Republican Congressman indicted for insider trading


Republican Congressman Collins and His Fearless LeaderThe Nation

❝ Five GOP House members bought shares of an Australian biotechnology company in January 2017 that’s at the center of an insider trading indictment of New York Republican Chris Collins, congressional financial disclosures show.

Collins, who represents a district in western New York, is the only lawmaker accused by prosecutors of wrongdoing — stemming from his role on Innate Immunotherapeutics Ltd.’s board, not his position in the House.

But the allegations against him, along with the other lawmakers’ holdings, highlight how members of Congress face few restrictions on their investments, creating the potential for conflicts of interest, or the appearance of a conflict…

❝ Collins, one of the biotechnology company’s largest shareholders who served on the board and had access to information that wasn’t public, is accused of tipping off his son about the trial results for a drug to treat a form of multiple sclerosis, according to federal prosecutors in New York. His son Cameron Collins then passed along the information to others. The son and others who received the tip sold more than 1.78 million shares in the days before the trial results were announced, avoiding losses of $768,000…

Trump provides apt leadership for the majority of creeps in government. As Mark Twain said, “It could probably be shown by facts and figures that there is no distinctly native American criminal class except Congress”.

Historic Fireboat John J Harvey Gets Dazzle Camouflage


Nicholas Knight/Public Art Fund

❝ During WWI and WWII, dazzle camouflage (also known as razzle-dazzle in the U.S.) was painted onto thousands of ships both in the U.K. and U.S.

Its development is credited to the British marine artist Norman Wilkinson, who in 1917 claimed that painting ships with geometric shapes in contrasting colors — interrupting and intersecting each other — would make it difficult for enemy vessels to target them. Unlike traditional camouflage, dazzle was used to confuse and disorient ships rather than to conceal or hide them.

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I must add:

❝ — In the panic of Sept. 11, 2001, as tens of thousands of people tried to leave the island of Manhattan, an aging boat once headed for the scrap heap became a hero of sorts.

On 9/11, the John J. Harvey raced to Pier 11, evacuating 150 terrified, dust-covered people…

❝ Then came a second call. Firemen battling blazes at the World Trade Center had no water because the twin towers had fallen on the water lines…

For three days, the Harvey joined three active-duty fireboats to provide the only water there was to keep the 9/11 fires from getting worse.

No reason to let this heroic craft be retired. Surely, there are enough folks with heart enough to make this monument stay afloat forever.

Bankruptcy Booming Among Older Americans


Lawrence Sedita, 74Roger Kisby/The New York Times

For a rapidly growing share of older Americans, traditional ideas about life in retirement are being upended by a dismal reality: bankruptcy.

The signs of potential trouble — vanishing pensions, soaring medical expenses, inadequate savings — have been building for years. Now, new research sheds light on the scope of the problem: The rate of people 65 and older filing for bankruptcy is three times what it was in 1991, the study found, and the same group accounts for a far greater share of all filers.

Driving the surge, the study suggests, is a three-decade shift of financial risk from government and employers to individuals, who are bearing an ever-greater responsibility for their own financial well-being as the social safety net shrinks.

The transfer has come in the form of, among other things, longer waits for full Social Security benefits, the replacement of employer-provided pensions with 401(k) savings plans and more out-of-pocket spending on health care. Declining incomes, whether in retirement or leading up to it, compound the challenge.

But, hey, if you’re a Trumplican, Don’t Worry, Be Happy. You have no shortage of folks to hate, to blame, and your own political party that keeps the rich afloat and you at the ready to help – them – out.