Wednesday, December 13, 2017

So Fox Released Some of the Strzok/Page Pillow Talk

And the Ace of Spades has a run down, but my particular favorite is:
"PS – Just went to a southern Virginia Walmart. I could SMELL the Trump support…

LP – Yep. Out to lunch with (redacted) We both hate everyone and everything."
Nice to know what your rulers think about you.

But this one might be the most damning:
Instapundit (all caps, natch) had this amusing and yet infuriating exchange with the Just Us Department:

I’m hearing from a source that Lisa Page was involved in approving Peter Strzok’s warrant requests to the FISC and possibly elsewhere. Can you confirm or deny if this was the case? And please tell me what her job title and function are in your office. Thanks.
Them (via spokesman Joshua Stueve):
Lisa Page, who was an attorney on detail to the Special Counsel’s office, returned to the FBI’s Office of the General Counsel in mid-July.
Me again:
Thank you but that doesn’t answer my question. What role did Lisa Page have in the handling of warrant applications, and in particular those involving Peter Strzok?
Them again:
I’ll decline to comment further.
Well, then.

Page, remember, is the FBI lawyer with whom Strzok was having an extramarital affair and exchanging anti-Trump texts. Perhaps someone with more resources than I will be able to get to the bottom of this.
On other Trump/Russia related news, we just found out that the wife of another DOJ bigwig sidelined by the Mueller team, worked for Fusion GPS, doing Russian stuff.
A senior Justice Department official demoted last week for concealing his meetings with the men behind the anti-Trump “dossier” had even closer ties to Fusion GPS, the firm responsible for the incendiary document, than has been disclosed, Fox News has confirmed: The official’s wife worked for Fusion GPS during the 2016 election.

Contacted by Fox News, investigators for the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence (HPSCI) confirmed that Nellie H. Ohr, wife of the demoted official, Bruce G. Ohr, worked for the opposition research firm last year. The precise nature of Mrs. Ohr’s duties – including whether she worked on the dossier – remains unclear but a review of her published works available online reveals Mrs. Ohr has written extensively on Russia-related subjects. HPSCI staff confirmed to Fox News that she was paid by Fusion GPS through the summer and fall of 2016.
But totally objective I'm sure.

WE’RE GONNA FIND OUT HE WAS A PARTNER IN FUSION GPS, AREN’T WE? Politico: Justice Department won’t disclose details on Mueller ethics waiver.

A massive purge is needed at the DOJ.

Roger Ailes, Voice Coach?

Lauren Sivan: Roger Ailes Had Me Sit On His Lap
Remember reporter Lauren Sivan? She’s the Harvey Weinstein accuser who found herself trapped in the empty kitchen of his New York restaurant and was then forced to watch him masturbate into a potted plant. Today the Hollywood Reporter published a piece in which several of Weinstein’s accusers talk about coming forward to tell their stories. In her piece, Sivan notes that Weinstein wasn’t the only incident of sexual harassment she experienced in the business. She claims former Fox News executive Roger Ailes once told her to sit on his lap so he could feel her diaphragm:
No danger there, unless she's exceptionally droopy for her age.

My first job out of college was at Fox News. I thought it was normal, to feel like you had to be attractive to men to get ahead. Before I went on-air in a local market, I was a producer for eight years. I’d see it all from the production side: Female talent would show up for work and boss Roger Ailes would call down to the control room and say her skirt was too long, she’s not wearing high heels, tell her to change: “I don’t want to see flats ever again.” I would think, “It’s television — there’s an aesthetic to worry about.”
Heaven forbid a man should presume to instruct a woman. It's not like he knew anything about making a successful news network.

What’s not normal is when Roger made you, as on-air talent, twirl for him, to see how you look from behind. He’d be lying on his office couch, feet up. I remember he had me sit on his lap. He didn’t think I was projecting my voice properly and wanted to feel my diaphragm. I knew this was not OK. But all the women there who wanted a career walked this fine line with Roger.
That’s worlds apart from Weinstein is accused of doing but it really is amazing he could get away with something so blatant for so long. Ailes resigned in July of 2016 after former host Gretchen Carlson filed a lawsuit against him. He died in May of this year.
But he may have known something about voices.

