grappling with one of the toughest questions in corrections: How long is too long for a prisoner — even one who has harmed a guard or a fellow inmate — to be punished with solitary confinement? Under current law, prisoners at any state facility can be sentenced by corrections officials to up to 10 years in the state’s toughest solitary, the Departmental Disciplinary Unit in the Walpole prison, where they are housed in a 12-foot-by-7-foot cell and are entitled to five hours a week of outdoor recreation....."

Goodbye, scum.

Back on the front page again, ladies:

"Why did AIDS charity auction money go to a Cambridge theater — and Harvey Weinstein’s pocket?" by Malcolm Gay Globe Staff  October 18, 2017

The American Repertory Theater has become embroiled in a new financial controversy involving disgraced film producer Harvey Weinstein, who served as executive producer for its 2014 Broadway-bound production, “Finding Neverland.”

Weinstein has been the focus of intense scrutiny after bombshell investigations in The New York Times and The New Yorker detailed multiple allegations of sexual harassment and assault against the mogul. 

Just ignore the open secret and kiboshing of previous investigations. Or laugh like the audience.

Now new revelations indicate that Weinstein arranged for $600,000 raised at an auction for the New York-based AIDS charity amfAR to be sent to the ART. According to reports in The New York Times and the Huffington Post, the ART had agreed to reimburse Weinstein and fellow investors in “Finding Neverland” for earlier payments to develop the production if he could arrange third-party charitable donations to the Cambridge-based theater.

The $600,000 allegedly helped fulfill that agreement.

An internal report commissioned by amfAR’s board and obtained by the Globe stated that it appeared “the transaction was designed to accommodate Mr. Weinstein’s interest rather than amfAR’s” and found that amfAR’s failure to disclose that some of the proceeds would go to the ART constituted “fraud on the bidders.”

At a May 2015 amfAR fund-raiser auction in Cannes, France, a substantial amount of the proceeds from two fund-raising packages arranged by Weinstein — a photo shoot with fashion photographer Mario Testino and a “Hollywood Experience” including tickets to Oscar-related parties — would go to the ART.

According to the internal report, the two Weinstein-arranged auction packages brought in $909,669, and Weinstein and amfAR’s board chairman, the fashion designer Kenneth Cole, agreed that the ART would receive $600,000, while amfAR would get $309,669.

The report, which was produced by attorney Thomas Ajamie, noted that an insert to the auction catalog had disclosed that some of the funds for the photo shoot would go to the ART, but it did not disclose the same for the “Hollywood Experience.” Weinstein told the Times that it wasn’t his responsibility to tell donors purchasing the auction packages that the money would be used to reimburse him and other “Finding Neverland” investors.

Through his lawyer, Weinstein denied wrongdoing.

“There was no evidence that Mr. Weinstein engaged in any violation of state or federal charity law or that any charity, bidder, or donor was harmed in connection with the amfAR event,’’ said Weinstein attorney Jason Lilien.

The $600,000 transaction has rocked the high-profile AIDS charity.

Several amfAR board members have since resigned, and four others — Arlen Andelson, Mervyn Silverman, Vincent Roberti, and Jonathan Canno — have complained to New York Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman.

In a statement provided by a spokesperson, the four amfAR board members said the $600,000 transfer to the ART occurred “despite the clear objections of the executive management team and without the knowledge of the entire voting members of the Board.”

A spokesperson for Schneiderman told the Globe, “Our charities bureau is working with amfAR in connection with a dispute among board members, with the goal of achieving a resolution as expeditiously as possible.”

“Finding Neverland” was directed in Cambridge by ART artistic director Diane Paulus, who went on to direct the Broadway production.

In a statement provided to the Globe on Wednesday, an ART spokesperson said:

“A.R.T. received $600,000 in 2015 through an Amfar event at which proceeds from some auction items were earmarked for the A.R.T. It is standard practice to not disclose the specific terms of agreements.”

Some at the AIDS charity apparently had qualms about the $600,000 transaction early on.

In a June 2015 internal amfAR e-mail obtained by the Globe, amfAR CEO Kevin Frost worried that “[n]othing about this deal feels right to me.” Frost did not respond to a request for comment from the Globe.

According to the internal report, there was a deadline for the arrangement: The $600,000 had to arrive at the ART by June 1, 2015. Otherwise the reimbursement deal was off, according to the Huffington Post.

According to documents obtained by the Globe, Frost communicated that amfAR probably would not be able to transfer the $600,000 to the ART by June 1 — just 15 days after the auction. The report indicates Weinstein then arranged to transfer $600,000 to amfAR as a “loan” on June 1, so the AIDS charity could then wire $600,000 to the ART. On Sept. 1, amfAR sent $600,000 “back to Mr. Weinstein,” the report stated.

When the money arrived at the Cambridge theater, which exists under the umbrella of Harvard University, ART producer Diane Borger wrote Frost, saying an attorney would be in touch “with a few questions about the amfar donation.”

The report states that an attorney called Frost on behalf of the ART the following day, saying the theater was surprised by the $600,000 from amfAR.

“She asked if Mr. Frost could explain it,” the report states. “Mr. Frost said he couldn’t explain it and that [the ART’s lawyer] would have to speak to Mr. Weinstein about it.”

After the internal report raised questions, amfAR subsequently hired a second law firm, Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher, which found the transaction to be above board. “We concluded that the foundation engaged in a lawful transaction and the donation to Harvard was a lawful contribution,” Orin Snyder, a partner in the law firm, told the Globe on Wednesday. “Any suggestion that the transaction was unlawful in any way is incorrect and offensive.”


Of course, it being legal doesn't make it right.


Ms. Kelly sure looks excited, and I guess they will want to change the name now.


Harvard rescinds Weinstein honor

Tatum pulls sexual abuse film from Weinstein Co.

Ex-supermodel: ‘Industry surrounded by predators’

I also believe in giving credit where credit is due (as opposed to the earlier fawning over the man), and it is disappointing to see others ignore such things while diverting the discussion (comes with being vehicles for the agenda, of course) in a most insulting way (sorry).

Where are those other women anyway, and remember this guy?

Stoughton High teacher resigns after allegations of inappropriate sexual relationship with student

Yeah, they start young.

It's sad to see Quebec buy into the Zionist war agenda with “an unnecessary law with a made-up solution to an invented problem,” because of the “hordes of women in niqabs.” THEY are the cause of all your troubles, not the thieving banksters or the governmental subservience Jewi$h war agenda.

I hope you(??) don't need a ride home:

Slain reporter was looking into shady tax rules, bootleg oil in Malta

Let's see how much attention she will get. 

If the past is any indication, we will see nothing more. 

No $en$e pouting about it.

"Elizabeth Warren is focusing her trademark populist style on her fresh national effort Wednesday morning at a press conference standing alongside Senate minority leader Chuck Schumer. “When the top 1 percent are already getting richer and richer and working families are scraping to pay for housing and schools and child care; it is just plain immoral to slash taxes for the rich.” That’s a preview of what to expect from Warren in the days, weeks, and months ahead, the senator said in a brief interview after the event. “I will be out there on point on this,” she told the Globe....."

It's all political with her, although the one good thing about women is they don't lie

Now about those Obama years.....

