Tuesday, June 30, 2015

CBF to Virginia Farmers: "Get Off Our Lawn!"

CBF sues Virginia for not making livestock stream exclusion mandatory
The Chesapeake Bay Foundation announced legal action against Virginia for failing to protect streams, rivers and the Chesapeake Bay from the pollution that results when livestock are allowed access to waterways.

The CBF contends that the Virginia State Water Control Board and the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality have failed to enforce Virginia statutory provisions that are in place to ensure clean water for the “benefit, enjoyment, and general welfare of the people of the Commonwealth.”

The CBF took action in April 2014, after the State Water Control Board approved a 10-year permit governing large farming operations without specifically requiring fencing to exclude livestock for streams. The case will be heard by the Virginia Circuit Court on July 2 in Richmond.

In Virginia, livestock exclusion is currently required for confined animal feeding operations — where livestock is contained in small fenced areas — but has been considered “voluntary” for pastured livestock by state program managers.

Allowing livestock to wade in streams causes problems with water quality as well as animal health. Stream banks erode after being trampled by livestock, degrading habitat for aquatic life. When cattle and other livestock are allowed in or near streams, animal waste creates health problems for the animals — and for people. Almost half of the streams in Virginia that do not meet water quality standards have excessive bacteria, often from the lack of livestock management near streams.
I wonder if the deer, elk and buffalo ever wade through streams?

Child Killed in Collision at Chesapeake Bay Boat Race

7 year old Julianne Rosella
1 killed, 3 injured in Kent Island racing crash
A young girl was killed and three other people were injured during the Thunder on the Narrows boat race off Kent Island, U.S. Coast Guard officials said.

The Kent Narrows Racing Association said the boat was a Grand National hydroplane boat participating in Sunday's last race at the Kent Island Yacht Club. It was about 23 feet long and probably traveling about 125 mph when it hit spectators near Kent Island.

"One of the race boats was on course racing and struck a spectator boat," said Paul Schlotterbeck, with the Kent Island Volunteer Fire Department.

According to the Coast Guard, the driver of the racing boat lost control about 5:30 p.m. and slammed into spectator boats filled with people watching the race.

"There were about five vessels that were involved in the incident and there were some injuries," Coast Guard Cmdr. Mike Keane said.

"Four patients were transported; two by ground to local hospitals and two were transported by Maryland State Police Aviation to Shock Trauma," Schlotterbeck said.

Authorities sent their thoughts and prayers to the families of the three injured and the 7-year-old girl who died.

"With those vessels that were rafted during the race, the speedboat collided into three of them. All the 12 vessels had different rafts that were actually on the stern, tied off, and we believe the little girl was on one of the rafts," Keane said. "Our prayers go out to the families and the loved ones involved of the individuals that were involved in the event."
Still no word on what happened to the boat. Observers saw it fail to make a turn, making them think a rudder may have failed.

Another fatality on the water this week:
Maryland authorities are searching water near the Chesapeake Bay Bridge trying to find a man who went under when the boat he was in sank.

Maryland Natural Resources divers have been in the water searching for Javier Sotelo. FOX 5 spoke with Sotelo's brother on the phone and he said the family was on a boat near the bridge when the weather turned rough. Several waves hit the boat and then it started going down.
The weather can turn awful in a minute on the Bay if you're not watching the radar. I have some experience with that. . .
Some of the family had access to life vests, but Sotelo did not and stayed on the boat as it was sinking. He could not swim.

Officials say the rescue mission has turned into a recovery mission.

"We actually have side scan sonar that we're running to try to locate the subject if possible,” said Maryland Natural Resources Police Sgt. John Buchanan. “We have divers standing by if we do find something with side scan and then we'll work from there.”
 Legally, they were supposed to have life jackets for everyone on board.

So Where Did I Hide the Chocolate Bars?

Dark Chocolate Could Improve Memory By 25%, But You’d Have to Eat Seven Bars a Day
Does bathing in it help too?

Dr. Scott A. Small, a neurologist at Columbia University Medical Center, led the study, which was funded by the chocolate company Mars, the National Institutes of Health, and two other research foundations. The results were published yesterday in Nature Neuroscience.

When healthy people ages 50 to 69 drank a mixture high in cocoa flavanols for three months, they performed about 25% better on a memory test.
That would raise my chances of remembering our anniversary to what, 12.5%?

Here’s Pam Belluck, writing for The New York Times:
The findings support recent research linking flavanols, especially epicatechin, to improved blood circulation, heart health and memory in mice, snails and humans. But experts said the new study, although involving only 37 participants and partly funded by Mars Inc., the chocolate company, goes further and was a well-controlled, randomized trial led by experienced researchers.
Besides improvements on the memory test — a pattern recognition test involving the kind of skill used in remembering where you parked the car or recalling the face of someone you just met — researchers found increased function in an area of the brain’s hippocampus called the dentate gyrus, which has been linked to this type of memory.
So women don't eat chocolate to forget?
While the study supports the idea that cocoa flavanols help reverse age-related memory decline, it probably won’t ward off Alzheimer’s. The participants didn’t show any marked difference in the functioning of the entorhinal cortex, which is impaired in patients with Alzheimer’s disease. The distinction shows that age-related and Alzheimer’s-related memory loss are not the same thing, and that flavanols won’t have an effect on cognitive disease.

Even if you don’t have Alzheimer’s, though, binging on any old chocolate this Halloween will help you remember where you left your keys. Milk chocolate won’t help since processing usually removes the key flanvanol epicatechin. Eating dark chocolate may not help much, either. To ingest the same amount of epicatechin as the study group, you’d have to consume the equivalent of about seven average-sized bars a day, which would probably invite other health problems.
So why can't we just buy epicatechin?

Wombat-socho snuck in with "Rule 5 Sunday: Independence Day Weekend Edition" late Sunday evening.

Behold the Mighty Bunny!

Reminds me of:

Monday, June 29, 2015

CBF Upgrades Chesapeake Bay to "D+"

Chesapeake Bay receives D+ on report card
Chesapeake Bay Foundation's most recent evaluation scores the bay's health at a dismal D+.

Every year, the foundation performs a detailed evaluation, collecting water quality and biological data to construct an overall health profile for the bay.

"Since 1998, CBF has been issuing our signature 'State of the Bay Report' to answer the question that we get all the time, which is how is the bay doing?" said Will Baker, CBF president. "Our 2014 report has mixed news. The Chesapeake Clean Water Blueprint is in place and it's working. As a result, the water is clearer, pollution is declining, dead zones are shrinking, underwater grasses are starting to come back, and the oysters are way more plentiful. But the bay is far from saved.

"We are worried about the declining populations of rockfish (striped bass) and blue crab. Our report confirms that the bay remains a system that is dangerously out of balance. We certainly have a lot of work left to do."
Sounds about fair to me. Although I do see a small conflict of interest on the part of the Foundation. If it were suddenly find a vastly improved bay worthy of an A, they would have to disband, and abandon all their lovely waterside facilities:

SCOTUS Slaps Down EPA Power Plant Regulations

Supreme Court overturns landmark EPA air pollution rule
The Supreme Court dealt a blow to the Obama administration’s landmark air quality rule on Monday, ruling the Environmental Protection Agency did not properly consider the costs of the regulation.

