Tuesday, January 31, 2017

EPA Delenda Est Episode Two

WARNING: Trump’s EPA Secretary Will Have ‘16,000 Employees Working Against Him’
When likely EPA Secretary Scott Pruitt walks into his first day at the office, “He’ll have 16,000 employees working against him,” Sen. James Lankford told a large gathering of libertarian donors Saturday evening.

“And I expect a flood of lawsuits over everything he does.

Pruitt, who has been nominated to lead the EPA by President Donald Trump, is the attorney general of Lankford’s state, Oklahoma. He has faced fierce opposition from the environmentalist left.
That's about what I'd expect.

The Definition of Insanity . . .

Is reputed to be doing the same thing time after time, and expecting the result to be different: Chesapeake losing its oyster reefs faster than they can be rebuilt
The Chesapeake Bay has an oyster problem — but more fundamentally, it has a shell problem.

Put simply, there aren’t enough oyster shells available to support a large-scale restoration of the Bay’s depleted bivalve population. And the way things are going, there may not even be enough to sustain the wild fishery a whole lot longer, at least in Virginia.

Decades of overharvesting, habitat destruction, disease and poor water quality have reduced the population of oysters in the Bay to less than 1 percent of its historic levels. And in much of the Bay, oyster reefs — made up of the shells of living and dead bivalves — are wearing down and disappearing faster than they’re being built up.

Scientists, managers and others worry that there aren’t enough shells to go around to sustain the traditional wild fishery as well as a growing aquaculture industry, not to mention ambitious large-scale efforts by both states and the federal government to restore the Chesapeake’s oyster population for its ecological value.

“We don’t have the habitat,” said Bruce Vogt, manager of ecosystem science and habitat assessment for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Chesapeake Bay Office. “Even if we had adequate spawning stock to revive the population over time, the habitat just isn’t there.”

It’s the classic chicken-or-egg dilemma. Oysters make their own habitat, building reefs out of the shells they produce. But juvenile oysters need a hard surface — customarily, another oyster shell — on which to grow. The problem now is that there are many fewer shells than there used to be on which the shellfish can live and reproduce.

The losses stem from a variety of factors. In the last century, as much as 70 percent of the 450,000 acres of oyster reef habitat that once blanketed the bottom of the Bay and its tributaries has been lost to siltation, according to an environmental assessment done in 2009 by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. Reefs have been smothered by a deluge of silt washing off the land, which has yet to let up.

Oyster shells are being lost in other ways, too. Their shells are broken up by predators, such as cownose rays, black drum, crabs, boring sponges and shell-boring snails known as oyster drills. Shells are removed by harvesting, too, and not always returned; and the gear used to dredge up oysters scatters and breaks other shells.

Finally, perhaps most significantly of all, the shells themselves dissolve naturally over time. While oysters are alive, they keep producing new shell from carbon and calcium that they filter out of the water. But after the bivalves die, dissolution takes over; the shells begin to corrode. One study estimated shell loss ranging from 2 percent to 70 percent per year, depending on water conditions. The saltier or more acidic the water, the faster the process.
70% is just a silly number, why might apply to the small, thin shells of the newly set spat. The dissolution of CaCO3 is a complicated issue, but in much of the bay, where salinity and alkalinity are similar to sea water, calcite is actually supersaturated and tends to spontaneously precipitate from the water. In Maryland's fresher, less alkaline water, it does tend to dissolve, albeit rather slowly. Shells are protected by protein matrix, both on top of the shell, and embedded within.

And yet, 14,000 years ago there was no Chesapeake Bay, just a valley with a fresh water river at the bottom. But as the sea rose at the end of the ice age, somehow, the oysters managed to settle on what ever substrate was available and spread to cover huge areas. Just as they had the four previous times of the great glaciations. So lack of substrate is not the fundamental problem

No, the fundamental problem with oysters is oystering faster than the oysters can keep up. And until they manage the fishing at a level that permits enough oysters to survive and reproduce to expand the population, the same cycle of unsuccessful restoration efforts, and failing populations will continue.

Reason #5417 Trump Was Elected

You had one job, and you refused to do it: Secret Service Agent on Leave After Saying She Wouldn't Take Bullet for Trump
The Colorado Secret Service agent who allegedly posted on Facebook that she would be unwilling to "take a bullet" for President Trump was placed on paid leave, Abby Huntsman reported.