Today's top story:

"Will Amazon headquarters sweepstakes set off a bidding war among communities?" by Tim Logan Globe Staff  October 18, 2017

Bids are trickling in for Amazon’s coveted “second headquarters,” with contenders large and small offering big money to land the e-commerce behemoth and its potential 50,000 jobs. And that could put pressure on cities like Boston to sweeten their offers.

In advance of Amazon’s midnight (Pacific time) Thursday deadline for pitches, New Jersey says it will pony up $7 billion in state and local incentives to lure the company to Newark.

That's more than what Foxconn got from Wi$con$in.

And Maryland Governor Larry Hogan is cooking up the biggest subsidy package his state has ever offered, “by a mile,” should Amazon bless Baltimore with its presence.

So far, leaders on Beacon Hill and Boston Mayor Martin J. Walsh have been more reticent about subsidies, saying they will talk about taxpayer-financed incentives only if Boston emerges as a finalist.

Amazon is, after all, a $136 billion company, so it’s reasonable to conclude that incentives in the millions, even the billions, might not tip the balance. Nonetheless, some observers say the enormous numbers being tossed out by long-shot cities hoping to land Amazon could well push some top contenders to dig deeper into public coffers to secure the massive job-creation prize.

A least one skeptic suggests that’s probably been the company’s intention all along.

Amazon is “just using all these hopeless bids as leverage to up the ante on the places where they really want to be,” said Greg LeRoy, executive director of Good Jobs First, a Washington, D.C.-based organization that tracks corporate subsidies.

“Nothing against Newark, but it doesn’t have Harvard. It doesn’t have MIT. Let’s get real here.”


I'm sure there are ways around the traffic, and it looks like extortion to me. 

All legal, of cour$e.


"Maybe it shouldn’t be a surprise that New Hampshire went this route. Taking random potshots at Massachusetts is kind of a cottage industry just over the border....." 

As opposed to the cottage industry here?

Also see: 

"You can now do your grocery shopping without having to leave your car at some regional WalMarts. The mega-retailer on Thursday rolled out grocery pickup in three area stores — Avon, Plymouth, and Rochester NH — allowing customers to pick out their items online and determine a time frame for pick-up. When they arrive, they pull into a designated parking area, alert the store by phone, and wait for a Walmart employee to bring the shopping bags to their vehicle. The free service is the company’s latest effort compete with Amazon....."

I know I'm missing something else that was on the front page, but....

"President Trump on Wednesday qualified his endorsement of a bipartisan Senate proposal to stabilize health insurance markets, even as the chief architect of the deal predicted it would become law before the end of the year. Trump on Tuesday appeared to give his blessing to a deal to restore insurance subsidies that he had just canceled when the accord was announced. On Wednesday, the president appeared to send a different message on Twitter, but that message may have been more of a caveat than a rejection....."

Just keep the soda out of the hands of babes, huh.


On the foreign front:

ISIS™ is alive and well according to a New York Times $h!t shovel, 'er, news analysis, despite the successes on the battlefield, blah, blah, blah. I'm told (by WINEP, Brookings, and the FDD) they and a newly resurgent Al-CIA-Duh will be popping up all over the place so expect a wave (WTF was that guy doing on the street?) of false flag fictions and staged and scripted crisis drills in the near future. All the better to tyrannize you with, even in Alabama. Forget all the inherent contradictions in the mixed message, mind-manipulating BS propaganda we are served on a daily basis.

Looks like Al-CIA-Bob has gotten a head start in Somalia. I briefly saw something about it before the story exploded

Just wondering what Argentina is doing wrong, and when you find a fair election let me know.

"The Trump administration escalated a bitter confrontation with Iran on Wednesday, demanding that the UN Security Council punish the Iranian government for what the US ambassador called its “outlaw behavior” across the Middle East. “The United States will not turn a blind eye to these violations,” Nikki Haley told a Security Council meeting that had been meant to focus on developments in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Haley used her speaking time instead to deliver a critique of Iran. Her remarks were among the most strident denunciations Haley has made of Iran since she became President Trump’s ambassador in January. The remarks seemed timed partly to respond to international criticism of the administration over Trump’s avowed hostility to the 2015 nuclear agreement between Iran and major powers. She spoke less than a week after Trump announced he would disavow the nuclear agreement and might withdraw the United States from the accord altogether unless it was strengthened to his satisfaction. That decision has deeply angered Iran and has raised alarms among many US allies. They have exhorted Congress to preserve the deal....."

OMFG, can you be any more of a slave for Israel? 

They turn the blind eye toward the purpose of the meeting to attack Iran! 

At least it comes from a POWERFUL WOMAN, huh?

So what has Rocket Man been up to?

"A year ago, you’ll recall, Patriots owner Robert Kraft hosted a private party at Gillette Stadium and enlisted a fairly well-known rock ’n’ roll band from England — the Rolling Stones — to perform for his 150 guests. Well, he’s at it again. Kraft and his family are hosting a hush-hush party at Gillette Nov. 8 and the musical guest this time will be Elton John. Kraft has been friends with the Rocket Man for many years: In 2003, Sir Elton played at a private party celebrating Robert and Myra Kraft’s 40th anniversary; the Pats poobah always attends John’s annual Oscar party in LA; Elton tickled the ivories at a tiny get-together hosted by Kraft the night before the Pats’ dramatic Super Bowl win in Houston this past February; and Kraft was one of the guests at the Rock and Roll Hall of Famer’s star-studded 70th birthday party in Hollywood in March.

Kraft is elbow-deep in Hollywood, huh? 

Did he know Harvey?

It’s anyone’s guess who got an invitation to the November bash, but it’s likely that it’s many of the same folks who were under the tent set up on the Gillette field last October when the Stones played a hits-heavy set. The crowd that night included former secretary of state John Kerry, designer Tommy Hilfiger, J. Geils frontman Peter Wolf, Celtics owners Wyc Grousbeck and Steve Pagliuca, Red Sox (and Boston Globe) owner John Henry and his wife, Globe Managing Director Linda Pizzuti Henry, hair stylist Pini Swissa, Combined Jewish Philanthropies boss Barry Shrage, restaurateurs Ed Kane and Steve DiFillippo, former Bain Capital managing director Paul Edgerley, and assorted Pats players past and present.

Any que$tions regarding the gue$ts?

What does it cost to have Sir Elton play at your party? A lot. According to Celebrity Talent International, which bills itself as the “premiere buyer-oriented booking agency and major celebrity event consultant” in the world, superstars like John, Rihanna, Sting, and Taylor Swift won’t even consider performing at your kid’s bar mitvah for less than $750,000 — and usually they want way more than that. The Krafts assuredly had to shell out serious dough to hire the Stones last year. How do we know? Because former Hewlett-Packard chairman Ralph Whitworth paid $3 million to have them play at a party in 2015....."

That was a close shave, huh?

Time to suit up for the game.

I think AmeriKa should attack Iran, North Korea, and Russia simultaneously. It's the only way to secure the EUSraeli Empire.

Now a moment of silence, please, for all the heroes (WaPo agenda-pushing, 'er, news analysis; key word is anal because that is from whence it comes) who have given their lives for the lies.

Bottom line:

"A day of modest gains on Wall Street resulted in more milestones for US stocks Wednesday as the Dow Jones industrial average closed above 23,000 points for the first time. The Standard & Poor’s 500 index and Nasdaq Composite also finished at record highs. Technology stocks and financial companies led the gainers....."

