Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Reason #5747 That Trump Was Elected

'We tried nice guys': And they still called Mitt Romney a Nazi
Trump may be an unlikely favorite of the religious right but last November exit polls said he won 81% of white evangelicals – more than George W Bush, John McCain or Mitt Romney. Michele Bachmann, a former congresswoman from Minnesota and candidate for the Republican presidential nomination, called Trump’s victory “proof positive of what the Lord did”.

“He knows he is the president of United States today because evangelical Christians came out and supported him,” she said in her address.

In hallways after Trump’s speech, attendees buzzed with excitement.

“It’s like a cloud has lifted,” said Pat Flynn, who came with a group of women from Catholics for Freedom of Religion. “When Obama was in, everything was sad. Nothing was good. Now look – look at the smiling faces. Look at people getting jobs again.”

She said she had a conversation with a nun earlier who wished Trump would speak – and tweet – less. But Flynn believed that his“gift of gab” and “wiseguy” bravado was exactly why he was elected.

“We tried nice guys,” she said. “We had John McCain. Mitt Romney. They were nice, smiling at everybody, but they couldn’t beat out Hillary. Romney, I mean come on. The only thing people remember about him is that he tied a dog to his roof.”
A lot of the heroes of the bible were less than perfect. But they fought. Trump fights.

Midnite Music - "When I Get Low, I Get High"

The Speakeasy Three

Monday, October 16, 2017

Striped Bass YOY Comes in Slightly Above Average

And MDDNR is selling it like a landslide: Striped Bass Survey Shows Healthy Population Growth
Results of the Maryland Department of Natural Resources 2017 young-of-year striped bass survey in the Chesapeake Bay shows the fish is reproducing in strong numbers. The annual survey’s index is 13.2, above the 64-year average of 11.7.

I managed to find a graph with all the data except 2017, but you get the idea. The inter-annual variation is huge, and while an average year is OK, it's not really a big deal. The population is made or broken with the really good years, which produce many times the "average."
Striped bass, popularly known as rockfish, is Maryland’s state fish. The fish spawns in the Chesapeake Bay and its tributaries each spring. The survey is conducted annually to track the reproductive success of this important species and help predict future abundance.

The index represents the average number of young-of-year striped bass – those less than 1 year old – captured in 132 samples.

“Strong reproduction in three of the past seven years is an encouraging sign for the coastal population and future fishing opportunities,” Fishing and Boating Services Director Dave Blazer said.

During this year’s survey, department biologists collected more than 33,000 fish of 62 species, including 1,741 young-of-year striped bass. The most productive area surveyed for rockfish was the upper Chesapeake Bay, their largest spawning area.

Results of this year’s survey also showed high white perch reproduction in the upper bay and Nanticoke River. Additionally, the survey found American shad reproduction was above average, primarily due to its success in the Potomac River.
So shad in the mainstem tributaries and Susquehanna are still failing.

Judge Gives Baltimore 13 Years . . .

Longer to pollute the Bay: Judge approves disputed plan to fix Baltimore’s sewage overflows
Brushing aside an environmental group’s objection, a federal judge has given the city of Baltimore another 13 years to eliminate the chronic sewage overflows that frequently render local streams and the harbor unsafe for recreation.

U.S. District Judge J. Frederick Motz approved a consent decree on Thursday spelling out a new plan for overhauling Baltimore’s aged, leaky sewer system. It modifies the initial agreement reached in 2002 with federal and state regulators, which had given the city until January 2016 to fix its problems. Despite spending nearly $1 billion on repairs over that time, by city officials’ estimates, the overflows continue.

The revised plan, which was originally unveiled in June 2016, drew criticism from local residents and environmental groups. It was revised after closed-door talks and resubmitted in late August, with provisions added to address sewage backups in homes and to provide more information to the public.

Under the new agreement, the city pledges to carry out a series of upgrades that it projects should reduce overflows by 80 percent after four years, with further improvements to be completed by the end of 2030. The projected cost of the new work is $1.6 billion, with much of that to be borne by local residents and businesses, though federal and state funds have been offered to lighten the burden on ratepayers.

The bulk of the overflows should be remedied, city officials say, by fixing a major misalignment in the “headworks” of the city’s Back River wastewater treatment plant. That causes a 10-mile backup of sewage beneath Baltimore and significantly reduces the capacity of the system to handle additional flows during heavy rains.
I guess they'll have to buy a few more pardons.

Reason #5746 That Trump Was Elected

Sometimes the Brits say things our own press is loathe to admit. From the Daily Mail: Trump and the dismantling of Obama's legacy
Brick by brick, the demolition job has begun: since taking office less than a year ago, Donald Trump has launched an all-out assault on the legacy of Barack Obama.

Climate, free trade, health care, immigration, foreign policy -- the 45th US president has set about undoing just about everything done by the 44th.

All new presidents, of course, break with their predecessor once in the Oval Office, especially if they come from a rival political party.

But what is striking is how systematic the hammer blows to Obama's legacy have been.

And rather than throw his weight behind new policies or projects, Trump has shown a willful desire to unpick, shred and erase everything his predecessor accomplished.
. . .
The Trans-Pacific Partnership? Within days of taking office, Trump signed an order pulling America out of the free trade accord, the fruit of eight years of negotiations between 12 Asia-Pacific countries, from Chile to Canada and Japan.
. . .
The Paris climate accord? Obama played a leading role in attaining that milestone in the effort to combat global warming. Trump pulled out of the agreement signed by 195 countries, claiming that it "punishes the United States" and declaring: "I was elected to represent the citizens of Pittsburgh, not Paris."

What about Obamacare, the signature legislative achievement of Obama's first term? After trying in vain to get Congress to repeal it, Trump is now working to bring about its collapse through the regulatory process.

And the Iranian nuclear accord? The bid to prevent Tehran from developing a nuclear weapon in return for a lifting of sanctions more than any other bore came to represent Obama's approach to world affairs. "This deal will have my name on it," the Democratic president said shortly before it was concluded. "Nobody has a bigger personal stake in making sure that it delivers on its promise."