Kerry O'Grady, the special agent-in-charge of the agency's Denver bureau, posted on the social media network last year that the New York Republican would be a "disaster" and that a 1939 law prohibiting political activism by certain government employees "be damned."
I'm willing to overlook the Hatch Act violation, but refusing to do one of the main functions of her job is going to far. My question is why the leave is paid?

I'm Ready For Spring Break

How about you?

Wombat-socho has the grand "Rule 5 Sunday: The Humiliation Of Roger Goodell" ready at The Other McCain.

Monday, January 30, 2017

Country Mice vs City Mice

I've often said that the fundamental political divide in the United States today is the urban/rural divide which generates the pattern of red vs. blue regions of the country:

Results of the 2016 Presidential election by county
From the Pew Trust: Expect More Conflict Between Cities and States
With the federal government and most states controlled by conservative Republicans this year, Democrats are looking to Democratic cities and counties to stand up for progressive policy.

But they may want to temper their expectations. State lawmakers have blocked city action on a range of economic, environmental and human rights issues, including liberal priorities such as minimum wage increases, in recent years.

And the stage looks set for more confrontation between cities and states this year.

Already, state lawmakers in Texas and Arkansas are weighing bills that would ban cities from declaring themselves “sanctuaries” and withholding cooperation with federal immigration officials.

Lawmakers in Kentucky, Virginia and six other states are considering preventing localities from allowing transgender people to use some restrooms that match their gender identity. In Montana, one lawmaker wants to prevent local governments from banning texting while driving.

While legislators say they’re trying to ensure consistency in state policy, so-called state preemption laws often expose political differences between state leaders — many of whom hail from rural districts — and city leaders.

“We’ve seen a continual uptick in preemptive measures at the state level over the last few years,” said Brooks Rainwater, director of the Center for City Solutions at the National League of Cities (NLC). He expects more of the same this year.

It’s hard for localities to resist preemption, but many are stepping up their efforts. Cities such as Cleveland and Tucson, Arizona, are challenging state laws in court, as are civil rights groups and other organizations that supported the policies that states are blocking. Mayors across the county, from Washington state to Florida, increasingly are teaming up to lobby at state capitols and rally public opposition to laws that limit local control.
. . .
About 32 states now prohibit localities from regulating ride-hailing companies such as Uber, 23 ban raising the local minimum wage, 15 ban cities from requiring companies to offer sick days, and three ban anti-discrimination ordinances that protect lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender residents, according to the tally kept by the Partnership for Working Families, a network of left-leaning advocacy groups.

Many states also have stopped cities and counties from creating municipal broadband networks, imposing bans on fracking, and charging customers a fee for using plastic carryout bags. In Arizona and Florida, laws penalize cities that defy preemption laws.
The United States was conceived as a collection of individual, largely sovereign states, equivalent to nations, with a minimal federal government to coordinate and carry out a few functions that the states individually had not been able to agree on (or more likely, were willing to cheat on, in hopes of making the remainder pick up a larger share of the costs), mostly to deal with foreign affairs. From there it has morphed to an almost all consuming state with it's fingers in and regulations on all affairs. But the central idea was the supremacy of state governments in most matters. With the Trump victory and the continued domination of Congress by the Republicans, liberal cities in states with a conservative government are restive. Too bad. Elections have consequences.  I may have missed it, but I don't believe I saw a similar piece from Pew sympathizing with the people in states with rural areas dominated by liberal metropolises.

Now, California is threatening to stop certain payments to the Federal Government in response to the election of Donald Trump  California Could Cut Off Feds In Response To Trump Threats
The state of California is studying ways to suspend financial transfers to Washington after the Trump administration threatened to withhold federal money from sanctuary cities, KPIX 5 has learned.

Officials are looking for money that flows through Sacramento to the federal government that could be used to offset the potential loss of billions of dollars’ worth of federal funds if President Trump makes good on his threat to punish cities and states that don’t cooperate with federal agents’ requests to turn over undocumented immigrants, a senior government source in Sacramento said.