The Federal Reserve is doing a great job!

Will you now please rise for our National Anthem.

Clear Windshield

"Not long ago, a long drive on a hot day wouldn’t be complete without scraping bug guts off a windshield. But splattered insects have gone the way of the Chevy Nova: You just don’t see them on the road like you used to. Biologists call this the windshield phenomenon. It’s a symptom, they say, of a vanishing population. A small but growing number of scientific studies support the notion of insects on the wane....."

And it is ‘‘very alarming!’’

The loss of bees, not the trick of physics.  

Maybe it is the fires:

"Sheriff: Fire kills Texas woman and her 5 children"  October 19, 2017

SILSBEE, Texas — A woman and her five children were killed in a fire that quickly engulfed their Texas home, authorities said Wednesday.

Flames were already shooting from the home near Silsbee, about 80 miles northeast of Houston, when a neighbor called 911 about 12:15 a.m., Hardin County Sheriff Mark Davis said.

The home, a small structure converted at some point into a residence, was fully engulfed when firefighters arrived, Davis said. He said all six bodies were found in the home after the blaze was extinguished, and the family was probably sleeping when they were overcome by heat, flames, and smoke.....


Time to find a new path:

"Some of biggest oil rigs being junked as daily losses mount" by David Wethe Bloomberg News  October 18, 2017

HOUSTON — Transocean Ltd. is finally sending Pathfinder to its grave, after two years in a Caribbean purgatory that cost about $15,000 a day.

The move by the world’s biggest offshore-rig operator signals just how bleak the future looks for deep-water drilling. Pathfinder is the most famous of six floating rigs the company is scrapping in burials that will add up to a bruising $1.4 billion write-off.

Competitors are going the same route, jettisoning more rigs in the third quarter than have ever been trashed in a 90-day stretch, according to a Heikkinen Energy Advisors analyst, David Smith.

The predictions are that crude prices won’t go much higher than $60 a barrel in the next year, compared with about $50 recently.

“Deep water is going to be playing a much-reduced role on the global oil-supply stage, relative to what the industry expected as recently as three years ago,” said Thomas Curran, an FBR Capital Markets analyst in New York.

It could have been worse, in one way, for Transocean. It has been the most aggressive in an unprecedented experiment with what’s called cold-stacking for big drillships. After oil prices cratered in 2014, the company didn’t send all of its unwanted rigs out to sea in the time-honored temporary holding pattern, with engines kept running and a crew remaining on board — something know as warm stacking. That runs up a daily bill of some $40,000. Instead, Transocean dropped anchor on nine high-tech ships 12 miles off the coast of Trinidad & Tobago and simply shut off the motors. So far, the savings are in the neighborhood of $90 million.

This hadn’t been tried before with the new generation of finely tuned, computer-driven giants never intended for long-term parking. Equipped with derricks towering 220 feet above the platform and able to drill in 10,000 feet of water, the vessels had been in demand since birth. The big question was whether one could be shut down so solidly and later switched back on at a reliable cost.

With Pathfinder, and a cousin called the GSF Jack Ryan that’s also being scrapped after its Caribbean cold-stacking, Transocean will never know for sure. The Swiss company declined to comment for this story.

For Transocean and others that went the cold-stacking route, “this has been a very painful process,” said Greg Lewis, a Credit Suisse analyst in New York. He doesn’t disagree with the company’s decision. Cold-stacking Pathfinder was only a $5 million-a-year expense, and with that “you’re basically paying for a call option on a recovery in the market.”

At the moment, seven other Transocean offshore rigs continue to bob in the Caribbean. Most if not all of them may never drill again, say analysts at Heikkinen and Sanford C. Bernstein & Co. The older the rig and the longer it’s parked, the more likely it will be passed up by customers for more capable competitors.

The offshore-drilling business enjoyed the highest of highs when oil topped $100 a barrel a few years ago. Companies including BP and Anadarko Petroleum Corp. could lease out an advanced ship for more than $600,000 a day. An army of boats and helicopters took workers and supplies out to these rigs, where the meals often included steak and shrimp, and carved ice sculptures adorned lunch rooms.

Now it’s one of the most beaten-up sectors. Exploration and production companies are focusing on lower-cost shale-oil drilling on land, in places like Texas and New Mexico. There’s a glut of offshore equipment.

Only about half the global supply of deep-water rigs is working today; in 2013, almost every one was running at full speed. The latest projections call for a modest offshore recovery around 2019, or maybe 2020, according to Wells Fargo Securities LLC.


Wasn't Transocean involved in the Gulf Gusher?

Flying a Kite

Looking for some “biobucks?” 

I'm sure there is a $cience to it all.

"F.D.A. Approves Second Gene-Altering Treatment for Cancer" by Denise Grady, New York Times  |  October 18, 2017

The Food and Drug Administration on Wednesday approved the second in a radically new class of treatments that genetically reboot a patient’s own immune cells to kill cancer.

The new therapy, Yescarta, made by Kite Pharma, was approved for adults with aggressive forms of a blood cancer, non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, who have undergone two regimens of chemotherapy that failed.

The treatment, considered a form of gene therapy, transforms the patient’s cells into what researchers call a “living drug” that attacks cancer cells. It is part of the rapidly growing field of immunotherapy, which uses drugs or genetic tinkering to turbocharge the immune system to fight disease. In some cases the treatments have led to long remissions.

“The results are pretty remarkable,” said Dr. Frederick L. Locke, a specialist in blood cancers at the Moffitt Cancer Center in Tampa, and a leader of a study of the new treatment. “We’re excited. We think there are many patients who may need this therapy.”

He added, “These patients don’t have other options.”

About 3,500 people a year in the United States may be candidates for Yescarta. It is meant to be given once, infused into a vein, and must be manufactured individually for each patient. The cost will be $373,000.

The treatment was originally developed at the National Cancer Institute, by a team Dr. Steven Rosenberg led. The institute entered an agreement with Kite in 2012, in which the company helped pay for research and received rights to commercialize the results.

Largely on the strength of the new treatment and related research, the drug giant Gilead purchased Kite in August, for $11.9 billion.

“Today marks another milestone in the development of a whole new scientific paradigm for the treatment of serious diseases,” the F.D.A. commissioner, Dr. Scott Gottlieb, said in a statement. “In just several decades, gene therapy has gone from being a promising concept to a practical solution to deadly and largely untreatable forms of cancer.”

Side-effects can be life-threatening, however. They include high fevers, crashing blood pressure, lung congestion and neurological problems.In some cases, patients have required treatment in an intensive care unit. In the study that led to the approval, two patients died from side effects. Doctors have learned to manage them better, but it takes training and experience.

Partly for that reason, Yescarta, like Kymriah, will be introduced gradually, and will be available only at centers where doctors and nurses have been trained in using it.

Companies have been racing to develop new forms of immunotherapy. The first cell-based cancer treatment — Kymriah, made by Novartis — was approved in August for children and young adults with an aggressive type of acute leukemia. It will cost $475,000, but the company has said it will not charge patients who do not respond within the first month after treatment. Novartis is expected to ask the F.D.A. to approve Kymriah for lymphoma and other blood cancers as well, and may vary its price depending on how well it works for those diseases.

Kite also plans to seek approval for other blood cancers, but does not plan to vary Yescarta’s price, said Ms. Cassiano.