In a 5-4 ruling, the justices ruled that the EPA should have taken into account the costs to utilities and others in the power sector before even deciding whether to set limits for the toxic air pollutants it regulated in 2011.

The case, Michigan v. EPA, centers on the EPA’s first limits on mercury, arsenic and acid gases emitted by coal-fired power plants, known as mercury and air toxics (MATS). Opponents, including the National Federation of Independent Business, say it's among the costliest regulations ever issued.

The EPA estimated its rule, which took effect for some plants in April, would cost $9.6 billion, produce between $37 billion and $90 billion in benefits and prevent up to 11,000 premature deaths and 130,000 asthma cases annually.
EPA's estimations can be totally discounted as the fantasies of true believers. But even so. . .
But the agency concluded that its regulatory impact analysis should have “no bearing on” the determination of whether regulations are appropriate, as set forth in the Clean Air Act.

In the majority ruling, Justice Antonin Scalia concluded that the EPA “unreasonably” interpreted the Clean Air Act when it decided not to consider industry compliance costs and whether regulating the pollutants is “appropriate and necessary.”

While the agency is afforded a certain level of power to interpret the law, the court wrote, “EPA strayed well beyond the bounds of reasonable interpretation in concluding that cost is not a factor relevant to the appropriateness of regulating power plants.”
Expect weeping and wailing on the scale of Citizens United over this ruling.

Mind you, I wouldn't mind at all if every coal power plant in the US were replaced with an equivalent sized nuke. But the people who want to kill coal aren't interest in that.

A Holiday In Greece

Bank Holiday that is. They're still out of other peoples' money: Greece Closes Banks in Crisis
It was first announced that Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras debt-ridden left-wing government would close banks Monday, but now they’ve decided the banks will remain closed all week:
Greek banks are to remain closed and capital controls will be imposed, Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras says.
Speaking after the European Central Bank (ECB) said it was not increasing emergency funding to Greek banks, Mr Tsipras said Greek deposits were safe.
Greece is due to make a €1.6bn (£1.1bn) payment to the International Monetary Fund (IMF) on Tuesday – the same day that its current bailout expires.
. . .Greek banks are expected to stay shut until 7 July, two days after Greece’s planned referendum on the terms it had been offered by international creditors for receiving fresh bailout money. . . .
Eurozone finance ministers blamed Greece for breaking off the talks, and the European Commission took the unusual step on Sunday ofpublishing proposals by European creditors that it said were on the table at the time.
But Greece described creditors’ terms as “not viable”, and asked for an extension of its current deal until after the vote was completed.
“[Rejection] of the Greek government’s request for a short extension of the programme was an unprecedented act by European standards, questioning the right of a sovereign people to decide,” Mr Tsipras on Sunday said in a televised address.
“This decision led the ECB today to limit the liquidity available to Greek banks and forced the Greek central bank to suggest a bank holiday and restrictions on bank withdrawals.” . . .
The temporary closure of banks in Greece, and the introduction of capital controls, is very bad news for Greece. Greek people will have less money to spend and business less to invest; so an already weak economy will probably return to deep recession.
(More at Memeorandum.) Notice how Tsipras suggests that the creditors are being undemocratic, rather than admitting that Greece has been irresponsible? Tsipras obviously believes Greeks have a right to other people’s money, and that it is wrong for European creditors to expect them to pay back what they borrowed.
And this interesting news item, a bit closer to home:
Oh, by the way: Puerto Rico can’t pay its debts, either.
Puerto Rico’s governor, saying he needs to pull the island out of a “death spiral,” has concluded that the commonwealth cannot pay its roughly $72 billion in debts, an admission that will probably have wide-reaching financial repercussions.

The governor, Alejandro García Padilla, and senior members of his staff said in an interview last week that they would probably seek significant concessions from as many as all of the island’s creditors, which could include deferring some debt payments for as long as five years or extending the timetable for repayment.

“The debt is not payable,” Mr. García Padilla said. “There is no other option. I would love to have an easier option. This is not politics, this is math.”
Time for the Jubilee?
The Jubilee (Hebrew yovel יובל) year is the year at the end of seven cycles of shmita (Sabbatical years), and according toBiblical regulations had a special impact on the ownership and management of land in the Land of Israel; there is some debate whether it was the 49th year (the last year of seven sabbatical cycles, referred to as the Sabbath's Sabbath), or whether it was the following (50th) year. Jubilee deals largely with land, property, and property rights. According to Leviticus, slaves and prisoners would be freed, debts would be forgiven, and the mercies of God would be particularly manifest. 

GOP Threatens Impeachment Over IRS Scandal

But only Koskinen, alas, and that probably won't happen either:

Agency destroyed e-mails after telling Congress they couldn’t be found.
House Republicans investigating the IRS’s targeting of tea-party groups are seriously considering an effort to impeach IRS commissioner John Koskinen or other agency employees for “culpable misdemeanors” pertaining to the destruction of e-mails written by Lois Lerner, the former official at the heart of the scandal.

“We’ve briefed the leadership’s counsel, and I think that they’re open to it, but it’s the type of thing where this town is like, ‘oh, that’s not how we do things, it’s not really been used lately,’” a Republican member of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee says. “But, quite frankly, we really haven’t had executive branch officials behave this way like we do now.”