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Beach Report 12/12/17

 A gray, cool, but fortunately pretty calm day down at the beach.  If you look close you can see a small flock of Buffleheads out in the water. They've been here a while now, down from their breeding grounds in the Arctic.
 A pretty nice Mako tooth that I was lucky to spot, as it was mostly covered by sand.
Unlike this Snaggletooth which was just laying out in the open.

Bay Diet Reaches Halfway Point

Midpoint assessment nears for Bay
The midpoint assessment for the Chesapeake Bay’s “pollution diet” is approaching, when officials will determine if cleanup progress has advanced and if efforts are working as intended.

States in the Bay watershed are halfway through a set timeframe to reduce pollution to the Chesapeake Bay, in the most recent iteration of attempts to clean the Bay.

The Bay’s “pollution diet” is the Total Maximum Daily Load, which was established by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency in 2010 and sets limits on nitrogen, phosphorus and sediment pollution to achieve water quality standards.

Jurisdictions in the watershed — Maryland, Virginia, West Virginia, Pennsylvania, New York, Delaware and Washington, D.C. — have been given until 2025 to put the necessary pollution reduction practices in place. In addition to the midpoint assessment, there have been regular assessments by the Chesapeake Bay Program, which is under the EPA’s umbrella, on progress being made or ground still to cover in Bay restoration.

The general consensus among scientists who closely watch the Bay is that the efforts have been working to reduce pollution and improve things in the Bay like underwater grasses, which have seen resurgence in recent years, and to reduce harmful algae blooms in the water caused by excess nutrients.

Local jurisdictions in places like Maryland’s Eastern Shore have been putting in on-the-ground projects. In addition to county government-sponsored projects, nonprofit organizations like ShoreRivers (formerly Midshore Riverkeeper Conservancy) have been working with farmers to install best management practices on their land, as agriculture is a significant contributor to pollution to the Bay, due to over-fertilization on some farm land.

Under Maryland’s Watershed Implementation Plan, which were developed by jurisdictions to help them meet pollution reduction goals, counties also have specific goals to meet.
I would hate to be accused of having rose colored glasses, but I do see signs that the Bay is starting to improve. Is it enough to meet their goals by 2025? I'm unconvinced.

From my perspective, the part of the Bay I see most, the mid bay, from here to Tangier Sound, seems reasonably clean, most of the time. We still have some seasonal algae blooms, and occasional hypoxia, but they seem to be declining.

As far as natural resources? Oysters suck (still), Striped Bass are good, but could be better. Crabs seem largely unaffected and random, up one year, and down the next. These are largely fisheries management problems, and not related to pollution.

Reason #5782 That Trump Was Elected

CNN Whines that Trump Is Bullying Them Like That Little Kid On Social Media
It started with this Trumpier-than-usual tweet this morning:

“The fact that he has an opinion about Don Lemon has always struck me as conclusive proof he watches too much tv,” notes Ramesh Ponnuru. Seriously, it’s like having an opinion on Erin Burnett. Who watches so much CNN primetime that they have a “take” on a formulaic rando host?

The president does, I guess. He has a “Super Tivo” to record cable news, you know.

But I digress. The commentariat spends much of its time nowadays navel-gazing about how the media can rebuild goodwill among Americans who’ve lost faith in it. One suggestion: For starters, for the love of Mike, stop the endless cycle of self-pity and grandiosity. When reporters aren’t busy telling you how heroic their industry is, they’re busy telling you how mean the president is to them, although he’s only mean to them because he’s threatened by their heroic crusade for truth and free speech, which in turn makes his disrespect so much more tragic and hurtful since you would expect the president of all people to stand up for the First Amendment, but at least our heroic media is standing up for it, and on and on we go!

This is an international news organization implicitly comparing itself to the little kid whose video about bullying went viral because the president called one of their anchors dumb. I realize that any public venom from Trump towards a journalist is destined to make their life miserable for a bit as his more excitable fans resort to all manner of verbal abuse towards that person, but the “soldiers for truth”/”bullied child” duality is hard to maintain. Is CNN cowed by Trump or isn’t it? If yes, drop the hero shtick. If no, then he’s not a very effective bully.
Trump was elected because he, unlike any Republican president since Reagan, will stand up to the press.