The federal funds pay for a variety of state and local programs from law enforcement to homeless shelters.
Ask South Carolina how that worked out last time. There has even been some talk of California splitting away from the US and becoming a separate country (I wonder why they don't propose to rejoin Mexico, the racists!). John Fund says let 'em talk and suggests a "two state" solution:
The new states would be far more in sync on policy. The coastal state would emphasize environmental values, the “next big thing” economy of Silicon Valley, and the multicultural diversity of L.A. The inland state would have vast water resources, abundant agricultural lands, and its own cutting-edge facilities in sectors ranging from aerospace to data processing. The two states would provide an escape from the current political conformity of California, which is dominated by public-sector unions and progressive activists.

Politically, the two states would provide an escape from the current political conformity of California, which is dominated by public-sector unions and progressive activists. Take the last governor’s race in 2014. Democrat Jerry Brown won reelection over Republican Neel Kashkari by 60 percent to 40 percent statewide. But in Inland California, they were separated by just a few thousand votes. The two Californias would include a progressive stronghold able to experiment (even more than the state already does) with new “small is beautiful” ideas; next to it would be a politically competitive state with many constituencies that would favor pro-growth policies.

Tensions and gridlock under a two-state model would probably be reduced. Of course, it’s unlikely that California will ever be divided. It’s even more unlikely that it would cut its ties to the rest of the nation and become a separate country. But the debate on both ideas is healthy. To what extent should we let arbitrary political boundaries established many decades ago curb our imagination and prevent us from creative solutions to our problems?
And two more conservative Senators? What's not to like?

Just The Right Amount of Snow

We woke up this morning to snow on the ground. Just a bit, maybe an inch, maybe a little less. The streets were "warm" from many days above freezing, so the roads stayed clear. It must have been big, wet flakes from the flocked look on the vegetation. Most of it has been blown off the trees, and melted off the lawns already, although we have had several flurries throughout the day.

Reason #5416 Trump Was Elected

Adamson High School assistant principal Bobby Nevels confirmed for PJ Media that the person in the video is Modi. "It is her, yes," said Nevels, "and the district is aware of the video but will not comment on personnel issues." When questioned about whether it was done during class and in front of students, Nevels said he assumed that it was, based on the video.

But Will The Deer Hold Still While She Warms Up?

Wombat-socho has "Rule 5 Sunday: Making Anime Great Again" up and running at The Other McCain.

Sunday, January 29, 2017

EPA Delenda Est

Among all the agencies that have gone power mad in the Obama era, EPA stands out as one of the worst. But what to do about it? Jay Lehr, writing at Watts Up With That proposes a solution: The Beginning of the End of EPA
Beginning around 1981, however, radical Leftists realized they could advance their political agenda by taking over the environmental movement and use it to advocate for ever-more draconian regulations on businesses. Environmentalists allowed this take-over to occur because it brought massive funding from liberal foundations, political power, and prestige.

Politicians realized they could win votes by pandering to the environmental movement, repeating their pseudo-scientific claims, and posing as protectors of nature and the public health. The wind, solar, and ethanol industries saw they could use regulations to handicap competitors or help themselves to public subsidies.

Today, EPA is a captive of activist and special-interest groups. Its regulations have nothing to do with protecting the environment. Its rules account for nearly half of the $2 trillion annual cost of complying with all national regulations in the United States.
I would say it's a bit of an overstatement to claim "Its regulations have nothing to do with protecting the environment", but it doesn't stray far from the truth, at least when it comes to recent extensions of the Clean Air and Clean Water acts. So that's the problem. Now, what's the solution?
The solution is to return this authority to the states, replacing EPA with a Committee of the Whole of the 50 state environmental protection agencies.

State EPAs already have primary responsibility for the implementation of the nation’s environmental laws and EPA regulations. With more than 30 years of experience, these state agencies are ready to take over management of the nation’s environment.

Accountable to 50 governors and state legislatures, state EPAs are more attuned to real-world needs and trade-offs. Located in 50 state capitols, they are less vulnerable to the Left’s massive beltway lobbying machine.

The Committee would be made up of representatives from each state. EPA could be phased out over five years, which could include a one-year preparation period followed by a four-year program in which 25 percent of the agency’s activities would be passed to the Committee each year.