Lawmakers have been privately mulling the unconventional tactic for months, in part due to frustration that cutting the agency’s budget and holding Lerner in contempt of Congress failed to speed up the glacial pace at which the agency has produced documents requested by the committee. The ultimate decision depends on their ability to demonstrate that the IRS has obstructed the investigation — a public case that might begin Thursday, when the Treasury Department’s inspector general announces that IRS officials destroyed the files “most likely to have contained Lerner’s emails” after telling Congress they could not be found, according to a transcript of the IG’s forthcoming testimony to the Oversight Committee obtained by NR.
. . .
“It’s really a test of whether Congress is going to defend its institutional prerogatives,” the Oversight Committee member says. “If you have a situation where it’s fine for people to come misrepresent the facts, not produce documents, and just do that with impunity, then why are we even conducting oversight?”
TIGTA: Lerner hard-drive crash likely due to “an impact of some sort”
What could happen in an IRS office on a Saturday evening to create “an impact of some sort” on a laptop hard drive? According to Lois Lerner, the computer mysteriously failed to operate when she returned to the office on Monday, June 13, 2011, but server data shows that the computer had been in communication with the office systems continuously until Saturday, June 11th, at least until 5 pm. The House Oversight Committee discovered this sequence of events from the Treasury’s Inspector General, whose testimony raises new questions about the hard drive failure that kept Congress from retrieving Lerner’s e-mails (via ATR):
Our investigation determined that on Saturday, June 11, 2011, between 5:00 pm and 7:00 pm, Ms. Lerner’s IRS issued laptop computer stopped communicating with the IRS server system. The IRS server system sends messages out to all of the network-connected computers every two hours. The last communication between Ms. Lerner’s laptop and the server system occurred around 5:00 pm, and at that time, based on consistent network reporting for more than a week, the laptop computer was likely located in Ms. Lerner’s office. The laptop failed to respond to the server at 7:00 pm.
On Monday, June 13, 2011, Ms. Lerner reported that she found her computer inoperable when she entered her office, and the malfunction was reported to the IRS Information Technology (IT) staff. The assigned IT specialist determined the hard drive had crashed, and following standard protocol, he placed a new hard drive in Ms. Lerner’s laptop. In addition to the hard drive, a Hewlett Packard (HP) contractor replaced the laptop’s keyboard, track pad, heat sink, and fan. When interviewed, both the IRS IT technician and the HP technician reported that they did not note any visible damage to the laptop computer itself. When asked about the possible cause of the hard drive failure, the HP technician opined that heat-related failures are not seen often, and based on the information provided to him, the hard drive more than likely crashed due to an impact of some sort. However, because the HP technician did not examine the hard drive as part of his work on the laptop, it could not be determined why it crashed.
On July 19, 2011, Ms. Lerner requested IRS IT to attempt to recover data from her crashed hard drive because, according to her, she had “personal information” on the drive. The IRS IT management agreed and requested assistance from the Internal Revenue Service Criminal Investigation Division (IRS-CI). After receiving the hard drive from the IT technician, the IRS-CI technician attempted, but was unsuccessful in recovering data, so he returned the hard drive to the IT depot at the IRS headquarters building for its ultimate destruction. According to the IRS-CI technician, he noted some scoring on the top platter of the drive, and he believed there were additional steps that could have been taken to attempt to recover data.
What a coincidence, Oversight chair Jason Chaffetz exclaims! If the time of the event is so narrowly deducible, why not take a look through the security data to see who came into the office that weekend? Well … not exactly, Deputy Inspector General for Investigations Tim Camus explains:
Again, more records destroyed. . .

It's clear that the IRS has become, in many respects, an enforcement arm of the Democrat party. Only vigorous action by Republicans can alter that reality. Getting rid of Koskinen to demonstrate that they mean business is a start, but the real way to bureaucrats heart is through his wallet. Cut the budget of the IRS another 20% and strip away their perks and any non-tax collecting arms (like the tax-exempt group).

No Contest

Don't Scare Me Like That!

Instead of kayakers, it could have been an Orca or a Greenland Shark.
Greenland sharks are one of the slowest-swimming sharks, which attain a maximum swimming speed that is about half the maximum swimming speed of a typical seal. Therefore, biologists have wondered how the sharks are able to prey on the seals. Evidence has been found that Greenland sharks search out seals and ambush them while they sleep. Greenland sharks have also been found with remains of polar bear, horses, moose and reindeer (in one case an entire reindeer body) in their stomachs.

Sunday, June 28, 2015

Sunday, 6/28/15 Beach Report

It rained all day yesterday, and ended with a tornado warning and 3 inches of rain. After that, a partially sunny day with light winds and temperatures in the upper 70s was a pleasant change.
There was signs of yesterday's storm around.  High tides cut through the jetty, left the water dirty, and a line of woody debris stranded on the shore at the high tide mark.
 A few sharks' teeth. Ten I think.
Enough west wind to heel this sailboat over.

Greece Still Out of Other Peoples' Money

Greece's attempts to gain some breathing space in its ongoing debt crisis by accusing the countries it hopes to lend them money of bad faith and imperialism, and by not showing any willingness to put it's financial house in order has paid off exactly as one would expect. Its own citizens are losing faith in the government and bank and are trying to reclaim the money they have before it is confiscated or devalued out of existence:

Via Stacy McCain
The Eurozone’s problem child throws a tantrum:
Two senior Greek retail bank executives said as many as 500 of the country’s more than 7,000 ATMs had run out of cash as of Saturday morning, and that some lenders may not be able to open on Monday unless there was an emergency liquidity injection from the Bank of Greece. An official with Greece’s Capital Markets Commission, the markets’ regulator, also warned that the Athens Stock Exchange may be unable to operate on Monday without a cash injection into the banking system. A Greek central bank spokesman said it was making efforts to supply money.
 . . .
After withdrawing more than 30 billion euros as the anti-austerity Coalition of the Radical Left, or Syriza, took power, depositors are now reacting to the latest twist in the five-month standoff with European leaders and creditors.
In addition to Margaret Thatcher’s famous maxim about socialists eventually running out of other people’s money, there is also Stein’s Law. This was coined by Herb Stein, chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers during Richard Nixon’s presidency: “If something cannot go on forever, it will stop.”

And the problem of the Eurozone’s weaker nations expecting bailouts from their rich neighbors obviously cannot go on forever. So what happens when it stops? We don’t know.

Portugal, Spain, Italy and Ireland — the other fiscal weak sisters in the Eurozone — may manage to avoid default, and the richer EU nations may be able to stabilize the overall regional economy. If so, the Greek problem is just a Greek problem.

On the other hand, who knows?
. . .
We’ve spent seven years in a slow, weak recovery from the crash of 2008, and it might be that the Greek crisis will trigger a worldwide recession. Riots, famine, hyperinflation — anything is possible.
The only question is whether the financial collapse of Greece will be the trigger in a series of similar catastrophes leading to a world wide debt crisis, or the bad example which will at least temporarily cause the remainder of the PIIGS to pay attention.

Silver and gold are still pretty cheap . . .

Working in a Car Wash

I like how the girl at 17 seconds or so is just spraying the ground. . .

Linked at Pirate's Cove in the weekly "Sorta Blogless Sunday Pinup" and links.

Wombat-socho snuck in with "Rule 5 Sunday: Independence Day Weekend Edition" late Sunday evening.

Morning Music - "Easy, Easy Like Sunday Morning"

Saturday, June 27, 2015

Mine! All Mine!

ACLU Gives Up on Religious Freedom

It's not worth supporting if it might help Christians.

ACLU: Why we can no longer support the federal ‘religious freedom’ law
The RFRA was passed in 1993 after two Native Americans were fired from their jobs and denied unemployment benefits because they used peyote, an illegal drug, in their religious ceremonies. The Supreme Court rejected a claim they had brought under the Free Exercise Clause of the First Amendment, but Congress disagreed with the justices and enacted the RFRA with near-unanimous support.

The ACLU supported the RFRA’s passage at the time because it didn’t believe the Constitution, as newly interpreted by the Supreme Court, would protect people such as Iknoor Singh, whose religious expression does not harm anyone else. But we can no longer support the law in its current form. For more than 15 years, we have been concerned about how the RFRA could be used to discriminate against others. As the events of the past couple of years amply illustrate, our fears were well-founded. While the RFRA may serve as a shield to protect Singh, it is now often used as a sword to discriminate against women, gay and transgender people and others. Efforts of this nature will likely only increase should the Supreme Court rule — as is expected — that same-sex couples have the freedom to marry.