While Trump has stopped short of tearing up the Iran deal, as he threatened on the campaign trail, on Friday he warned he could do so "at any time," raising doubts about the fate of an accord born of years of painstaking diplomacy.
It's what he was elected to do.

But There's No Institutional Bias Against Conservatives at ESPN

Britt McHenry, a former cable host, has admitted that when she worked at Disney-owned sports cable network ESPN, her employers warned her not to engage with conservatives on Twitter or face trouble from her left-wing bosses.

Henry appeared on Fox Business Network this week to reveal that her ESPN bosses said she was not even allowed to “like” conservative tweets on social media platform Twitter, Gateway Pundit revealed.

On Fox Busines Network’s “Varney & Co.,” Henry revealed just how far left ESPN really is behind the scenes.

Maybe she's trying out for a gig at Fox? She's got the right hair color.
Britt McHenry: I can just speak from being conservative a lot of people who felt the way I did were timid to express their opinions… I was told not to even “like” conservative tweets on Twitter.
Stuart Varney:Who told you not to like conservative tweets… Was it ESPN management?
Britt McHenry: Yes. Yes.
Britt was last seen here back in April 2015, when she was seen berating the attendant at a possibly crooked parking operation for impounding her ride.
 Two months later, she tweeted that one of the reasons she was terminated was because she was a conservative.

Two years is enough time in the wilderness.

Sunday, October 15, 2017

What! No Soft Crab?

Swiped from Theo's Pic Dump................

Reason #5745 That Trump Was Elected

From Doug Sosnik, a Democratic political strategist a senior adviser to President Bill Clinton from 1994 to 2000: Trump is on track to win reelection. And he's not happy about it. Why?
We have entered a new era in American politics. The 2016 election exposed how economic, social and cultural issues have splintered the country and increasingly divided voters by age, race, education and geography. This isn’t going to change.

What have changed are the political fault lines that have driven the debate since the early 1980s. Until now, the ideological divides between the parties were largely differences around social issues, defense spending and trade, as well as tax cuts for the wealthy and corporations. Today, the central issue has become populism as voters have moved away from the two political parties and increasingly self-identified as independents.

In 2016, Trump capitalized on this changing political environment. He consolidated the growing number of angry voters who felt let down by the people and institutions controlling power in the country. Trump’s support from these voters is personal, not ideological. . .

First, Trump knows that gaining the support of a majority of voters in a presidential election is not a requirement; it’s simply an aspiration. In fact, two out of the last three presidents were elected despite losing the popular vote.

Second, the continued decline in support for both political parties works to Trump’s advantage. The lack of voters’ faith in both parties increases the probability that there will be a major third-party candidate on the 2020 ballot. It will also lead to other minor-party candidates joining the presidential race. The multi-candidate field will further divide the anti-Trump vote, making it possible for him to get reelected simply by holding on to his current level of support.

Third, despite dismal poll numbers, Trump enters the contest with a job approval rating that is certainly at least marginally better than what the current national polls would suggest. Throughout the 2016 election, most analysts tracked the national polling, which failed to capture Trump’s strength in key battleground states. Current surveys continue to understate his support.
. . .
Fourth, Trump’s support has largely remained durable with a core group of supporters. These are the voters Trump was referring to when he said that he could stand in the middle of Fifth Avenue and shoot someone and he wouldn’t lose votes. There is another group of Trump followers whose support isn’t unequivocal, but they have stayed with him because they still believe he will blow up the system and bring about real change.

Your Morning Rise and Shine

So how about something new, like a big name liberal Hollywood director being accused of sexual harassment by a then wannabe actress and former Playmate! Former Playboy Playmate Carrie Stevens accuses Oliver Stone of sexual assault after director defends Harvey Weinstein
While Oliver Stone defended Harvey Weinstein amid more than a dozen allegations of sexual harassment and assault, a former Playboy Playmate accused the “Platoon” director of sexual assault.

Carrie Stevens, who was best known as Playboy’s Playmate of the Month in June 1997 but also had several small movie and TV roles, claimed Thursday that Stone had grabbed her breast at a party.

That takes big hands!
The 48-year-old model told the Daily News that she was at a party at producer Ted Field's home in honor of Stone more than 20 years ago when Stone walked up to her standing by the front door.

"He was really cocky, had this big grin on his face like he was going to get away with something," Stevens, who was 22 at the time, told The News.

At that point, Stone "reached out and...honked it like a horn," she said, describing him as "an immature guy in elementary school who snaps your bra."

Well come on, if you're a guy, you know you want to. It's just that us civilized people have been taught better, and don't have the sense of entitlement of a Hollywood director.
Stevens said she was surrounded by other people, but nobody said anything.

"That's what's going on in Hollywood. That's why things have to change. He's Oliver Stone. Nobody's going to say anything," she told The News.

Saturday, October 14, 2017

Floron du Jour

A Florida woman was shocked last week when she was confronted with a naked intruder in her house -- eating pineapple.

Mary Hamilton, 63, told deputies she went inside the St. Augustine home on Oct. 5 because “the door was open for me to come inside,” St. Johns County Sheriff’s Office told News4Jax.

After the homeowner discovered the nude intruder eating canned pineapple, she retreated to her car and called police.

Hamilton reportedly went inside the home, seized a shirt that belonged to the homeowner’s son and consumed some leftovers from the refrigerator, deputies said.
Who among us hasn't wandered naked around the neighborhood, checking for open doors, and helping ourselves to their clothes and  food?

Zachary Tomko                Holly O'Neil
And the Masshole's of the day: Skinny dippers disrupt wedding reception
 A pair of skinny-dippers gave a wedding reception at a scenic Massachusetts restaurant more of a view than expected.

Zachary Tomko tells WHDH-TV he didn't realize there was a restaurant nearby when he and Holly O'Neil jumped naked into the water at Salisbury Beach on Saturday.

Salisbury Police Chief Thomas Fowler tells The Boston Globe his department received several calls about the nude swimmers from both beachgoers and members of the wedding party.

Fowler says police charged 29-year-old Tomko and 20-year-old O'Neil, of Londonderry, New Hampshire, with disorderly conduct.