The company also hopes that Yescarta will eventually be approved for earlier stages of lymphoma, rather than being limited to patients with advanced disease who have been debilitated by multiple types of chemotherapy that did not work, said Dr. David D. Chang, Kite’s chief medical officer and executive vice president for research and development.

“This is the beginning of many developments in cell therapy in the next few years,” Dr. Chang said in an interview.

Kite’s cell-processing facility, in El Segundo, Calif., can provide the treatment for 4,000 to 5,000 patients a year, Ms. Cassiano said, adding that the company has applied for approval in Europe.....


Wednesday, October 18, 2017


"Velcro is too sticky for its own good" by Scott Duke Kominers Bloomberg News  October 17, 2017

Velcro has a problem. It’s so famous and popular that its name has turned into an everyday word.

That’s a problem that many startups would love to have. Companies have lots to gain when their names become terms for concepts like search, teleconferencing, and shipping.

Yet it’s possible to have too much of a good thing. When a brand name grows to be so pervasive that it’s the only generic word for the product, it can’t be a registered trademark anymore. There’s even a legal term for this form of trademark death, which is — I kid you not — “genericide.”

Trademarks allow companies to bring lawsuits against anyone who uses their names in ways that might create confusion in the marketplace.

Like Holocaust™, ISIS™, etc. 

From a theoretical market design perspective, then, wiping out trademark protection for names that enter everyday language makes sense: If “xerox” were to become the universal word for photocopying, then Epson would have to call its photocopiers “xerox machines” to sell them. If Xerox could then enforce its trademark against Epson — seeking damages or injunctions against the sale of Epson’s photocopiers simply for using the term “xerox” — that would hurt competition in the photocopier market.

Thus in practice, once a brand name comes to be a generic term, it can’t be a trademark. That’s what happened with aspirin, escalators, and yo-yos.

This creates some funny incentives. Early on, you want nothing more than for your company name to achieve enough fame to become a verb. But succeed spectacularly enough, and then—whoops! — you really, really want to get people to start using the generic term.

So what’s a brand on the brink of genericide to do? Advertise the generic term for its product, of course!

Watching a well-known brand advertise its product’s not-so-well-known generic name sounds like it should be hilarious — and it is.

Then why am I not laughing?

As an economist, it warms my heart to see companies responding to incentives in new and creative ways. Trademark-themed music videos, in particular, seem like they would be a great trend.

That said, if you’re at the point when you have to defend your trademark with viral videos, it’s likely that you’ve been making money for years off the fact that people look for your product even when somebody else’s would do.

That’s probably been good for your bottom line, but it might not have been good for consumers. And it means that in trademark terms, you may already be stuck.....

I won't say in what, but not for much longer.


Here is $omething funny:

"Appeals court tosses $72m award in talcum powder case" by Margaret Stafford Associated Press  October 17, 2017

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — A Missouri appeals court on Tuesday that vacated a $72 million award to an Alabama woman who claimed her use of Johnson & Johnson products that contained talcum contributed to her ovarian cancer has thrown the fate of awards in similar cases into doubt.

The Missouri Eastern District Court’s ruled that Missouri was not the proper jurisdiction to hear a lawsuit filed by Jacqueline Fox, 62, of Birmingham, Ala., who claimed the baby powder she used for about 25 years contributed to her cancer. She died in 2015, about four months before her case went to trial in St. Louis Circuit Court. In February 2016, a jury awarded Fox $10 million in actual damages and $62 million in punitive damages — the first award in the lawsuits against Johnson & Johnson.

Dismissed on a technicality in what is an overt sign of what I call the corporate courts.

The appeals court cited a Supreme Court ruling in June that placed limits on where injury lawsuits could be filed, saying state courts cannot hear claims against companies not based in the state where alleged injuries occurred. The case involved suits against Bristol-Myers Squibb over the blood-thinning medication Plavix.

More than 1,000 others have filed similar lawsuits in St. Louis against Johnson & Johnson, which is based in Brunswick, N.J. In four of five trials held so far, jurors awarded more than $300 million combined. Only two of the 64 cases attached to Fox’s case are for plaintiffs in Missouri.

The company appealed all the awards against it and says its products are safe. A spokeswoman said after Tuesday’s ruling that Johnson & Johnson is confident its appeals will be successful.

‘‘In the cases involving nonresident plaintiffs who sued in the state of Missouri, we consistently argued that there was no jurisdiction and we expect the existing verdicts that we are appealing to be reversed,’’ spokeswoman Carole Goodrich said.

Jim Onder, who is representing many plaintiffs in the lawsuits, has argued that Missouri is a proper jurisdiction because Johnson & Johnson packages and labels some products in Missouri. Onder’s firm did not immediately return a call from the Associated Press Tuesday but he told The St. Louis Post Dispatch that the Supreme Court sent the Bristol case back to California state court and he is confident the Missouri Supreme Court will do the same.

Within days of the Supreme Court ruling, a mistrial was declared in a Missouri state court in another lawsuit against Johnson & Johnson that involved three plaintiffs, two from out of state. That trial has not yet been rescheduled.

Talc is a soft mineral that is widely used in personal care products to absorb moisture and for other products including paint and plastics.

Most research has established no link or a weak one between ovarian cancer and using baby powder, and most major health groups have said talc is harmless. But some smaller studies have found a small link and the International Agency for Research on Cancer classifies genital use of talc as ‘‘possibly carcinogenic.’’

Print died there.

Ovarian cancer accounts for about 22,000 of the 1.7 million new cases of cancer likely to be diagnosed in the United States this year. Women’s risk factors for the ovarian cancer can include age, obesity, use of estrogen therapy after menopause, not having any children, certain genetic mutations and a family history of breast or ovarian cancer.

Yeah, I'm sure whatever is wrong is specific to being a woman or some other idiosyncratic reason and certainly not from poisonous products that come from the corporate $y$tem.


That article, btw, was buried at the bottom of page B15 in my printed po$.

I'll bet more women have been affected by talc than anything Harvey or any other man did, unless he killed a woman.

Now go take a powder:

"Oscar winners Reese Witherspoon and Jennifer Lawrence used their speeches at a Hollywood event honoring women to detail experiences of assault and harassment at the hands of directors and producers and pledged to do more to stop such situations from happening. Witherspoon told the audience at the Elle Women in Hollywood Awards on Monday night that the recent revelation of decades of sexual misconduct allegations against producer Harvey Weinstein has prompted her own experiences to come back "very vividly." Witherspoon said she had "true disgust at the director who assaulted me when I was 16 years old and anger at the agents and the producers who made me feel that silence was a condition of my employment." Witherspoon didn't name the director. Her publicist didn't immediately respond to a request Tuesday for further comment. Lawrence detailed what she called a "degrading and humiliating" experience of being asked early on in her career to lose 15 pounds in two weeks for a role. She was then forced to pose nude alongside thinner women for photos that she says a female producer told her would serve as inspiration for her diet, she said. When she tried to speak up about the demands, Lawrence said she couldn't find a sympathetic ear from those in power. "I was trapped and I can see that now," Lawrence added. "I didn't want to be a whistle-blower. I didn't want these embarrassing stories talked about in a magazine. I just wanted a career."

Well, now she knows how the rest of us feel. 