In the Hobby Lobby case last year, a Supreme Court majority blessed the use of the RFRA by businesses to deny employees insurance coverage for contraception, a benefit guaranteed by law, if those businesses object on religious grounds and there is some other means of furthering the government’s interests. Religiously affiliated nonprofit organizations such as universities are taking the argument further. They invoke the RFRA to argue not only that they should not have to provide insurance coverage for contraceptives, but also that they should not even have to notify the government that they refuse to do so because, they maintain, notification would trigger the government to intervene to ensure coverage.
Hey, remember when the ACLU supported the American Nazi Party's right to demonstrate in Skokie? Good times!

Tornado Warning!

Now, until 5:30.

UPDATE: A pretty nasty thunderstorm with 3 inches of rain in about a half hour, and nearby lightning strikes, but the winds never got crazy, and we haven't heard any more about a possible tornado.

SCOTUScare Schadenfreude

I guess the Supreme Court ruling on Obamacare was not the end of schadenfreude after all...

‘We Should Start Calling This Law SCOTUScare’ And 20 Other Epic Scalia Burns
Associate Justice Scalia, whose dissents are always a fun read, was openly disdainful of the reasoning used by the majority to arrive at its conclusion. Here are 21 passages that capture his disappointment.
1) “The Court holds that when the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act says ‘Exchange established by the State’ it means ‘Exchange established by the State or the Federal Government.’ That is of course quite absurd, and the Court’s 21 pages of explanation make it no less so.”

2) “This case requires us to decide whether someone who buys insurance on an Exchange established by the Secretary gets tax credits. You would think the answer would be obvious—so obvious there would hardly be a need for the Supreme Court to hear a case about it. In order to receive any money under §36B, an individual must enroll in an insurance plan through an ‘Exchange established by the State.’ The Secretary of Health and Human Services is not a State. So an Exchange established by the Secretary is not an Exchange established by the State—which means people who buy health insurance through such an Exchange get no money under §36B.”

3) “Words no longer have meaning if an Exchange that is not established by a State is ‘established by the State.’”

4) “Under all the usual rules of interpretation, in short, the Government should lose this case. But normal rules of interpretation seem always to yield to the overriding principle of the present Court: The Affordable Care Act must be saved.”
. . .
9) “It is probably piling on to add that the Congress that wrote the Affordable Care Act knew how to equate two different types of Exchanges when it wanted to do so. The Act includes a clause providing that ‘[a] territory that . . . establishes . . . an Exchange . . . shall be treated as a State’ for certain purposes. §18043(a) (emphasis added). Tellingly, it does not include a comparable clause providing that the Secretary shall be treated as a State for purposes of §36B when she establishes an Exchange.”
. . .
16) “The Court’s decision reflects the philosophy that judges should endure whatever interpretive distortions it takes in order to correct a supposed flaw in the statutory machinery. That philosophy ignores the American people’s decision to give Congress ‘[a]ll legislative Powers’ enumerated in the Constitution. Art. I, §1. They made Congress, not this Court, responsible for both making laws and mending them. This Court holds only the judicial power—the power to pronounce the law as Congress has enacted it. We lack the prerogative to repair laws that do not work out in practice, just as the people lack the ability to throw us out of office if they dislike the solutions we concoct. We must always remember, therefore, that ‘[o]ur task is to apply the text, not to improve upon it.’”
Read the rest. It seems to me that Chief Justice Roberts walked pretty far down the path to making the court a substitute legislative body on Obamacare, and then walked back most of the way in his dissent on the gay marriage ruling then next day. Oh, well, who wants foolish consistency in a Supreme Court Chief Justice anyway?

 House bill would force the Supreme Court to enroll in ObamaCare
A House Republican on Thursday proposed forcing the Supreme Court justices and their staff to enroll in ObamaCare.

Rep. Brian Babin (R-Texas) said that his SCOTUScare Act would make all nine justices and their employees join the national healthcare law’s exchanges.

“As the Supreme Court continues to ignore the letter of the law, it’s important that these six individuals understand the full impact of their decisions on the American people,” he said.

“That’s why I introduced the SCOTUScare Act to require the Supreme Court and all of its employees to sign up for ObamaCare,” Babin said.

Babin’s potential legislation would only let the federal government provide healthcare to the Supreme Court and its staff via ObamaCare exchanges.

“By eliminating their exemption from ObamaCare, they will see firsthand what the American people are forced to live with,” he added.
Seems fair. It would be amusing if only to see if the court would attempt more legislating from the bench to overrule it.

Rule 5 Saturday - Namibian Hotty - Behati Prinsloo and Friends

This week, Behati Prinsloo becomes the second Afrikaner Rule Fiver. The first was Genevive Morton back in April.
Behati Prinsloo (/biˈɑː.ti ˈprɪns.luː/ bee-ah-tee prins-loo; Afrikaans: [prɪnslʊə];born 16 May 1989) is a Namibian model. In 2008, she became the face of theVictoria's Secret sub-brand Pink and moved on to become a Victoria's Secret Angel in 2009.
with Chanel Iman

Prinsloo was born in Grootfontein, Namibia where her father, Boet, is a church minister, and her mother, Magda, runs a bed and breakfast. She grew up speaking Afrikaans and was educated in English.
With Allesandra Ambrosio

Some NSFWish material 1, 2, 3, and 4.

This week, GOODSTUFF has doubled his usual output with Far Out Sci-Fi #5 and GOODSTUFFs BLOGGING MAGAZINE (196th Issue) featuring surfer girls (among others). Linked at Pirate's Cove in the weekly "Sorta Blogless Sunday Pinup" and links. Wombat-socho checks in with "Rule 5 Sunday: Force It".

Don't forget the Canonical List of Rule 5 Posts.

Did Bugs Bunny Do In the Neandertals?

Tricky Rabbits.

One of the classic themes of Loony Tunes is Elmer Fudd trying to hunt rabbits, and being unable to get Bugs Bunny because he is just too smart. Now, a British scientist hypothesizes that Neandertal Man died out because he was unable to take advantage of rabbits as a food source:

Dr John Stewart, Associate Professor in Paleoecology and Environmental Change at Bournemouth University (BU), is part of a team which analysed data on rabbit bone remains, found in archaeological excavations of caves in the Iberian Peninsula. They found that while rabbits were a crucial part of the modern humans’ diet, they were relatively under-utilised by Neanderthals.

“Rabbits originated in Iberia and they are a very special kind of resource, in that they can be found in large numbers, they are relatively easy to catch and they are predictable,” said Dr Stewart. “This means that they are quite a good food source to target. The fact that the Neanderthals did not appear to do so suggests that this was a resource they did not have access to in the same way as modern humans.”
 Even I can catch a rabbit.