Bride Leah Allen says the swimmers made for a "really interesting wedding day," and she applauded them for braving the cold water.
Now that's a good sport.  Both cribbed from "Saturday Morning Weird News Dump" at Ace's.

Reason #5744 That Trump Was Elected

Unemployment claims fall to lowest level in 43 years, despite hurricanes
The total number of laid-off workers receiving unemployment benefits fell to 1.89 million at the end of September, the Department of Labor reported Thursday, the lowest such mark in nearly 44 years.

And new claims for unemployment benefits dropped 15,000 to 243,000 in the first full week of October, according to the agency, as the job market bounces back from hurricane damage even faster than forecasters expected.

Low new jobless claims are a good sign. They indicate that layoffs are rare, and accordingly that job creation is strong.
. . .
Prior to the landfall of Hurricanes Harvey, Irma, and Maria, claims had been running at ultra-low rates. With Texas and Florida now recovering, new claims again appear to be sinking to levels that indicate robust job creation. First-time claims in the states most affected by the storms are still high, but have fallen in recent weeks.

"The data suggest that payrolls will bounce back quickly after last month's hurricane-related weakness and that the underlying trend in employment growth remains strong -- more than strong enough to keep the unemployment rate declining," noted Jim O'Sullivan, chief U.S. economist for High-Frequency Economics.
 Linked at Pirate's Cove in the weekly "Sorta Blogless Sunday Pinup" and links.

Hollywood is for the Birds

Rose McGowan has Hollywood Burning: Rose McGowan Goes Nuclear on Amazon/Weinstein Link
We’re at DefCon One now:
Rose McGowan is claiming that Amazon optioned a television series from her only to kill it while still in development after she voiced her concern about a possible move the company was making to bailout ‘Weinstein.’
‘I told the head of your studio that HW raped me. Over & over I said it. He said it hadn’t been proven. I said I was the proof,’ said McGowan on Thursday in a tweet directed at company founder Jeff Bezos.
‘I had already sold a script I wrote to your studio, it was in development. When I heard a Weinstein bailout was in the works.’
She then added: ‘I forcefully begged studio head to do the right thing. I was ignored. Deal was done. Amazon won a dirty Oscar.’
‘HW’ is apparently a reference to Harvey Weinstein, whose representative Sallie Hofmeister has said that he client ‘unequivocally denies … any allegations of non-consensual contact.’
It's getting as bloody as a Tarantino flick.
An hour after she posted her tweets, Amazon got hit with sexual harassment allegations of their own after an employee said in an interview that Roy Price made unwanted sexual advances towards her at a work event.
‘You will like my dick,’ Price allegedly told his lesbian co-worker just hours after meeting her for the first time.
Amazon did not respond to repeated requests for comment, but Price was put on leave by the company on Thursday.
You can read the Price story at The Hollywood Reporter. The reference to a “dirty Oscar” was in regard to Casey Affleck’s Best Actor award for Manchester by the Sea. Two women have accused Affleck of sexual harassment. Is every man in Hollywood a harasser?
Yeah, I know, yesterday's news, but speaking of old, but new news, the article also shows how Hitch wooed his actresses:
Meanwhile, Tippi Hedren — who starred in Alfred Hitchcock’s 1963 classic The Birds — says she turned down Hitchcock’s advances and he made good on his threat to “ruin” her career in Hollywood

It’s difficult to imagine Alfred Hitchcock as a sexual predator, but who knows? True or not, what’s the point of making such an accusation against a guy after he’s been dead for 37 years? This is just sad.

Post Obamacare Schadenfreude Bliss

I didn't really want to do another one so soon, but right after I pushed publish on the last one, Wombat-socho posted this "In The Mailbox: 10.13.17" with this link to an excellent essay by the usually sensible but always interesting Megan McArdle on Trump's decision to revoke the subsidy funding for Obamacare insurers: 

Obamacare Was Built With the Flaws Trump Now Exploits
. . . After threatening it for months, the president has finally ended the cost-sharing reduction payments to insurers, which subsidize the provision of special policies with lower out-of-pocket expenses for people who make less than 250 percent of the federal poverty line. At the very least, this will probably mean a further increase in premiums, and growing instability in at least the parts of the individual market that aren’t eligible for subsidies to offset the increase. At worst, especially if it gets bogged down in lawsuits, it may cause insurers to say “enough is enough,” leaving broad areas of the country without any firm willing to sell individual policies through the Obamacare exchanges.

While the Congressional Budget Office has issued a delightfully counterintuitive forecast that ending the subsidies could actually increase insurance coverage, there’s little question in my mind that these policies are bad for the exchanges.  At the very least, I think we can all agree that they put the exchanges at greater risk. There is also little question that this is at least part of the reason that the administration is pursuing them. And yet, believe it or not, there are still arguments for both.

It has become evident that millions of uninsured Americans are uninterested in buying insurance on the exchanges, because it’s too expensive, or the “narrow networks” don’t cover enough doctors and hospitals. The new options the administration aims to create could be a genuine boon to those people. If you have spent years bemoaning the dire fate of the uninsured, you have to take that benefit seriously.

As for ending the subsidies … what am I, some sort of monster? Do I just hate the poor so much that I can’t stand to see them getting help paying for health care? Well, no. I have no particular objection to the payments as policy. Except for one small thing, which is that they seem to be sort of illegal. . .
Read the whole thing,; it won't hurt that much. Also from  "In The Mailbox: 10.13.17" , Legal Insurrections Trump Throws Another Blow at Obamacare, Reportedly Scrapping Obamacare Insurer Subsidy Payments and Don Surber reports Fake News on Obamacare:
Bleating Democratic talking points.
CBS: "Trump Cutting Obamacare Insurance Subsidies."
CNN: "Trump begins Obamacare dismantling with executive order."
NBC: "White House Says It Will End Key Obamacare Subsidies to Insurers."
President Trump had no choice.
The money was never appropriated.
 And to round out the news, Rand Paul Squashes The Idea That Trump’s New Healthcare Order Will Hurt The Poor
According to Paul, the ability for many low-income workers to come together to form a group represented by one person would give the power to the consumer, allowing many who can’t afford good insurance plans on their own to become a pile of accumulated money that can.