Was their turn in the barrel and the Globe only covered Reese.

Okay, I'll quit clowning around.

Katy Tur brings her election story to Boston

At the Edward M. Kennedy Institute? 

I mean, I like the brothers, but c'mon!! 

They must be on Bill Clinton's level.


Kerrigan to join Democratic field for Third District seat

It's Tsongas' seat!

Former employee claims racial discrimination in suit against Handel and Haydn Society

Thank God it's only white supremacist racism!

Here is a three-fingered salute for you.

Why did I blog today?

“I believe in the First Amendment,” FCC chairman Ajit Pai, a Trump appointee, said at an event in Washington. Pai, a Republican FCC member since 2012 who was elevated to chairman by Trump in January, said last month in Washington that freedom of speech “should unite Americans across the ideological spectrum.” Jessica Rosenworcel, a Democratic FCC commissioner, said on CNN Sunday that the FCC must support the First Amendment and can’t dictate what content should be on the airwaves. “History won’t be kind to silence,” she said....."

Guilt trip got to me.

"Harvey Weinstein is leaving the board of the film company he started, more than a week after the firm fired him following allegations of sexual harassment and rape. A person close to Weinstein who was not authorized to speak publicly about events at the company’s board meeting said Tuesday that he resigned. Weinstein holds a roughly 20 percent stake in his company, according to this person, who declined to comment on the future of that holding. Industry players have cut ties, or threatened to cut ties, with The Weinstein Co. in the aftermath of the abuse allegations. Board member Tarak Ben Ammar said Monday that it was negotiating a potential sale of all or part of the company. Company representatives did not immediately respond to questions."

At least they are talking about it, huh?

"A court in Russia’s capital ruled Tuesday to extend the house arrest of a widely revered theater and film director. Kirill Serebrennikov was detained and put under house arrest in August in a criminal case that sent shockwaves across Russia’s art community and raised fears of return to Soviet-style censorship. Investigators have accused him of scheming to embezzle about $1.1 million in government funds allocated for one of his productions and the projects he directed. Serebrennikov has called the accusations as absurd....."

At least he didn't sexually harass anyone.

The good thing about AmeriKa's pre$$ is it is self-censoring.


Did I mention that you ladies were off the front page today?

The Hayward injury leads my sports section. It's not on my printed front page. I will confess that I watched most of the second half. The sad thing is he will get way more attention than the vets, but that's because he is more of an a$$et. Never mind the dead.

Hey, Raqqa is in ruins, the Iranian roadblock has been removed in Iraq, Israel is blocking peace (as usual), Afghanistan is a lost cause (how can the modest increase in troop strength can turn the tide when that goal couldn’t be achieved with tens of thousands of US forces?), and there is a new wave of refugees, but I'm sure it is all worth it in light of the lies that led to and perpetuate the wars. Maybe we will get the truth we already know in about 50 years.

Of course, the top story around here is Amazon (can Bo$ton beat $500 million in tax loot bribery?).


"Roy Price, the head of Amazon Studios, has resigned from his position amid allegations that he sexually harassed a producer of one of the company’s most high-profile shows. An Amazon Studios spokesman on Tuesday confirmed Price’s resignation. It follows his suspension by the company last week. Isa Hackett, a producer on ‘‘The Man in the High Castle,’’ described the 2015 encounter in an interview with the Hollywood Reporter on Thursday. She told the outlet that she was ready to talk about the ‘‘shocking and surreal’’ episode following bombshell reports detailing sexual harassment and assault allegations made against movie mogul Harvey Weinstein. ‘‘I think women inspire each other. I feel inspired by the other women who have been far braver than I am, who have come forward,’’ Hackett said. ‘‘I hope we all continue to inspire each other and ultimately create change.’’ According to Hackett, Price and she had been promoting the ‘‘The Man in the High Castle’’ at Comic-Con in San Diego and shared a cab with another Amazon executive who has since left the company. Hackett told the Reporter that Price relentlessly propositioned her."


As expected, the insurance companies got their bailout -- and the state is going to get after those disparate prices for the same services (no names, please).

Meanwhile, they made the tests harder so not as many kids passed. Add the sanctuary state status to it and the lack of English proficiency is explainable. The shocking thing is:

"College officials complain that too many students cannot handle college-level work, forcing them to take remedial courses, even though they scored well on the old MCAS. Employers also say they’ve had difficulty hiring workers who can think critically and communicate clearly....."

Is that what they really want, and if you read further into the article the concern is now a return to teaching to the tests, period. 

You know where it all starts, right?

The National lead is the spinning wheel of the Trump travel ban, which serves to keep the terror narrative front and center (what a turkey). Next thing you know they will be dressed as nuns. I'm sure there is a way to get around any border.

Oh, yeah, that martial law worry you had about Trump? The national emergency declaration going to come from an unexpected source and who in the world could argue? The police are here for a health and wellness check, after all. Why a battalion of "law enforcement" is needed I will never know (no follow up in Leominster today, and one has to question the official version as reported by the Globe and whether it is even real or just another excuse for a drill. Isn't there an outraged family out there somewhere?), and they apparently don't care about certain people dying (men, actually, and the cops are tight-lipped there, too) while exiling and absolving those truly responsible. Kill 'em any way you can, I suppose.

Vegas has pretty much disappeared from the daily coverage as the official version unravels in every direction. I'm not going to spend time trying to figure out the real/unreal or combination thereof, readers. The web is awash in all that stuff by others who have taken the vast bulk of their time the last few weeks to cover it. The fact that witnesses are dying and disappearing is reminiscent of the JFK cover up and astronomical odds against people A, B, and C being dead within a certain time frame. It's a mop-up job. Really makes one feel comfortable with the coming arrival of casinos here, huh?

I'm also disengaging from the new blazes that broke out Tuesday in other parts of the state (nothing from Spain today?) which -- despite official explanations that sound plausible -- are starting to look like arson. The pot farms have been burned down as well as the wineries, btw. Just another observation I came across that didn't make it into the papers. At least the pipelines are okay.

Even thought it's hot and getting hotter out there, don't drink the water -- or swim in it.

Yes, readers, the Globe is literally bull$h!t

While the Globe is building a Bridj to Australia I'll take a ride in Bo$ton: 

"The report, from Boston Consulting Group and the World Economic Forum, which joined with Boston officials in 2016 to develop self-driving car strategies, is geared to global policy makers as they grapple with the ascending technology. The optimistic predictions are based on the assumption the technology would be most widely used for taxis or shuttles, leading to a decrease in personal vehicle use. The report also assumes driverless cars will run on electricity rather than fossil fuels, benefitting the environment. There are some drawbacks, however....."

That's when I applied the brakes.

"Gains by health care companies led US stock indexes mostly higher Tuesday, pushing the market further into record territory. The Dow Jones industrial average briefly climbed above the 23,000 mark for the first time, settling just below the milestone. Slight gains nudged the Dow and Standard & Poor’s 500 indexes to new highs for the second straight day this week. Health care companies posted some of the biggest gains following strong earnings from UnitedHealth Group and Johnson & Johnson. News of a plan backed by the White House that would extend federal payments to health insurers also gave the sector a boost. Banks and other financial stocks declined the most. Packaged-food and beverage companies were also big laggards. Trading was mostly listless as investors sized up the latest company earnings and looked ahead to a full slate of corporate report cards later this week....."