The fact that Neanderthals – typically associated with hunting large prey over short distances in woodland settings – were seemingly unable to catch and kill such creatures is compounded by rapid changes in the environment. “The climate was changing and the ecology was decreasing in terms of the amount of animals they were able to hunt,” Dr Stewart explained. “If Neanderthals were more tied to these large mammals, the loss of them could have driven them to extinction.”
Cute outfits
but lousy cosplay

Evidence that modern humans were more able to hunt across large, open spaces – and used technological innovations such as twine and traps to help them catch faster,smaller prey, including rabbits – suggests that they adapted better to this change in surroundings. Dr Stewart said: “Modern humans had more that they could do – they had more possibilities and were more able to cope with the deterioration of climate than Neanderthals were. If modern humans thrived when Neanderthals did not, it must mean that modern humans were better at exploiting resources than Neanderthals.”
Unable to find a suitable "cave girl" with a rabbit, how about an unsuitable one? Maybe she could have caught a rabbit. . .

Wombat-socho checks in with "Rule 5 Sunday: Force It".

Friday, June 26, 2015

A Chickenshit Solution to Bay Pollution?

Waste combustion system targets poultry litter
Morgan State University professor and lab director for the School of Engineering's industrial and systems engineering department Dr. Seong W. Lee and his research team are the recipients of a $100,000 Phase 1 award from the Maryland Innovation Initiative (MII) to transition his CycloBurn Combustion System from prototype to commercialization. The system uses a proprietary methodology to produce energy from waste biomass, particularly poultry litter while protecting the environment.

For businesses involved in the U.S. poultry industry, a number of which operate along the Chesapeake Bay in Delaware, Maryland and Virginia, the CycloBurn Combustion System may provide a cost effective solution to disposing of 100% of produced poultry wastes by repurposing it to produce energy.

The efficiency of the combustion process will not only reduce capital and operating costs associated with heating barns or providing electricity for facilities, but it also will dramatically decrease the levels of air pollution and eutrophication (e.g., high nitrogen, phosphorus) potentially going into the nation’s largest estuary system, the university said. Most farms use this waste for fertilizer or landfills, which may cause aquatic life-killing nutrients to enter the watershed.
Currently, most of the chickenshit is used as high nitrogen, high phosphorus fertilizer on agricultural land that drains into the bay. Burning the waste will require the nitrogen in it to be reduced to N2 , and leave the phosphorus behind in the ash to be landfilled, or used as fertilizer elsewhere.

I think we're still a ways from this being a viable means of power production, unless it's heavily subsidized.

The Artless Dodgers at Clinton.com

George Will headlines this "Clinton.com" post, for noting how her message clashes with her actions:

Hillary Clinton’s dodginess is overpowering her message
Hillary Clinton’s reticence is drowning out her message, which is that she is the cure for the many ailments that afflict the United States during a second Democratic presidential term. Sen. Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) has called her “the most opaque person you’ll ever meet in your life,” but when opacity yields to the necessity of answering questions, here are a few:

Your first leadership adventure was when your husband entrusted you with health-care reform. Using a process as complex as it was secretive, you produced a proposal so implausible that a Democratic-controlled Congress would not even vote on it. Your legislation was one reason that in 1994 Democrats lost control of the House for the first time in 40 years. What did you learn from this futility and repudiation? . . .
Clinton Aide Worked on UAE Project While at State Department
Hillary Clinton’s top aide Cheryl Mills held several outside roles, including a board position with a UAE-funded university in Abu Dhabi, while working as chief of staff and counselor at the State Department, theWashington Free Beacon has learned.

After joining the State Department in the beginning of 2009, Mills continued to serve as general counsel for New York University for several months. She also sat on the board of the “NYU in Abu Dhabi Corporation,” the fundraising arm for the university’s UAE satellite campus. The school is bankrolled by the Abu Dhabi government and has been criticized by NYU professors and human rights activists for alleged labor abuses.

Mills resigned both positions in May 2009, according to a university spokesperson. Although she did not receive a direct salary from the Abu Dhabi board, she collected $198,000 over four months from NYU.

While the State Department told the Free Beacon that Mills did not start working as Clinton’s chief of staff until May 24, 2009, internal agency documents indicate she began months earlier.
Is it really too much to ask democrats either work for the US or work for a foreign power, pick one? And $800,000 a year for a part time job? I'm sure they weren't expecting any pull with the president to be in waiting or anything. . .

‘Clinton Cash’ author demolishes Hillary’s self-defense
Grave incompetence or brazen dishonesty?
Why choose when both can be true?
When WMUR local TV host Josh McElveen asked Clinton why her State Department greenlit the transfer of 20 percent of all US uranium to the Russian government, Clinton claimed she had no involvement in her own State Department’s decision to approve the sale of Uranium One to Russia.

“I was not personally involved because that wasn’t something the secretary of state did,” said Clinton.
My contention is that everything Hillary did as SecState was designed to either pay for or bolster her attempt to run for President, leaving State to fend for itself. And despite boneheaded crap like this, it was probably better that way.
The transfer of 20 percent of US uranium — the stuff used to build nuclear weapons — to Vladimir Putin did not rise to the level of Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s time and attention?
Beyond being an admission of extreme executive negligence on an issue of utmost national security, Hillary’s statement strains credulity to the breaking point for at least three other reasons. . . 
Read the rest.

But at least she's honestly incompetent, and released all the emails having to do with the State Dept, right? Wait:

State Dept.: 15 emails missing from Clinton cache
The State Department cannot find in its records all or part of 15 work-related emails from Hillary Rodham Clinton's private server that were released this week by a House panel investigating the 2012 attack in Benghazi, Libya, officials said Thursday.

The emails all predate the Sept. 11 assault on the U.S. diplomatic facility and include scant words written by Clinton herself, the officials said. They consist of more in a series of would-be intelligence reports passed to her by longtime political confidant Sidney Blumenthal, the officials said.

Nevertheless, the fact that the State Department says it can't find them among emails she provided surely will raise new questions about Clinton's use of a personal email account and server while secretary of state and whether she has provided the agency all of her work-related correspondence, as she claims.

Rep. Trey Gowdy, chairman of the Select Committee on Benghazi, released a statement Thursday saying, "This confirms doubts about the completeness of Clinton's self-selected public record and raises serious questions about her decision to erase her personal server — especially before it could be analyzed by an independent, neutral third-party arbiter."
Bloomingdales, Blumenthal, who can keep them straight? She probably just thought she was deleting spam.

Hillary to Speak at Event Named After Slave Owners
Hillary Clinton is scheduled to speak at the Virginia Democratic party's Jefferson-Jackson Dinner on Friday in northern Virgnia. The event is from 2-6 p.m. in Fairfax.

As an announcement on Clinton's website reads:
Hillary Clinton is coming to speak at the Democratic Party of Virginia's Jefferson-Jackson Event! We are taking this opportunity to talk to the hundreds of people who will attend and sign them up as Hillary supporters. Many volunteers will be needed, primarily before the event; you can volunteer AND see Hillary!
Just as the name suggests, the dinner is named for Thomas Jefferson and Andrew Jackson. Both former presidents of the United States. And both former slave owners.