Seventy-five percent of EPA’s budget could be eliminated and most of the remainder would pay for national research labs. A small administrative structure would allow the states to refine existing environmental laws in a manner more suitable to protecting our environment without thwarting the development of our natural resources and energy supplies.
One problem with this answer is the problem of cross border pollution. For example, the nutrient pollution in Chesapeake Bay brought down the Susquehanna River from New York, Pennsylvania and Westbygod Virginia who do not border the bay.  Such states have little incentive to curb pollution into the Bay other than good will. This is not a show stopper for me, but some provision must be made for dealing with such pollution.

On the other hand, EPA delenda est.

Reason #5415 Trump Was Elected

When you've lost you're in danger of losing Portlandia:

Sunday Morning Music - "Highway to Hell"

is paved with good intentions:

I don't know if their intentions were good or not.

Wombat-socho has the grand "Rule 5 Sunday: The Humiliation Of Roger Goodell" ready at The Other McCain.

Saturday, January 28, 2017

1/28/17 Beach Report

Late morning came around, the wind was down, the tide was down, so we decided to take a long walk down the beach with Skye. Someone had removed a bunch of logs in the way, so we were able to walk down as far as Western Shores (we stopped a little short).
 Despite the low tide, fossil hunting wasn't particularly spectacular. Do you see the tooth in it's native habitat? That's what you need to see while being towed down the beach.
 The pier at Western Shores in the distance.
One of the local Bald Eagles gracing a barren tree.
The rowing man rowed his boat down the shore next. I think he goes out every day. It's harder to find shark's teeth that way, though, and the dog doesn't get much exercise.
 A tree, now dead, with it's roots undercut by the bay.
 Skye and Georgia waiting for me to catch up.
The best of the shark's teeth for the day. Two Snaggletooth teeth, one an upper (the brown hooked triangular one, and a lower, the gray, pointy one). Georgia found both of them. All in all we got 17 shark's teeth, one drum's tooth, one complete ray chevron, some beach glass and beach lace, a lump of coal, and . . .
This dolphin or whale vertebra. A little worn an broken, but not bad for 10 million years or so.

Reason #5415 Trump Was Elected

Featured Women’s March Speaker Once Kidnapped, Raped and Tortured Man to Death
Connvicted felon Donna Hylton, who once was a member of a group that kidnapped, raped and tortured an elderly man to the point of death, was a featured speaker at Saturday's pro-abortion and anti-Trump Women's March on Washington.

Yup, seriously.

As reported by The Daily Caller's Peter Hasson on Thursday night: "Hylton, along with three men and three other women, kidnapped 62-year-old real-estate broker Thomas Vigliarolo and held him for ransom, before eventually killing him. As noted in a 1995 Psychology Today article, when asked about forcibly sodomizing the victim with a three foot steel pole, one of Hylton’s accomplices replied: 'He was a homo anyway.'"
 Triple SJW points for homophopia!

“I couldn’t believe this girl who was so intelligent and nice-looking could be so unemotional about what she was telling me she and her friends had done. They’d squeezed the victim’s testicles with a pair of pliers, beat him, burned him," said New York City Detective William Spurling, speaking of Hylton.

The felon/feminist hero apparently attempted to collect ransom money for the man after he had passed.

"Hylton delivered a ransom note to a friend of Vigliarolo’s asking for more than $400,000, even though the victim was already dead by that point. A 1985 article in The New York Times, which misspelled Donna’s last name as “Hilton,” put the ransom demand at $435,000," notes Hasson.

The feminist was eventually sentenced to 25 years in prison for her part in the vicious murder.
The tolerance of the left for violence is legendary, between Hylton, Ayers, Dohrn,  Mumia and Rivera.

Rosario Dawson is reported to be playing her role in a hagiographic movie based on her life "A Little Piece of Light."

But Donald Trump said "pussy"!

Sliding Into Rule 5 Saturday with Kari Wehrur

 This week's Rule 5 special goes to Kari Wuhrer:
Kari Samantha Wuhrer (born April 28, 1967) is an American actress and singer. Wuhrer began her career as a teenager and is best known for her roles as Maggie Beckett in the television series Sliders and as Sheriff Samantha Parker in the horror comedy film Eight Legged Freaks.