Well, you know, what goes up must come down and it will be Trump's fault anyway. 

Not supposed to say such things (it's like one of his game shows, isn't it?), but I'm flipping them off on my way out the door.

So sorry.

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Tuesday's Turn

You are still on the bottom, ladies:

"Millions of women say ‘Me too’ about sexual harassment" by Michael Levenson and Cristela Guerra Globe Staff  October 16, 2017

Millions of women have come forward on social media to tell their stories of sexual assault and harassment since Sunday, when actress Alyssa Milano suggested that victims post “#metoo” on social media to show the magnitude of the problem.

Some were famous actresses, including Debra Messing and Anna Paquin. Others were Web developers, photographers, and self-described soccer moms. Some recalled horrific accounts of rape; others told of attempted assaults and sexual comments muttered in the office.

Their voices represented a rallying cry, borne of anger and frustration, and a statement of solidarity after accusations of sexual harassment against Harvey Weinstein, Roger Ailes, Bill O’Reilly, Bill Cosby, and President Trump, to name just a few, and their voices quickly dominated social media.

Women’s advocates said they hoped the public airing of survivors’ experiences would help shift the conversation about sexual harassment, nearly three decades after Anita Hill, a little-known lawyer, brought the issue to national attention when she accused her boss, Supreme Court nominee Clarence Thomas, of sexual harassment.

“It is a moment for change, and there is a lot of energy there,” Hill, now a professor at Brandeis University, said Monday. “It makes it harder for people to just deny that the problem exists,” she said.

Globe did a hack job on her Sunday.

Martha Coakley, a former Massachusetts attorney general, said the outpouring of women sharing their experiences of harassment represents progress because it “shines a light on something particularly ugly that people know about, but nobody wants to do anything about.”

Like how Israel treats Palestinians.

But it’s not enough, she said.

“Unless there is fairness for women in education, government, nonprofits, and the corporate world, it will potentially be a flash in the pan,” she said. “All of these things are a step forward, but they have to be supplemented with real change for girls and women to have clout.”

Research has shown that an estimated 87 percent of women between the ages of 18 and 25 say they have experienced some form of harassment, such as catcalls, being touched without permission by a stranger, or being insulted with sexual comments.

Yet upwards of 85 percent of people who experience sexual harassment at work never file a formal legal charge, and about 70 percent of employees never complain internally, according to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, the federal agency that enforces workplace discrimination laws.

It's time to kill all the men.

See: Man barricaded inside burning Leominster home found dead

I suppose that's a start, but WTF is with the cavalier attitude about the death of a man after "police went to serve a civil warrant to take the man into custody to bring him to a substance abuse or alcohol treatment center??"

It  “didn’t end well for him” but was “a good, safe operation?” 

Did they ever find a gun or any booze?

Related: Grieving For the Reeves' 

Yes, how quickly things are forgotten.

Nancy Ryan, who was director of the Cambridge Women’s Commission for 25 years, pointed out that women are often reluctant to come forward when they are harassed because they don’t want to believe it happened, feel badly about themselves, or fear losing their jobs or career status.

Imagine being a truth-telling blogger these days.

But the revelations about actresses and models being harassed by Weinstein, the Hollywood producer, are emboldening more women to step forward, she said. The disclosures were first reported by the New York Times on Oct. 5 and have led many prominent women, including Gwyneth Paltrow and Angelina Jolie, to recount their own allegations of harassment by Weinstein. 

This all after the NYT killed the story in 2004, everyone laughed at McFarlane's joke, and NBC put the kibosh on it just a few months ago -- and yet I'm supposed to take this recent ma$$ media obsession seriously?

“I think this has unleashed the memories and the horror of the experiences that just about every one of us – myself included — have faced being harassed, or touched, or ogled by strangers, by bosses, by people you know,” Ryan said. “It really has unleashed a kind of recognition of how awful this is, and how prevalent this is.”

She said she hopes the flood of online testimony can change the culture. 

Agenda being pushed. 

Related: "Female and minority advocates are leading a critically important charge, but it’s harder to create a healthier culture without everyone buying in....."

“I think the outpouring of experiences is going to make it possible for more and more women to speak out, and more men to understand the impact of their behavior, because a lot of these behaviors we’ve taken for granted,” she said. “I think this will prompt more and more people to say, ‘I’m not going to take this. I’m going to report it.’ ”

Others cautioned that unless the issue remains front and center and prompts changes in workplace policies and culture, it could evaporate like so many other ephemeral statements of solidarity posted online after mass shootings.

Like the false flag event in Las Vegas?

“There is a danger of this having a flavor-of-the-month quality,” said Richard Weissbourd, a senior lecturer in education at Harvard’s Graduate School of Education, who has researched romantic relationships, sexual harassment, and misogyny among young people. “[Accountability] has to be built into our institutions, schools, colleges, and workplaces.”

Agenda at work.

Courtney Bither, 22, a Harvard Divinity School student, posted #metoo on Twitter on Monday, but said she did so with mixed emotions. She said she doesn’t believe it should be the job of victims to spread awareness, but she recognizes that their voices are crucial.

“When you’re a survivor, you’re in this tension: Am I allowed to log off?” she said. “Do I have to read all these stories? If I don’t contribute, am I leaving myself out of the community that I feel a responsibility for?”


I'm responsible for myself, and that's the question I ask myself every day regarding whether I want to keep blogging about the Bo$ton Globe.

Samantha Oliver, a 31-year-old recruiter for the startup incubator Cogo Labs, posted #metoo but did not share her own experience of being sexually assaulted. She said she’s been treated for post-traumatic stress disorder since 2011.

“It’s a big part of myself I can’t share with other people,” Oliver said. “It makes men uncomfortable, and women in tech have had negative reactions when I try to talk about this.”

Maybe they need a mentor.

Rev. Laura Everett, executive director of the Massachusetts Council of Churches, also tweeted #metoo. She said the problem of sexual harassment will only change once people recognize how widespread and overwhelming it is.

“I think it’s hard to look at the scale and the scope of the violence against women and vulnerable people,” she said. “But I also think we have a moral obligation to sit in the discomfort and not look away.”

Unless it is regarding USrael's wars.


They are comparing it to the moment Hollywood added sound to silent movies.

Related: How ‘SNL’ went after Harvey Weinstein 

They didn't.

So, did you see who was on the top of the front page, ladies?

Turn-in to #metoo article was on page A8.

Found this on page A9:

"Weinstein Co. agrees to a rescue investment from Colony Capital" by Michael J. de la Merced New York Times   October 16, 2017

NEW YORK — The Weinstein Co. secured a financial lifeline — and a potential new owner — Monday from Colony Capital, as the embattled studio reels from the growing scandals surrounding its cofounder, Harvey Weinstein. 

Oh, good.

In a short statement, Weinstein Co. said that it had a preliminary agreement from Colony for an immediate cash infusion, though the amount was not disclosed. 

Can you say the word BOYCOTT!?

The two sides will begin negotiations over selling some or all of the studio’s assets to Colony, which is led by Thomas J. Barrack Jr., a financier who is one of President Trump’s closest advisers.

How about that, huh?

All part of the SAME CLUB!