Regarding Jefferson, CBS has explained that "The author of the Declaration of Independence, who wrote that all men are created equal, owned 600 slaves over his lifetime, and in addition to his legitimate children almost certainly fathered at least six children borne by his slave, Sally Hemings."

Jackson, known affectionately as the people's president, owned about a quarter of the number of slaves as Jefferson. As thehermitage.com reports, "In all reality, slavery was the source of Andrew Jackson’s wealth.
The Hermitage was a 1,000 acre, self-sustaining plantation that relied completely on the labor of enslaved African American men, women, and children. They performed the hard labor that produced The Hermitage’s cash crop, cotton. The more land Andrew Jackson accrued, the more slaves he procured to work it. Thus, the Jackson family’s survival was made possible by the profit garnered from the crops worked by the enslaved on a daily basis.
Sadly, we must now point out anytime a Democrat has had anything to do with slavery or racial discrimination, because history demands that they be rebuked in hindsight. However, as the Standard writer helpfully goes on to point out:
While Democrats traditionally speak at Jefferson-Jackson dinners, Republicans speak at a dinner named after the president who freed the slaves, Abraham Lincoln.

Stuff Ted Sends

Brother Ted has these drought updates from California:
If however you do, and you look close in the upper reaches of the canyon you can see the OLD Bridge just starting to show. This photo was taken 11 days ago and the bridge is almost completely out from end to end now.

That's New Melone's Lake, from Highway 49 (the new bridge) Parrot's Ferry Road (also called E18, shown, but not labeled on the map at this scale). It connects Vallecito with Springfield). Thanks for the correction, bro.

Not Your Average Water Slide

Wombat-socho checks in with "Rule 5 Sunday: Force It".

You've Been Droned

Thursday, June 25, 2015

The End of Obamacare Schadenfreude?

Roberts writes.

Subsidies are available!

Big sigh of relief.

Chaos avoided.

"This means that individuals who get their health insurance through an exchange established by the federal government will be eligible for tax subsidies."

The government wins. The Chief is joined by Kennedy, Ginsburg, Breyer, Sotomayor, and Kagan. Scalia has a dissenting opinion.
Justice Scalia dissents, joined by Justices Thomas and Alito. He finds clarity in the key phrase and proclaims: "Words no longer have meaning if an Exchange that is not established by a State is 'established by the State.'" He accuses the majority of "interpretive jiggery-pokery" in pursuit of "the overriding principle": "The Affordable Care Act must be saved."
The Court’s decision reflects the philosophy that judges should endure whatever interpretive distortions it takes in order to correct a supposed flaw in the statutory machinery.... We lack the prerogative to repair laws that do not work out in practice, just as the people lack the ability to throw us out of office if they dislike the solutions we concoct....
It is not our place to judge the quality of the care and deliberation that went into this or any other law. A law enacted by voice vote with no deliberation whatever is fully as binding upon us as one enacted after years of study, months of committee hearings, and weeks of debate. Much less is it our place to make everything come out right when Congress does not do its job properly. It is up to Congress to design its laws with care, and it is up to the people to hold them to account if they fail to carry out that responsibility....
Even Roberts had a little problem with the wording:
Chief Justice Roberts wrote that the words must be understood as part of a larger statutory plan. “In this instance,” he wrote, “the context and structure of the act compel us to depart from what would otherwise be the most natural reading of the pertinent statutory phrase.”

“Congress passed the Affordable Care Act to improve health insurance markets, not to destroy them,” he added. “If at all possible, we must interpret the act in a way that is consistent with the former, and avoids the latter.”
Admitting the law as written would destroy health care as we know it.

So all this old stuff is irrelevant:

Biggest Health Insurers to Get Even Bigger Under Obamacare - Yes, that was their goal when they "helped" the Democrats write the bill.

MIT Economist Jonathan Gruber Had Bigger Role in Health Law, Emails Show - But we already knew that, and that Obama and the Democrats lied about it.

Hey, who cares that they had to lie to get the law passed? All's well that ends well, I suppose.

Republicans Go On Obamacare Offensive: 'A Reckless Law' - Yeah, I'll bet Boehner's gonna be all over that now.

So You Want to Be Offended?

Here, Let Me Give You Something To Whine About
Apropos of Stacy’s post on the attempt to shove the Confederate flag down the memory hole, Michael Z. Williamson and his friends have some suggestions for a replacement flag guaranteed to offend just about everybody, but especially the members of the pro-slavery, pro-segregation Democratic party.

Also, some clever fellow has introduced a petition to strip former Senator and Klansman Robert Byrd’s name from everything.
An excellent plan, and Randy Barnett at Instapundit is getting a list of other Democratic Demigods who could be similarly targeted, including Woodrow Wilson. Sure, I'll let you ban the Confederate flag, if you give me JFK, RFK, and Woodrow as race villains in the history books.
If you want to actually buy a Confederate flag, if for no better reason than Amazon, Wal-Mart, Mitt Romney and other bien pensants think you shouldn’t have one, Cooter (Ben Jones) can fix you up. Or you can examine the fine selection at the Ruffin Flag Company of Georgia.

On the other hand, Comrade, if you prefer Officially Approved Symbols, Amazon can fix you up with merchandise commemorating that great (National) Socialist regime led by Chancellor Hitler. Meanwhile, Walmart can fix you up with iconography of that racist murderer revolutionary hero Che Guevara!

Mychal Massie has an opinion on the subject, and so does Zo Rachel. Also also, Allen West has some surprising news regarding the slain Charleston pastor’s opinion of the flag.
I myself have no use for the Confederate Flag. I was raised in California, and our history lessons were long on Mexican/Californian history and weak on the Civil War, which didn't impact California all that much.

But Civil War re-enacting is a big industry here in the southern border region Southern MD would likely have gone to the South if it weren't for the proximity to Washington DC, and the Potomac River.

If all the re-enactors on the southern side are force the hand make their own flags and regalia, they'll be too busy to line up and mock fight.

Dock Like a Boss

Midnite Music - "I Know It's Wrong (But That's Alright)"

Wombat-socho checks in with "Rule 5 Sunday: Force It".

Alynda Lee Segarra

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

SHARK Focusing on the Big Issues

Md. governor asked to stop Bay bowfishing tournament
Two animal protection groups are asking Maryland’s governor to prevent future competitions in which bowfishers hunt cownose rays.

Dozens took part in the first Patuxent River Battle of the Rays on June 13 in Mechanicsville, Maryland, on the tributary of the Chesapeake Bay.

The animal protection groups – SHARK (Showing Animals Respect and Kindness) and Fish Feel – on Monday released undercover video showing pregnant rays during the competition weigh-in process.

“What happened to these pregnant animals was truly horrifying,” said SHARK’s Stuart Chaifetz. “Contestants showed a complete disregard for life and caused incredible pain and suffering to these innocent animals.”

Chaifetz doesn’t want there to be a second Battle.