And the must-read Glenn Greenwald essay:  The U.S. Media Suffered Its Most Humiliating Debacle in Ages and Now Refuses All Transparency Over What Happened
. . . No matter your views on those political controversies, no matter how much you hate Trump or regard Russia as a grave villain and threat to our cherished democracy and freedoms, it has to be acknowledged that when the U.S. media is spewing constant false news about all of this, that, too, is a grave threat to our democracy and cherished freedom.

So numerous are the false stories about Russia and Trump over the last year that I literally cannot list them all. Just consider the ones from the last week alone, as enumerated by the New York Times yesterday in its news report on CNN’s embarrassment:
. . .
Let’s just remind ourselves of how many times major media outlets have made humiliating, breathtaking errors on the Trump-Russia story, always in the same direction, toward the same political goals. Here is just a sample of incredibly inflammatory claims that traveled all over the internet before having to be corrected, walked back, or retracted — often long after the initial false claims spread, and where the corrections receive only a tiny fraction of the attention with which the initial false stories are lavished:
  • Russia hacked into the U.S. electric grid to deprive Americans of heat during winter (Wash Post)
  • An anonymous group (PropOrNot) documented how major U.S. political sites are Kremlin agents (Wash Post)
  • WikiLeaks has a long, documented relationship with Putin (Guardian)
  • A secret server between Trump and a Russian bank has been discovered (Slate)
  • RT hacked C-SPAN and caused disruption in its broadcast (Fortune)
  • Russians hacked into a Ukrainian artillery app (Crowdstrike)
  • Russians attempted to hack elections systems in 21 states (multiple news outlets, echoing Homeland Security)
  • Links have been found between Trump ally Anthony Scaramucci and a Russian investment fund under investigation (CNN)
That really is just a small sample. . .

#MeTooLate: Model Accuses Dead Star of Sexual Assault

Recently deceased “Partridge Family” star David Cassidy is being accused of sexual misconduct by a former model
A former model is accusing the late singer and “Partridge Family” star David Cassidy of being a “first class creep” and groping her when she was 19, according to a recent report in the UK’s Daily Star tabloid.

Samantha Fox claims Cassidy, who passed away in November of this year from liver failure, followed her into a public bathroom and molested her in 1985, she told The Daily Star.

“When he grabbed me and pushed his tongue down my throat, I just kneed him in the b*****ks ,” the model-turned singer said.
 And that's how you're supposed to do it.

Fox — now 51 — claims she’d initially signed on to appear topless in the music video for Cassidy’s single “Romance” but was sickened when she noticed that the singer was visibly aroused and had an erection.

“Whenever he pressed himself against me, I could clearly feel his d**k,” she writes in her upcoming memoir, “Forever.”

“David seemed to be deliberately drawing out the photoshoot, which took an eternity, and he had an erection the entire time — something he did absolutely nothing to hide,” said Fox.

Despite these incidents, Fox agreed to accompany the pop music icon to dinner later that same evening, but she had her father with her.

“In the middle of dinner, I got up to go to the toilet, and as I was standing alone in the women’s toilets, washing my hands, the door flew open and David Cassidy came storming in,” The Star claims, citing an excerpt from the book.

“Before I really had time to process what was happening, he had pushed me up against the wall and his hands were all over me. I shouted: ‘Get off me, David!’ in an attempt to stop him. But instead, he just stuck his tongue into my mouth and shoved a hand under my skirt, while the other kept a firm grip on one of my breasts,” Fox writes.

“I reacted quickly and instinctively by bringing my knee upwards, striking him right in the balls,” she claims.
 He must have had big hands.

“David jerked back with an ‘Ouch!’ and grabbed his crotch with both hands. I took a deep breath and shouted, ‘Get away from me!'” Fox goes on to say that she elbowed him in the face before escaping.

“In that moment, the handsome, sweet guy from ‘The Partridge Family’ had transformed into a first-class creep,” she adds.

In a recent Tweet, Fox claims that her book was completed over a year ago, prior to Cassidy’s death.

This sure seems like a late hit to me. It makes it really hard to rebut.

A few NSFW photos from the old days.