“We believe that Colony’s investment and sponsorship will help stabilize the company’s current operations, as well as provide comfort to our critical distribution, production, and talent partners around the world,” Tarak Ben Ammar, a Weinstein Co. board member, said in the statement.

The move, struck early Monday, provides Weinstein Co. with some breathing room as it grapples with a host of problems that have arisen since The New York Times and The New Yorker revealed sexual harassment and rape allegations against Weinstein going back decades.

Weinstein was fired from the company last week. But the damage to the studio has only grown since then.

Numerous content partners, from Apple to Disney to Amazon, have dropped projects that involved Weinstein Co.

Most of the studio’s board has resigned.

Bob Weinstein, Weinstein’s brother, and his remaining team have scrambled to keep the company afloat. Last week, he denied that the studio was up for sale or at risk of filing for bankruptcy protection, saying that the business had the support of “banks, partners, and shareholders.”


"If not for brother Bob Weinstein's need to control the expenses caused by Harvey's Shiksa Humiliation Derangement Syndrome (SHDS) - all the profits of the company seem to have gone to pay off damage claims from rape victims! - and Rowan Farrow's own personal brush with the tragedy of SHDS, Harvey and his fellow Khazars would still be at it." -- xymphora

The company is also in the midst of changing its name to drop any reference to Harvey Weinstein.

Yeah, that will make things better.

In turning to Colony, the Weinstein Co. is reaching out to an investment company with experience in the media industry.

It was Colony that rescued Michael Jackson’s Neverland Ranch from foreclosure, by buying loans from creditors.


What do they do, go around bailing out perverts?

Barrack also has ties of sorts to the Weinsteins. In 2010, Colony teamed up with a group that included Qatar’s sovereign wealth fund to buy Miramax, the first studio that the Weinstein brothers had founded, from Disney for $660 million. Barrack became chairman of the studio.

Colony sold Miramax to another set of Qatari investors last year.

“We will help return the company to its rightful iconic position in the independent film and television industry,” Barrack said in the statement Monday.

Barrack is an old friend of Trump. He was a fund-raiser for the presidential campaign, spoke at the Republican National Convention last year in support of his friend, and was chairman of Trump’s inaugural committee.

Meanwhile, in an unprecedented move, the Producers Guild of America voted unanimously to institute termination proceedings for Weinstein on disciplinary grounds.

The PGA’s National Board of Directors and Officers said Monday that Weinstein has an opportunity to respond before a final decision is made on Nov. 6.


"Screenwriter Scott Rosenberg says he knew all about Harvey Weinstein — everyone did" by Mark Shanahan Globe Staff  October 16, 2017

We’ve heard a lot of people in recent days swear that they didn’t know Harvey Weinstein was a serial sexual harasser whose behavior, beyond boorish, was sometimes criminal. Screenwriter Scott Rosenberg, the Needham native whose first two movies, “Things to Do in Denver When You’re Dead” and “Beautiful Girls,” Weinstein produced, is not one of those people.

In an epic Facebook post Monday to some of his followers, Rosenberg insisted everybody who came into contact with Harvey Weinstein knew — maybe not about the rapes alleged by some women — but certainly about a “pattern of overly-aggressive behavior that was rather dreadful. We knew about the man’s hunger; his fervor; his appetite. There was nothing secret about this voracious rapacity; like a gluttonous ogre out of the Brothers Grimm. All couched in vague promises of potential movie roles.” 

Did the government gestapos get a look at it, or where they blocked by the court

Rosenberg describes Weinstein’s behavior as “reprehensible,” but he also has had it with what he calls the “current flood of sanctimonious denial and condemnation that now crashes upon these shores of rectitude in gloppy tides of [expletive] righteousness.”

Rosenberg claims many of the denials are coming from people who did, in fact, know.

That makes Matt, Meryl, George, and Judi look like liars.

So why didn’t he say something? Do something? The options were few, Rosenberg writes.

What would you have had us do? Who were we to tell? The authorities? What authorities? The press? Harvey owned the press. The Internet? There was no Internet or reasonable facsimile thereof. Should we have called the police? And said what? Should we have reached out to some fantasy Attorney General Of Movieland? That didn’t exist,” he writes. “Not to mention, most of the victims chose not to speak out. Aside from sharing the grimy details with a close girlfriend or confidante. And if they discussed it with their representatives? Agents and managers, who themselves feared The Wrath Of The Big Man? The agents and managers would tell them to keep it to themselves. Because who knew the repercussions? That old saw ‘You’ll Never Work In This Town Again’ came crawling back to putrid life like a re-animated cadaver in a late-night zombie flick.”

Those arguments are reminiscent of the arguments made by Jews who went along with Hitler.

Rosenberg acknowledges that being a friend of Weinstein’s had benefits — and they were substantial.

“He got me seats on the 40-yard-line to the Super Bowl, when the Patriots were playing the Packers in New Orleans. Even got me a hotel room, which was impossible to get that weekend,” Rosenberg writes. “He gave and gave and gave and gave. He had a monarch’s volcanic generosity when it came to those within his circle. And a Mafia don’s fervent need for abject loyalty from his capos and soldiers.”

But ignoring Weinstein’s misdeeds had serious consequences, Rosenberg writes.

“We were willing to overlook what the Golden Goose was up to, in the murky shadows behind the barn . . . And for that, I am eternally sorry. To all of the women that had to suffer this . . . I am eternally sorry . . . Their courage only hangs a lantern on my shame. And I am eternally sorry to all those who suffered in silence all this time. And have chosen to remain silent today.

“So, yeah, I am sorry. Sorry and ashamed,” he writes. “Because, in the end, I was complicit.

I didn’t say [expletive]. I didn’t do [expletive]. Harvey was nothing but wonderful to me. So I reaped the rewards and I kept my mouth shut. And for that, once again, I am sorry. But you should be sorry, too.”

I've had it with the collective guilt trip over what that scum Weinstein did.



And now it is back to making movies:

Matt Damon and Ben Affleck (Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP/file)

Thankfully, Massachusetts has strong women in positions of power:

"Trump’s Army pick has lavished Congress with campaign cash" by Christopher Rowland Globe Staff  October 16, 2017

WASHINGTON — When Raytheon’s top lobbyist faces senators for his confirmation to become secretary of the Army, the hearing may answer a crucial question: How much good will does half a million dollars buy in Congress?

That’s roughly how much political money Mark Esper, Raytheon’s vice president for government relations, has lavished over the last seven years on Republicans and Democrats on the Senate Armed Services Committee, through the giant defense company’s political action committee.

The $473,000 to committee members is just one slice of more than $11 million in Raytheon PAC contributions Esper has orchestrated to incumbents and various candidates for federal office.

The contributions inject questions of political influence and conflict of interest into the debate over his nomination.

Since when?

Esper is an Army veteran and deeply experienced Washington insider who has held his powerful Raytheon job since 2010.

He is not unique among high-ranking defense industry executives getting picked for top defense posts, in administrations past or present, Republican or Democratic. President Obama picked a predecessor of Esper’s in the Raytheon job for a Pentagon post in 2009.

But Esper’s potential trip through the revolving door is unusual for the sheer size of the political money trail he leaves behind. And it highlights the extent to which a culture of cozy connections reigns in President Trump’s Cabinet, despite his campaign promise to “drain the swamp’’ of Washington influence peddlers.