“We are calling on Maryland Governor Larry Hogan to take immediate action to stop these despicable and heinous tournaments from ever happening again.”

The cownose ray is a brown, kite-shaped ray with a long, whip-like tail that visits the Cheapeake Bay’s shallow waters in summer, according to the Chesapeake Bay Program.
The Cownose Rays are one of the features of Chesapeake summer. Large, powerful, and not particularly good eating, they are a bane to fisherman. Hooking one, especially on light tackle, feels like hooking a freight train. If you do succeed in fighting one back to the boat, the next question is what to do with it. If you're lucky, you might be able to get your terminal tackle loose without getting stung (yes, they are a sting-ray, with a nasty poison spine at the base of the tail) without lifting it into to boat, but in most cases it's simply easier to break them off. If you actually land it, then you have the problem of getting back over the side without getting stung.

They come in huge schools, and decimate oyster bars and clam beds. It is thought that they are currently in much greater numbers than ever, since their main predators, large sharks, have been sharply reduced by fishing. I don't particularly dislike rays, fighting one or two a year is amusing (but three or four in a day isn't, trust me), and I don't kill them when it happens. But I don't really care if fishermen who feel otherwise hold a bow fishing tournament. It would be better if they could sell them, though.

And I doubt that Gov. Hogan feels much about them either. And in any case, he has more important things to worry about:

Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan says he has ‘advanced’ form of cancer
An emotional Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan disclosed Monday that he has been diagnosed with late stage 3 non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, which he called “a very advanced and very aggressive” form of cancer.

At a hastily called news conference that felt more like an intimate family meeting, the 59-year-old Republican described the disease as a hurdle that he plans to surmount.

“I’m going to face this challenge with the same energy and determination that I’ve relied on to climb every hill and to overcome every obstacle that I’ve faced in my life,” said Hogan, who was sworn into office in January after winning an upset victory over then-Lt. Gov. Anthony G. Brown (D).

He said that he will soon begin an 18-week chemotherapy regimen that will begin with four days in the hospital, in the intensive care unit. The governor said he will rely on Lt. Gov. Boyd K. Rutherford to fill in for him on state business and to make decisions for him when necessary — an arrangement that was put in place at least once, when Hogan was under anesthesia for an hour and Rutherford was standing by in case of emergency.
I spoke with someone yesterday who has been battling non-Hodgkin's lymphoma for several years. While all cases are different, in many cases it can be controlled with chemotherapy.

My best wishes to Gov. Hogan and his family.

Chesapeake Bay Predicted to Have a Slightly Better Than Average Year

Scientists predict smaller than average dead zone for Chesapeake Bay
Scientists expect the Chesapeake Bay to see a slightly smaller than average dead zone this summer, due to reduced rainfall and less nutrient-rich runoff flowing into the Bay from the Susquehanna River this spring.

Dead zones are areas of little to no dissolved oxygen that form when nutrient-fueled algae blooms die and decompose. Resulting low-oxygen conditions can suffocate marine life. The latest forecast predicts an early-summer no-oxygen zone of 0.27 cubic miles, a mid-summer low-oxygen zone of 1.37 cubic miles and a late-summer no-oxygen zone of 0.28 cubic miles. This forecast, funded by the National Ocean and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), is based on models developed at the University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science and the University of Michigan.
Nutrient pollution and weather patterns influence dead zone size. According to the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), 58 million pounds of nitrogen entered the Bay in the spring of 2015, which is 29 percent lower than last spring’s nitrogen loadings.
As usual, let me note that weather (particularly winter and early spring storms) play a more important role in how the anoxia problem develops each year than the nutrient loading, which is declining slowly, if at all.

Actually, I don't think it's fair to say that the Chesapeake Bay as a whole is better. Rockfish (Striped Bass) populations are down, and both recreational and commercial fishing has been reduced, crabs are having yet another poor year. If the Bay is doing so well, why are some of its signature species in trouble? Allegedly, they've been managed to prevent such problems.

IRS Chutzpah Continues

Their last claim was that they were withholding them to remove possible duplicates, even though they had already been checked for duplicates, and it would be a super shame to make your adversaries sort through a few thousand emails to remove the duplicates (it might even cost them a couple of days of free intern time).

Now the IRS is claiming that they're not IRS emails to divulge:

A Shameless IRS Is STILL Withholding Lois Lerner Emails
Judge Sullivan required repeated sworn filings from the IRS. He even assigned a magistrate judge to oversee efforts to find the missing emails. It was during that process that government counsel filed two sworn declarations, obfuscating or eliding the truth that IRS destroyed Lois Lerner’s Blackberry despite the Congressional inquiry and the claimed computer crashes. Yet, to date, the IRS has not provided all the emails to Judicial Watch or identified what was found on the 1,268 backup tapes.

Now, according to the most recent filing by Judicial Watch, the IRS asserts that the emails are not records of the IRS. Being a Texan, I’m not 100 percent sure how to pronounce it, but “chutzpah” is the only word to describe this latest assertion. To borrow from Lewis Carroll, “Imagination is the only weapon in the war against reality.”
Having grown up in an area of West Los Angeles noted for it's Jewish population, I not only know how to pronounce it but what it means.  It's when a child accused of murdering his parents pleads orphan-hood before the court. I think it's a perfect analogy, for a Texican.
The IRS and its Department of Justice lawyers must be imagining that these emails were not repeatedly sought by Congress and Judicial Watch while in the possession of the IRS. The IRS must be imagining that its own commissioner never lied to Congress, the court and the public about their existence and purported efforts to find them. And it must be imagining that each of its seven filings in Judge Sullivan’s court did not fail to reveal the existence of the backup tapes.

It must be imagining that Judge Sullivan won’t remember the lengths to which he and the magistrate went to try to find the emails and any backups. And it is imagining that it can continue stalling and lying indefinitely, while no one in the government is held accountable for far more serious legal infractions than those for which ordinary citizens have been imprisoned.
Judge Sullivan should enliven the proceedings by sentencing a few top level official to jail for contempt of court, starting at the top with Koskinen, and proceeding down the administrative structure every couple of days until they come clean.
It took Judge Sullivan only two days to grant Judicial Watch’s request to require IRS to disclose whether all emails the inspector general found have been turned over to the IRS, where it stands in the review process, and how many of the 1,268 tapes have been processed for recovery or when that process will be complete.

Stunningly, in its response the IRS again said nothing. It simply punted to the Inspector General. It claims that because of that investigation, it cannot disclose more Lois Lerner or other emails. It just stalls.
It's pretty clear the the contents of the tapes are pretty awful or the IRS wouldn't be making the effort to withhold them. If they reflected badly on Republicans, they would have released leaked them before having been asked.

IRS delenda est.

JSF Ski Jump Takeoff

From one of my friends at Patuxent River Naval Air Station:

His commentary:
That's how the Brits launch. They don't have catapults on their carriers.