Paul said that this kind of group plan “requires no discrimination,” and “protects against pre-existing conditions,” since the coverage would be the same kind you get at big corporations. Corporations do not refuse you employment because you have a pre-existing condition, or fire you because you get sick.

Paul explained that his plan that was enacted on Thursday allows individuals to have the same purchasing power as corporations, essentially putting purchasing power into the hands of the people.
That makes almost too much sense to be true.

Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) is signaling Democrats will try to get ObamaCare's insurer subsidy payments included in a December funding deal, adding another legislative item to an already packed end-of-the-year schedule.

"I think we're going to have a very good opportunity in the omnibus to get this done in a bipartisan way, if we can't get it done sooner," Schumer told reporters during a conference call on Friday.

"Democrats are going to work very hard to get these cost-sharing payments restored, but remember there are a whole lot of Republicans who want to get them restored, too."

Rule 5 Saturday - Lea Seydoux Knew

It's getting hard to keep excited about the Harvey Weinstein scandal, which seems to have confirmed and surpassed our worst fears about Hollywood. Question: Did he inspire the character and image of Jabba the Hutt? Anyway, Actress Lea Seydoux: ‘Everyone Knew What Harvey Was Up To’
French actress Lea Seydoux joins a growing list of women who say Harvey Weinstein tried to initiate an unwanted sexual encounter with her. Writing in the Guardian she says Weinstein demanded to meet her for drinks after a fashion show. She says he kept looking her over “as if I was a piece of meat.” She was invited up to his room and went. After a female assistant was dismissed, Weinstein literally pounced:
We were talking on the sofa when he suddenly jumped on me and tried to kiss me. I had to defend myself. He’s big and fat, so I had to be forceful to resist him. I left his room, thoroughly disgusted. I wasn’t afraid of him, though. Because I knew what kind of man he was all along.
That seems to be a general consensus, despite Meryl Streep and Hillary Clinton's somehow being unable to see. But would she have protested if he looked more like Brad Pitt?
Seydoux says she saw Weinstein making similar moves on a young actress at a subsequent event. “That’s the most disgusting thing,” she writes, “Everyone knew what Harvey was up to and no one did anything. It’s unbelievable that he’s been able to act like this for decades and still keep his career.”
She probably doesn't understand US politics either.
But Lea Seydoux suggests there are many more Weinsteins out there. Without naming names, she says she’s encountered similar behavior from several of her previous directors:

The first time a director made an inappropriate comment to me, I was in my mid-20s. He was a director I really liked and respected. We were alone and he said to me: “I wish I could have sex with you, I wish I could f**k you.”
Really? That long?  But he was just being honest!
He said it in a way that was half joking and half serious. I was very angry. I was trying to do my job and he made me very uncomfortable. He has slept with all of the actresses he filmed.

Good work if you can get it!
Another director I worked with would film very long sex scenes that lasted days. He kept watching us, replaying the scenes over and over again in a kind of stupor. It was very gross.
Yet another director tried to kiss me. Like Weinstein, I had to physically push him away, too.
She concludes her piece saying, “This industry is based on desirable actresses.” That’s certainly true. There’s a reason so many of the woman around Weinstein were world famous stars and it’s not solely because they could act. In fact, there’s a reason that the pipeline for Hollywood talent often comes from professional modeling agencies.

A very European girl, Lea has no particular problem with nudity in movies or advertising (NSFW links).
She first came to attention after she received her first César Award nomination for her performance in The Beautiful Person (2008) and won the Trophée Chopard, an award given to promising actors at the Cannes Film Festival.

Since then, she has appeared in major Hollywood films including Inglourious Basterds (2009), Robin Hood (2010), Midnight in Paris (2011) and Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol (2011). In French cinema, she was nominated for the César Award for Most Promising Actress for a second time for her role in Belle Épine (2010) and was nominated for the César Award for Best Actress for her role as a lady-in-waiting to Marie Antoinette in the film Farewell, My Queen (2012).

In 2013, Seydoux came to widespread attention when she was awarded the Palme d'Or at the Cannes Film Festival for her role as a lesbian art student in the critically acclaimed film Blue Is the Warmest Colour. That same year, she also received the Lumières Award for Best Actress for the film Grand Central and, in 2014, she was nominated for the BAFTA Rising Star Award and starred in the films Beauty and the Beast, The Grand Budapest Hotel and Saint Laurent. She gained international attention for her appearance as Bond girl Madeleine Swann in Spectre (2015).
GOODSTUFF continues his absence. I'm starting to worry. Linked at Pirate's Cove in the weekly "Sorta Blogless Sunday Pinup" and links. Wombat-socho links with "Rule 5 Sunday: Pussycat No More" and "FMJRA 2.0: Casanova".

Friday, October 13, 2017

Chesapeake Menace Gets a New Name

Scientists uncover a centuries-old case of mistaken identity in the Chesapeake Bay
Jellyfish sting swimmers, clog fishing nets, and in high numbers can close beaches. But despite their nuisance to humans, they play an important role in the marine ecosystem - including in the Chesapeake Bay, where they protect commercially valuable Eastern oysters from predators.
Huh? I've never heard that, and I can't think of an oyster predator that would be affected much by the Sea Nettles.
Scientists recently discovered that some jellyfish in the Bay are quite different from their ocean cousins. This led scientists from NOAA and the Smithsonian Institution's National Museum of Natural History to declare them as two different species. The newly recognized bay nettle jellies (Chrysaora chesapeakei) are noticeably smaller than their saltwater relatives, and have only half as many tentacles.

Does having fewer tentacles mean less of a sting? Likely not. But this new discovery may inspire other scientists to take a closer look at jellies in other parts of the world to see if there are other cases of mistaken identity.
What a lousy article. It doesn't even bother to go into how the investigators determined that the Bay's Sea Nettles were different than their open ocean sister species. But as I suspected, it was DNA not the tentacle count.