Raytheon, based in Waltham, is one of the top five defense companies in the country, with about $23 billion in sales in 2016, nearly one-third of that to foreign governments. It is best known to the public as manufacturer of the Patriot defense system, which seeks to shoot down incoming enemy missiles. It also builds the electronic eyes and ears — radar and sonar — for myriad weapons systems, as well as software that tracks friendly and hostile forces during a battle.

Working the levers of power on Capitol Hill and the Pentagon is crucial to Raytheon’s business.

Campaign contributions tell just part of the story about the Army secretary nominee.

Esper, who earned $1.5 million from Raytheon in the last year, leads a 20-person, multimillion-dollar operation based at Raytheon offices among a cluster of Virginia office towers across the Potomac River from Washington. The team lobbies on a vast array of weapons and space programs. In addition, Raytheon farms out specialized lobbying tasks to 14 firms across the capital.

Nearly all of the individuals in this platoon of lobbyists previously held government jobs on Capitol Hill or in the Pentagon, or both. Esper himself is a former Department of Defense deputy assistant secretary in the George W. Bush administration and a staffer to former Senate majority leader Bill Frist.

Yeah, it was never a problem until now.

Senator Elizabeth Warren, who has received $5,000 in Raytheon PAC money, is running for reelection in 2018 and has reason to be cautious. What’s good for Raytheon is often good for New England jobs. The company employs 12,700 people in the region, including 11,600 in Massachusetts, and it has contracts for defense work at shipyards from Maine to Connecticut.

And what is good for GM is..... sigh.

Much of what defense lobbyists do is the equivalent of trench warfare over obscure budget line-items and amendments, far out of the public eye. Raytheon’s most recent list of lobbying priorities, required by law to be disclosed each quarter, illustrates the exhaustive nature of the work: Among Raytheon’s highest priorities on that list is protecting its lucrative market for its best-known line of weapons, Patriot missiles. And an apparent campaign of public-relations subterfuge to further that goal — combined with a lobbying push targeting a Massachusetts lawmaker, Democratic Representative Niki Tsongas of Lowell — is a telling example. Raytheon appeared to have undertaken a stealth campaign to mold Beltway opinion, without leaving any fingerprints.

OH, WOW, THAT is why she is leaving!

So whose fingerprints did they find on it?

On the surface, the four separate opinion articles, by four obscure authors, in four defense and conservative journals, seemed unrelated. They were published as the House Armed Services Committee was deliberating on the 2018 defense budget in late June.

The subject: a new, behind-schedule Army computer system that could increase competition for Raytheon’s dominant Patriot missiles. The new system is supposed to integrate battlefield command and control among multiple missile-defense systems, including those produced by competing manufacturers.

A closer look at the four articles revealed common threads: each included a highly technical and methodical criticism of the Northrup Grumman project’s failings. And each made an identical point, calling for a fresh approach by the Army.

Tellingly, each of the four articles also contained the same mistake: They inadvertently dropped the word “defense’’ from the name of the system, The Integrated Air and Missile Defense Battle Command System (IBCS). Two of the articles contained identical phrases about the system’s vulnerability to hacking. One of them was written by a retired Army general from Mississippi who has worked as a consultant to Raytheon.


“It appears to be a coordinated campaign by Raytheon,’’ said Mandy Smithberger, a specialist on military programs and defense spending at the Project on Government Oversight, a nonpartisan group. “It’s a way to shape that argument and influence a greater number of members and staffers who are making these decisions.’’

Indeed, the articles preceded the actual legislation: a defense budget amendment submitted by Tsongas, a member of the House Armed Services Committee.

The Tsongas amendment, couched in obscure language, cited in technical detail the failings of Northrup Grumman’s IBCS. It demanded a report from the secretary of the Army on ways to “leverage other programs’ investments’’ as an alternative.

Asked if Raytheon’s alleged stealthy public relations push in the media had any influence on her, Tsongas replied in a statement, “I was not aware of a coordinated PR campaign. With this amendment, my focus is really on hearing from the Army, to see if there is an accelerated solution to help the warfighter.”

In late June, the amendment was included in the House defense budget for 2018. It will be part of negotiations between the Senate and House on a final defense budget.

That answered the question.

Tsongas received $9,000 in campaign contributions from the Raytheon PAC on July 27, according to public records, a month after her amendment was adopted. Tsongas’ staff said she returned the contributions, as well as others, after she announced Aug. 9 that she will not be running for reelection in 2018.....

Yeah, just return the money and everything becomes all right.

Did you see who might be replacing her?


Did you see the blue and red rainbow of contributions?

Among others, Jeanne Shaheen (D-N.H.) got $47,500, Jack Reed (D-R.I.) $45,500, Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) $36,000, John McCain (R-Ariz.) $36,000, Tim Kaine (D-Va.) $18,000, Tom Cotton (R-Ark.) $15,000, Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) $14,500, Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.) $14,000, Ted Cruz (R-Texas) $12,000, and Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) $5,000.

So what does she have to say for herself, and who will be replacing Menendez?

As for Trump and the troops — he has deserted them while the nurse played video games.

I'll let that trickle down for a moment before you have a bone to pick with him.

I'm told taking on Trump is good for certain political images -- along with the controlled protest.

And who is protecting America

None other than John Wayne.

Good thing Bo$ton's leaders are better.

Sorry, I'm not interested.

You know, there is a season.....

"Nearly a month after the hurricane made landfall, Puerto Rico is just beginning to come to grips with a massive environmental emergency that has no clear end in sight. ‘‘I think this will be the most challenging environmental response after a hurricane that our country has ever seen,’’ said Judith Enck, who served as administrator of the US Environmental Protection Agency region that includes Puerto Rico under President Barack Obama. ‘‘People in the US can’t comprehend the scale and scope of what’s needed,’’ said Drew Koslow, an ecologist with the nonprofit Ridge to Reefs who recently spent a week in Puerto Rico. Puerto Rico has a long history of industrial pollution, and environmental problems have worsened due to neglect during a decade-long economic crisis. A dozen overpacked landfills remain open despite EPA orders to close them because local governments say they don’t have the money....."

"Ophelia, a former hurricane, was one of the most powerful storms ever recorded in the northeastern Atlantic. It traveled farther east in the Atlantic than any Category 3 hurricane on record. In Portugal and Spain, at least 35 people were killed and dozens more injured by nearly 600 wildfires since Sunday, as strong winds from Ophelia fanned hundreds of blazes sweeping across densely forested territory. The Irish national weather service, Met Eireann, issued its first red alert for severe weather for the entire country Sunday night. Authorities in Portugal declared a state of emergency in areas affected by wildfires over the weekend. Across the border in Spain, fires reached the outskirts of the port city of Vigo, forcing the temporary closing of a car factory. Ophelia’s effects were felt as far away as London on Monday, where the sky turned a smoky shade of orange because of dust from Sahara sandstorms and the wildfires in Portugal and Spain....." 

Spain has bigger fires to put out.

"The mass die-off over the weekend occurred because unusually large amounts of sea ice forced penguin parents to travel farther in search of food for their young. By the time they returned, only two out of thousands of chicks had survived. Sea ice extent in the polar regions varies each year, but climate change has made the fluctuation more extreme....."

The Globe is worried about the right things, yes.

Looks like war with Korea could begin any minute now that the Philippine insurgency has waned.

That means no trial, right?

Not even God can save him.