Thus, they are buying the STOVL (Short Takeoff Vertical Landing) version of the JSF. Same version our Marines are getting to replace the Harrier.
. . .
The doors for the lift fan and engine aux air intake open, the exhaust nozzle turns down, and the doors to the roll post nozzles open. All when the pilot selects STOVL mode.

After that, just hit the gas and go, the flight control computer senses the ramp, and adjusts the flight control surfaces (including the nozzle angle, and fan shutter angle) appropriate for the speed.

Years ago we tried flinging an F-18 up a ski jump. Without the benefit of the downward thrust, it had to be going quite a bit faster. The loads on the landing gear were not as bad as a carrier landing, but the fatigue life would have been significantly shortened, and that was the end of that experiment.
Linked at Wombat-socho's  In The Mailbox: 06.25.15 (Late SCOTUScare Gnashing Of Teeth Edition).

Clinton.com and the Confederacy

In a desperate attempt to politicize the tragic shooting in Charleston, S.C., and drive the black vote, liberals have zeroed in on the Confederate flag that flies in front of that state’s Capitol.

But will the move backfire on them?

While the media is rushing to get the leading Republican presidential candidates on record on the flag controversy, one candidate has been eerily quiet — Hillary Clinton.

Even though the 2016 Democratic Party presidential contender was eager to comment on gun control immediately following the shooting.

It turns out there is good reason.

In 1987, then-Arkansas Gov. Bill Clinton, her husband signed Act 116 that stated: “The blue star above the word “ARKANSAS” is to commemorate the Confederate States of America,” The Daily Caller reported.

And when the Confederate flag came up during the 2000 election, while Clinton was still president, Matt Drudge reported that the White House all but admitted that Clinton did little to remove the ‘confederate elements’ of the Arkansas state flag while he was governor.

Federal Judge Reopens Suit to Obtain Huma Abedin’s Clinton E-Mails
A federal judge has reopened a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit that aims to obtain e-mails between former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and her longtime aide, Huma Abedin, saying that the discovery of Clinton’s private server warranted the revival of the case.

Judicial Watch, a nonprofit watchdog group, asked the judge to find that Clinton had committed fraud, but he demurred, choosing instead to rely on a rule that allowed for the case to be reopened due to a change in circumstances. The State Department agreed that this rule applied. “The Court will rely upon that provision, rather than spilling ink to resolve their dispute as to whether Judicial Watch has submitted clear and convincing evidence of fraud by the State Department,” Judge Emmet Sullivan wrote in his order today.

Though Sullivan declined to definitively vindicate their fraud accusation, Judicial Watch hailed the ruling as a victory. “The reopening of this case brings Judicial Watch one step closer to forcing the State Department to ensure that the government records in Hillary Clinton’s ‘secret’ email system are properly preserved, protected and recovered as federal law requires,” Judicial Watch president Tom Fitton said in a statement. “Ms. Abedin is part of the Clinton cash-raising operation and was even involved in the Benghazi scandal, so this lawsuit could not be more timely.”
Does anyone want to bet against the chance that Ms. Abedin's emails from the Clinton.com server will be among the 30,000 emails that were deleted as personal?

Reports downplay key Hillary aide's role in suppressing State Dept. investigations
Hillary Clinton's chief of staff at the State Department played a role in covering up allegations that an ambassador had solicited prostitutes on the job, but it was papered over in a review of a botched inspector general probe published in October 2014.

The public version of the inspector general report suggests it was Patrick Kennedy, the undersecretary for management, who swept the allegations against Belgian Ambassador Howard Gutman under the rug in 2011.

But an internal version of the same report obtained by America Rising through the Freedom of Information Act and shared with the Washington Examiner reveals chief of staff Cheryl Mills' hand in protecting Gutman from an emerging internal probe.

While the public report only briefly mentions the fact that Mills attended a June 3, 2011 meeting with Gutman and Kennedy in Washington regarding the prostitution case, the internal version suggests Mills conducted the questioning of the ambassador.
New Emails Offer Window Into Blumenthal Role in Hillary Clinton’s Life
He advised then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton on the need for a “ferocious” bombing campaign in Libya during the U.S.’s 2011 military intervention. He sent flattering notes and told Mrs. Clinton she should take her rightful place in history for helping oust former Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi.

A new batch of emails released by a congressional committee Monday offers a rare window into the unique and complicated role that Sidney Blumenthal has played in the life of Mrs. Clinton, now the frontrunner for the Democratic presidential nomination.
The committee had asked Mr. Blumenthal for documents and deposed him last week as part of a broader investigation.
. . .
When the U.S. and other nations battled the Gadhafi regime in 2011, Mr. Blumenthal sent. Mrs. Clinton a string of emails to her private email account that often included intelligence assessments passed on from a source whom the Select Committee on Benghazi, which was created to probe the 2012 death of the U.S. ambassador there, identified as former CIA official Tyler Drumheller.

The correspondence has become one element of a broader investigation into the Obama administration’s handling of the Benghazi attacks and Mrs. Clinton’s exclusive use of a private email account when at the State Department, an unusual practice that critics assert allowed her to get around records-disclosure rules. Mrs. Clinton has agreed to testify before the committee; a date has not yet been set.
Remember, Sid Vicious Blumenthal is a political hack and hatchet man who is being paid untaxed money by Clinton.com.

A Wet One for Wednesday

Outtakes from "Rule 5" subject Erin Heatherton's SI Swim Suit shoot. I'm bushed from fishing. It's this or nothing.

Wombat-socho checks in with "Rule 5 Sunday: Force It". Also linke at Proof Positive in the weekly "Best of the Web".

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

I'm Back!

I got a call from Walleye Pete last night. It seems a client had canceled a fishing date, and he wanted me as crew for commercial hook and line trip. I met him and Mike, another "frequent fisher" in Deale at Paradise Marina at 6 AM, and left shortly afterward.
Pete is fishing in the upper middle bay this year instead of the southern middle bay because that's where the fish are. I think it's because when they are in low numbers, they need to crowd together in one area to school up and fish effectively. Just a theory.
Thomas Point Shoal Lighthouse on the fly.
Chesapeake Bay Bridge:
The Chesapeake Bay Bridge (commonly known as the "Bay Bridge") is a major dual-span bridge in the U.S. state of Maryland. Spanning the Chesapeake Bay, it connects the state's rural Eastern Shore region with the more urban Western Shore.

The original span opened in 1952 and with a length of 4.3 miles (6.9 km), was the world's longest continuous over-water steel structure; the parallel span was added in 1973.

No pictures of fishing. I was just too busy. It was harder than Pete expected, but we managed to catch over 30 fish, several over 10 lbs, and Pete mad more money than he would have guiding.

Striped Bass are sold in 3 grades; 2-4 lbs (basically 18-20 inch sized fish) for about $3/lb, 4-8 lb fish for about $4/lb, and 8+ lb size fish for $5/lb). We had six fish in the largest size class, when we checked them in at "Skippers" restaurant, bar and fish check in/buying station. Fresh rockfish on the menu tonight.
And you can even feed the ducks.