Trumping Obamacare Schadenfreude

A lot of new developments since the last update, but lets get back and remind ourselves why Obamacare sucks for the country (although it can be a pretty sweet deal, especially if you're an insurance company):

Obamacare's death spiral continues: Democrats Need To Admit That ObamaCare Failed. But that would require honesty and self-reflection. As Deadline Approaches, Anthem Pulls Out Of Obamacare Exchange In Maine. Thank Susan Collins. Michelle Malkin reports Obama Lied. My FOURTH Health Plan Died. Mary Katherine Ham  Schools #Resistance troll in back-and-forth over Obamacare. Trolls are notoriously difficult to school. Majority of Households Paying Obamacare Penalty Are Low and Middle-Income. And probably not Obama voters.

Just an ancient history link now Obamacare’ survives; GOP concedes on last-gasp repeal try  The Republican Fight to Repeal Obamacare Is 'Dead as a Doornail.' For Now. So now you tell us Lindsey Graham: I Didn’t Really Know What I Was Doing On Health Care, And Neither Did Other Republicans. You might have thought about that before the last election.  Why The Republican Health-Care Bill Keeps Coming Back From The Dead. Because it needs to.  John McCain Ran On Repealing Obamacare. He Broke His Promise. Yep, and he seems to be heading the same way on tax reform for the same reason. Then he could always vote with some Democrats.  He should just officially change his party registration. But then he wouldn't be a "maverick" (a little lost cow). Pro-Lifers Call Obamacare Repeal Failure ‘Unacceptable’- Failure to defund Planned Parenthood infuriates pro-life groups. It infuriates me too, and I'm not exactly pro-life. GOP Lawmaker: McConnell Snubs 'Judeo-Christianity Land,' Moses by Not Repealing ObamacareDISPATCHES FROM THE HOUSE OF STEPHANOPOULOS: ABC World News Tonight anchor David Muir Gushes to Kimmel: People ‘Will Remember’ Your ‘Bravery’ ‘Standing Up’ For Health Care. Flashback: George Stephanopoulos discloses $75,000 contribution to Clinton Foundation.

Jump forward a few days and find Trump says he called Schumer to broker deal with Democrats for ‘a great HealthCare Bill’, which is basically a way to guarantee further Democratic obstruction. Then something interesting started to happen. Trump found his pen and phone, and started gutting Obamacare: Trump Administration Rolls Back Obama Rule on Birth-Control Coverage. So the nuns don't have to pay for birth control anymore. Trump Executive Order Would Give People An Out From ObamaCare; Dems Want To 'Save' ObamaCare By Closing All The Exits. And  Trump Drains Obamacare’s Regulatory Swamp:
Having provoked much progressive sputtering and head spinning last Friday by issuing new regulations weakening the notorious HHS contraception mandate, President Trump is poised to sign an executive order that will further dry up Obamacare’s regulatory morass. The Wall Street Journal reports that the order will expand enrollee options restricted by the Obama administration — allowing coverage to be purchased through association health plans, encouraging the sale of short-term medical insurance, and permitting pretax funds from health reimbursement accounts (HRAs) to be used for premiums on health plans. The impending order has already drawn satisfying charges of “sabotage” from Obamacare apologists.
Rand Paul Says Trump’s Obamacare Order ‘Has The Potential To Be Amazing’
“Millions of people are going to choose it and it doesn’t force people to do anything,” Paul said. “My plan today that the president enacted costs zero.”
Trump: ‘We’re Going to Have Great Health Care Across State Lines’, then  President Trump Signs Executive Order That Will Allow Sale of Health Insurance Across State Lines
The order is intended to expand choices to current Obamacare plans and increase competition so that costs come down for consumers.

"The time has come to give Americans the freedom to purchase health insurance across state lines, which will create a truly competitive national marketplace that will bring costs way down and provide far better care," President Trump said.
Trump On ObamaCare Insurer Subsidies: Guess What? We Checked The Budget And The Constitution, And …"Surprise! It turns out that Congress didn’t fund direct subsidy payments to health insurers." And then the final (at least so far) cut: Trump declares Obamacare payments illegal; deals second blow to health law. Well, we all knew that the payments were not authorized by Congress, and thus illegal, but democrats had been ignoring that little detail. By way of Wombat-socho's "In The Mailbox: 10.12.17". Powerline explains how Trump Takes An Important First Step On Healthcare
The Washington Post, of course, went into a hissy fit: Trump to end key ACA subsidies, a move that will threaten the law’s marketplaces Trump to end key ACA subsidies, a move that will threaten the law’s marketplaces. Well yes, because they were being illegally subsidized. If you don't like it, fix it. Trump moves from firing shots at Obamacare to all-out warTrump’s Obamacare order could destroy the health-care system. No, but it could destroy Obamacare, which is a good thing. Throwing a bomb into the insurance markets, Trump now owns the broken health-care system. It's still got Obama's name on it.

The Brits got into the act, with the Daily Mail intoning Trump to end subsidy payments to Obamacare insurers in a move derided by Democrats as 'spiteful act of vast, pointless sabotage'

State AGs ready to sue Trump over health care subsidies. You won't be able to guess which states, right?

Reason #5742 - #5743 That Trump Was Elected

The End Of The War On Coal?
Back when Barack Obama was first rolling out his new Clean Power Plan in 2012 there were immediate questions about it. While it was still in the development phase, it was recognized by most conservatives for what it truly was: a backdoor energy tax. The details were onerous enough to raise concerns that many plants would simply need to shut down rather than managing to keep going until they could afford to transition to natural gas.

Those concerns are off the table as of these week… at least for the immediate future. The EPA is announcing that the Clean Power Plan is being withdrawn after concluding that it was an expensive overreach by the federal government delivering little in the way of returns on investment. Fox News has the details.
EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt announced Monday that the Trump administration is moving to scrap the Clean Power Plan, the Obama administration’s signature regulatory program to curb emissions from coal-fired power plants.
Pruitt made the announcement at an event in Hazard, Ky. He said that on Tuesday, he will sign a proposed rule to formally withdraw from the plan.
The decision comes after President Trump in late March ordered a review of the controversial program, which was put on hold more than a year ago by the Supreme Court amid legal challenges from, among others, Pruitt himself.
 Trump's $33 Billion Tax Cut You Didn't Know You Just Got
In getting rid of this odious regulatory law, the U.S. dodged a big bullet. A study conducted by the American Action Forum, a conservative-leaning think tank, estimated in 2015 that at least 125,000 jobs would be lost and 66 coal-fired plants would be shut down by 2030 under Obama's plan. Moreover, nearly half the nation's coal energy would be lost due to the imposition of just one rule, and whole communities would have been impoverished.

Predictably, extremist green groups, who thought they had found their champion in Obama, have been outraged. Greenpeace Climate Director James Kelly sounded almost cartoonish, calling the cautious Pruitt a "dangerously corrupt fossil-fuel errand boy." No word yet of any offer from Greenpeace to support the families that lose jobs and houses as a result of the group's environmental extremism.

When it came to the Clean Power Plan, the left didn't really care about CO2 or global warming. They wanted power. In that sense, the Clean Power Plan's very name should have been a big hint. It represented a major shift of power from the states, which have traditionally regulated their own utilities, and handed it to green bureaucrats burrowed deeply in the federal government.

It would have given federal bureaucrats insane control over our nation's economy. Instead, as the new estimate suggests, Americans quietly will get a $33 billion reduction in their future utility bills, thanks to Trump and Pruitt.
Until Washington D.C. goes on wind and solar, I prefer nuclear, but as Puerto Rico just found out, it's better to have electricity than not.

Fish Pic Friday - Smells Like Tuna!

A tuna is a saltwater fish that belongs to the tribe Thunnini, a sub-grouping of the mackerel family (Scombridae). Thunnini comprises fifteen species across five genera, the sizes of which vary greatly, ranging from the bullet tuna (max. length: 50 cm (1.6 ft), weight: 1.8 kg (4 lb)) up to the Atlantic bluefin tuna (max. length: 4.6 m (15 ft), weight: 684 kg (1,508 lb)). The bluefin averages 2 m (6.6 ft), and is believed to live for up to 50 years.

Tuna and mackerel sharks are the only species of fish that can maintain a body temperature higher than that of the surrounding water. An active and agile predator, the tuna has a sleek, streamlined body, and is among the fastest-swimming pelagic fish – the yellowfin tuna, for example, is capable of speeds of up to 75 km/h (47 mph). Found in warm seas, it is extensively fished commercially, and is popular as a game fish. As a result of overfishing, stocks of some tuna species, such as the southern bluefin tuna, are close to extinction.

The tuna is a sleek and streamlined fish, adapted for speed. It has two closely spaced dorsal fins on its back; The first is "depressible" – it can be laid down, flush, in a groove that runs along its back. Seven to ten yellow finlets run from the dorsal fins to the tail, which is lunate – curved like a crescent moon – and tapered to pointy tips. The caudal peduncle, to which the tail is attached, is quite thin, with three stabilizing horizontal keels on each side. The tuna's dorsal side is generally a metallic dark blue, while the ventral side, or underside, is silvery or whitish, for camouflage.
Dr. Ball (right)

Thunnus are widely but sparsely distributed throughout the oceans of the world, generally in tropical and temperate waters at latitudes ranging between about 45° north and south of the equator. All tunas are able to maintain the temperature of certain parts of their body above the temperature of ambient seawater. For example, bluefin can maintain a core body temperature of 25–33 °C (77–91 °F), in water as cold as 6 °C (43 °F). However, unlike "typical" endothermic creatures such as mammals and birds, tuna do not maintain temperature within a relatively narrow range.
I've eaten it, but not caught it.

Wombat-socho links with "Rule 5 Sunday: Pussycat No More".

Thursday, October 12, 2017

Maryland Rolls Out New Nutrient Trading Regs

 The Maryland Department of the Environment has proposed regulations to establish the Maryland Water Quality Trading Program and accelerate the restoration of the Chesapeake Bay while bringing economic benefits to Maryland. The regulations are proposed under Maryland environmental law to ensure enforcement and accountability under the federal Clean Water Act.

The proposed regulations are designed to provide greater flexibility and reduce costs in achieving Maryland’s goals under its blueprint to meet federal pollution limits for the Bay. The voluntary program would establish a marketplace for private sector participation in meeting Bay cleanup goals.

Nutrient and sediment credit trading offer attractive alternatives to more costly traditional approaches for improving water quality and have the potential to achieve results more quickly and at a lower cost, accelerating efforts to restore and improve water quality. The trading program that would be established by the proposed regulations expands opportunities for all sources by giving them access to a water quality marketplace and flexibility in meeting and maintaining their pollution limits by acquiring credits generated from load reductions in local watersheds in Maryland’s portion of the Chesapeake Bay watershed.
. . .
The Maryland Water Quality Trading Program will allow agricultural sources that have reduced their pollution beyond the required “baseline” to produce credits that can be purchased by counties or municipalities to meet Bay cleanup requirements to reduce polluted stormwater runoff. The cost of reducing nitrogen could be as low as $200 per pound in the agriculture sector, compared to an estimated $3,800 per pound for urban retrofits to reduce stormwater runoff.
So really, this allows the relatively clean agriculture industry to sell their cleanliness to the dirty cities like Baltimore instead of cleaning up their own shit. I approve of the idea in principle, but we are constantly being bombarded with "news" about how dirty agriculture is, and how hard the cities are trying to get their shit together, when the truth is approximately the direct opposite.

Praise was not exactly universal:
 Officials with the Chesapeake Bay Foundation, a nonprofit that advocates for bay restoration, said the regulations are an important step but have some flaws they believe should be fixed.

For example, credits can be traded within three regions: the Potomac River watershed, the Patuxent River watershed and a third area that includes the rest of the Western Shore, Eastern Shore and the Susquehanna River.

Doug Myers, a senior scientist at the bay foundation, said that third region is just too big, creating the possibility that polluters in one area could buy a lot of credits from areas across the bay — and still allowing localized pollution.
An excellent point. The urban pollution is concentrated in three areas, Washington D.C., Baltimore, and the Virginia Beach/Norfolk area. The agriculture is located a fair way outside these areas. If trading allows continued nutrient input in the urban centers, the waterways nearby will continue to be sewers.

Punk Rock Jihadi Jones Killed by Drone

British IS recruiter Sally-Anne Jones 'killed by drone'
British IS recruiter Sally-Anne Jones was reportedly killed in a US drone strike in Syria, in June.

Jones, from Chatham in Kent, joined so-called Islamic State after converting to Islam and travelling to Syria in 2013.

Her death was first reported by The Sun.

The BBC's security correspondent Frank Gardner said Jones had been a useful propaganda agent for IS on social media and her death would be "significant".

Whitehall officials have declined to comment publicly. However, they have not denied the story, and US sources are confident she was killed in an unmanned drone strike in June, our correspondent added.

She was reportedly killed close to the border between Syria and Iraq by a US Air Force strike.

Good riddance!

Prime Minister Theresa May said she was "aware of the reports" around Jones's death, but was "not in a position to comment further".

Jones, 48 - who had no previous military training - had been married to the jihadist Junaid Hussain, who was killed in 2015 in a drone strike.

Previously a punk musician, she had been used to recruit western girls to the group and posted threatening messages to Christians in the UK.
The virgin in Virgin Airlines?
As if we needed more proof that punk rock was bad for your health.
Jones, who was born in Greenwich, London, also encouraged individuals to carry out attacks in Britain, offering guidance on how to construct home-made bombs.

She used her Twitter account to provide practical advice on how to travel to Syria and shared pictures of herself posing with weapons.
More sadly:
 News of Jones's death has not previously been made public amid fears that her 12-year-old son, Jojo, may also have been killed in the June strike, according to The Sun.

BBC correspondent Richard Lister said it was assumed the boy had been killed.

Maj Gen Chip Chapman, former MoD head of counter terror, said under UN Charters the boy would be too young to be classed as a soldier and would not have been targeted, "even if he got up to really bad things".

"We don't know for sure whether he was with her or not," he added.

When asked whether Jojo had been killed, Mrs May declined to comment.
 Wombat-socho links with "Rule 5 Sunday: Pussycat No More".

Reason #5741 That Trump Was Elected

President Donald J. Trump last week promised Americans “a giant, beautiful, massive — the biggest ever in our country — tax cut.” As delicious as that sounds, Trump’s tax overhaul may be tastiest for what it makes tiny, appealing, and compact: the 1040 tax return.

If Washington Republicans manage not to botch tax reform — as they wrecked Obamacare repeal — simplification should be among the new system’s most attractive elements, along with its consolidation of seven tax rates to three: 12, 25, and 35 percent. Letting Americans keep more of their money should energize an economy finally awakening from the slumber of the Bush-Obama years.

House Speaker Paul Ryan (R., Wis.) proposes a simple postcard for filing typical tax returns. Rather than the current 1040 form’s 79 lines, Ryan’s postcard contains 14. With nearly every deduction and exemption discarded — beside the home-mortgage and charitable write-offs — there simply would be fewer lines to fill.

Well, the Republicans haven't missed a chance to miss a chance since Trump was elected.

Top Republican predicts Christmas Eve vote on tax revamp
A top House Republican on Wednesday predicted Congress would vote to pass a tax bill on Dec. 24, saying the effort to overhaul the tax code would go down to the wire.

Rep. Patrick McHenry (R-N.C.), the House GOP chief deputy whip, said he expected both the House and Senate to finish work on a tax revamp bill on Christmas Eve.
What could go wrong, or to state it another way, when have the Republicans actually delivered a bill on time?

Your Wednesday Morning Underwear Ad

Wombat-socho links with "Rule 5 Sunday: Pussycat No More".

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

A Bad Year For the Bay

Researchers say the total amount of oxygen-deprived dead zones in Chesapeake Bay this summer was the worst since 2014.

In June, federal scientists predicted a bigger-than-average oxygen-deprived zone. It turns out they were correct.

Researchers with the Virginia Institute of Marine Science who study bay hypoxia said Monday that the total amount of dead zones this summer increased by 10 percent over last year. The increase came despite a drop in the overall duration and maximum extent of dead zones compared with 2016.

The institute has used a real-time, three-dimensional forecast model since 2014 to gauge various hypoxia metrics in the bay. Researchers estimated there were 919 cubic kilometers of hypoxia during 2017. That’s larger than the 833 cubic kilometers in 2016, 757 cubic kilometers in 2015 and 918 cubic kilometers in 2014.
Which, curiously, is greater than the whole volume of Chesapeake Bay according to Wikipedia...

Bay Volume = Surface area (11,601 sq km) X Average depth (6.4 m = 0.0064 km) = 74.2 km3. So what's wrong here? A cubic kilometer is a lot of water.

Earlier reports this year, admitted partial, indicating the Bay was beating predictions, are now shown to be incorrect.

As when the Bay has a good year, I urge caution before over interpreting the results. Bay hypoxia is almost 100% driven by river flow and river flow timing. There are still plenty of nutrients left to feed the algae that lead to the hypoxia, and it's likely to be a long time before nutrient inputs drop enough to change that.

When Your Freedom of Speech is Their "Genocide"

Freedom of Speech Is Genocide and Other Lessons From the 21st-Century University
Edith Macias became infamous a couple of weeks ago when a viral video showed the University of California-Riverside (UCR) student stealing a “Make America Great Again” cap from another student. An ethnic studies major, Macias demanded that the hat’s owner be punished. At one point during the video, when the hat’s owner Matthew Vitale cited his First Amendment free speech rights, Macias said: “Your f–king freedom of speech is genocide, homeboy.” After a UCR employee took the hat from her, Macias said: “We’re in a country where literally people of color are getting genocide, they’re getting killed.”

Unless these people are tossed in jail once in while, they will continue to commit crimes.

NEW SURVEY: Majority of college students self-censor, support disinvitations, don’t know hate speech is protected by First Amendment
A new report from the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education finds a majority of students on college campuses self-censor in class, support disinviting some guest speakers with whom they disagree, and don’t know that hate speech is protected by the First Amendment. The study also finds that Republican and Democratic students have different opinions on campus protests, disinvitations, and hate speech protections.
In the most comprehensive survey on students’ attitudes about free speech to date, FIRE measured student responses to questions about self expression, reactions to expression of other students, guest speakers, and hate speech. Some key findings include:
46 percent of students recognize that hate speech is protected by the First Amendment, and 48 percent of students think the First Amendment should not protect hate speech.

  • Most students (56 percent) support disinviting some guest speakers. Democratic students are 19 percentage points more likely than their Republican peers to agree that there are times a speaker should be disinvited.
  • 58 percent of college students think it’s important to be part of a campus community where they are not exposed to intolerant or offensive ideas.
  • Very few students report that they would participate in actions that would prevent a guest speaker event from taking place (2 percent). Even fewer said they would use violence to disrupt an event (1 percent).
  • In open-ended questions, almost half of students (45 percent) identify speech with a racist component as hate speech, and 13 percent of students associate hate speech with violence.
  • In class, 30 percent of students have self-censored because they thought their words would be offensive to others. A majority of students (54 percent) report self-censoring in the classroom at some point since the beginning of college.

Reason #5740 That Trump Was Elected

Federal Government Jobs Down 13,000 Under Trump
The number of people working for the federal government has declined by 13,000 in 2017, according to data released today by the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

At the same time, overall government employment in the United States increased by 7,000 as the number of people working at the state government level and the local government level both increased.
Chase 'em out from under one rock, and they go hide under another.

Soft Core Actress Reveals Weinstein Excuse, "For the Children"

The Harvey Weinstein scandal continues to plague Hollywood and New York, with new reports that Harvey, in between exposing himself and masturbating into the flora in front of startlet, reportedly raped at least three of them. How Clintonian. Hollyweird has had a tough time coming to grips with it all, with some star saying they knew nothing (Meryl Streep), and some saying they'd heard but weren't really convinced (George Clooney). But the best (or perhaps most ludicrous) excuse for not saying anything comes from Rule 5 subject Alyssa Milano (NSFW link):

Alyssa Milano releases statement on why she said NOTHING about Weinstein

From PatriotsNotPartisan.com:
Even with these strong feelings – not just about Weinstein but about workplace sexism in general – this statement is complicated for me for personal reasons. Harvey has a wife, who I have had the privilege of working with for the last 5 years on Project Runway All Stars. Georgina Chapman is my friend. She is one of the most special humans I have ever met. Harvey and Georgina also have two very young children who my children have known their entire lives. It is because of my love for Georgina, xxx and xxx that I haven’t publicly commented on this until now. Please don’t confuse my silence for anything other than respect for a dear friend and her beautiful children.
So basically Alyssa remained silent about the sexual harassment of possibly hundreds of women to protect Weinstein’s children.
Ann Althouse is doing journeyman's work here, with repeated posts of the scandal. Apparently, there is at least one liberal feminist woman who cares whether a major Democrat donor is harassing and raping Hollywood wannabes.

Wombat-socho links with "Rule 5 Sunday: Pussycat No More".

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Beach Report 10/10/17

Another very un-Fall like day here, with temperatures near 80, muggy, and mostly clear skies. The tide was almost dead low when we got there this morning, leaving a lot of exposed beach, and we could walk a lot farther up than usual.
 If only we could train Skye to sniff out fossils instead of more recent, and smellier trash.
 Georgia scored early with this fish spine. I always call them catfish, but I'm not really sure. This might be the longest I've seen here as they break much more easily than teeth.
Probably just a shed. I didn't nudge it to find out.
Georgia scored the biggest tooth of the day bu far with this Mako. She claims to have found it in a footprint. It joined the good specimens on the kitchen window sill after a measure off. All in all, we got 27 teeth, so a pretty good day. Georgia did better by far, despite the handicap of holding the leash.
Some possible weather in the distance?

Reasons #5738 - #5739 That Trump Was Elected

Trump unveils new strict 70-point immigration enforcement plan
Determined to finally solve illegal immigration, the White House submitted a 70-point enforcement plan to Congress Sunday proposing the stiffest reforms ever offered by an administration — including a massive rewrite of the law in order to eliminate loopholes illegal immigrants have exploited to gain a foothold in the U.S.

The plans, seen by The Washington Times, include President Trump’s calls for a border wall, more deportation agents, a crackdown on sanctuary cities and stricter limits to chain migration — all issues the White House says need to be part of any bill Congress passes to legalize illegal immigrant “Dreamers” currently protected by the Obama-era deportation amnesty known as DACA.

But the plans break serious new ground on the legal front, giving federal agents more leeway to deny illegal immigrants at the border, to arrest and hold them when they’re spotted in the interior, and to deport them more speedily. The goal, the White House said, is to ensure major changes to border security, interior enforcement and the legal immigration system.

“Anything that is done addressing the status of DACA recipients needs to include these three reforms and solve these three problems,” a senior White House official told The Times. “If you don’t solve these problems then you’re not going to have a secure border, you’re not going to have a lawful immigration system and you’re not going to be able to protect American workers.”
I'm willing to support DACA for support for real border control. However, Democrats, revealing their desire to import a better electorate, called the plan "dead on arrival."

ICE Says The Gloves Are Off As California Becomes A Sanctuary State
US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) on Friday threatened more immigration raids in California's neighborhoods and worksites one day after Gov. Jerry Brown signed into lawnew restrictions on how local police work with federal immigration authorities.

The legislation, known as SB54, made California the largest US jurisdiction to punch back against the Trump administration’s anti-sanctuary measures. Last week, ICE acknowledged it had intentionally targeted sanctuary cities in its most recent raids.

Tom Homan, ICE acting director, said SB54 makes California a sanctuary state for undocumented immigrants, including those who have committed crimes, and nearly eliminates all cooperation with local police and its agents.

"ICE will have no choice but to conduct at-large arrests in local neighborhoods and at worksites, which will inevitably result in additional collateral arrests," Homan said in a statement. "Instead of focusing on arrests at jails and prisons where transfers are safer for ICE officers and the community."

Undocumented immigrants who have committed no crimes but are detained by ICE during an operation are considered collateral arrests. Homan also said ICE will likely have to hold people arrested in California in detention centers outside the state, far from family and support they may have in the Golden State.
You asked for it, California. No, you begged for it.