Wuhrer was born in Brookfield, Connecticut, the daughter of Karin (née Noble), a payroll accountant, and German American Andrew Wuhrer, a police officer and car salesman. She has three siblings. As a teenager, she sang in nightclubs, sneaking out of the family home to perform. She studied acting from the age of 13 at the Wooster School, then studied drama at New York University's Tisch School of the Arts, Marymount Manhattan College, Columbia University, and the Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts with famed teacher Uta Hagen.
Wuhrer was later voted #76 on the FHM 100 Sexiest Women of 2000, #73 in the FHM 100 Sexiest Women in the World of 2001 and #36 in Maxim magazine's 50 Sexiest Women Countdown of 1999. She posed semi-nude in Playboy magazine in August 2000 as their Babe of the Month and earlier considered multiple offers to appear fully nude throughout 1998. She was also #64 on Celebrity Skin's 100 Sexiest Stars of All Time and #4 in the Celebrity Nudity Database's Most Popular Actresses of 1999.
Some examples here, here, here, here, here and here.

GOODSTUFFs BLOGGING MAGAZINE (278th Issue) presents the Texas rebel Candy Barr. Plus enough science and udder stuff for everybody. An interesting story! Linked in the weekly "Sorta Blogless Sunday Pinup" and links at Pirate's Cove. Wombat-socho has "Rule 5 Sunday: Making Anime Great Again" and "FMJRA 2.0: Late Night With Crazy Horse Edition" up and running at The Other McCain.

Friday, January 27, 2017

I Hate It When This Happens

Oops! Decimal points matter:
Two British students were nearly killed after they were accidentally given caffeine equivalent to 300 cups of coffee during a science experiment.

Northumbria University has been fined pounds 400,000 ($660,000) for the incident in March 2015 which caused Alex Rossetto and Luke Parkin to be rushed to hospital and put on dialysis. On Wednesday, a judge said the two sports science students probably only survived because they were fit and active young men.
 That had to taste really nasty.

The second-year students had volunteered to take part in a test aimed at measuring the effect of caffeine on exercise, but a basic calculation error meant they were given 100 times the correct dosage. Prosecutor Adam Farrer told Newcastle Crown Court that the pair should have been given 0.01 oz (0.3 g) of caffeine in an orange juice mix, but were in fact given 1.05oz (30 g). There is 0.003 oz (0.1 g) in the average cup of coffee.

The court heard the calculation had been done on a mobile phone, with the decimal point being put in the wrong place, and that no risk assessment had been made for the test.

Farrer said the amount of caffeine consumed “could easily have been fatal” and death has previously been reported after consumption of just 18 g. He added the students were left in a “life-threatening condition”.
Having been the boss of an analytical chemistry lab, I know these mistakes are more common than you might think, although 1 to 1000 mistakes are the general rule due to the confusion between milli and micro. One time a tech made a Se standard 1000 X too strong, and generated enough poison selenide gas drive us all out of the lab. When people are being dosed, though, you can't be too careful. I'm glad the kids are OK.

A Boat Load of Obamacare Schadenfreude

It got out of hand again, dammit!

A frequent  Democratic argument is that the number of people who will lose their insurance if Obamacare is repealed is unacceptable, bolstered by a new CBO report which considers the repeal without any Republican replacement. PRINTED IN LARGE, FRIENDLY LETTERS: Don’t Panic Over the CBO Repeal Report.  The Sneaky Democratic Politics Behind the Scary New Obamacare Numbers. Don Surber explains why the  Number of people who will lose health care upon repeal is zero
. . . Just remember the figure that 30 million will lose their health care under the repeal is hysterically wrong.

The number is zero.

Congress repealing Obamacare cancels zero health insurance policies.

But it does allow people who do not want the coverage to drop it.

We call that freedom.
The Shark Tank reports on how Republicans Expedite Obamacare’s Repeal, Democrats Plan Protests. When all you have is a hammer. . . If You Like It, You Can Keep It (And This Time We Mean It)
Senators' ACA replacement proposal allows states to keep Obamacare or replace it. Rand Paul unveils his “Obamacare Replacement Act”
  • A tax credit of up to $5,000 per individual that could be used as part of a Health Savings Account
  • Eliminates minimum standards that health insurance companies had to meet under Obamacare, which would open the door for more affordable, yet less comprehensive plans
  • Would allow insurance companies to sell plans across state linesA two-year window for those with pre-existing conditions to get healthcare, after which those with such conditions could still get coverage in group plans
  • A two-year window for those with pre-existing conditions to get healthcare, after which those with such conditions could still get coverage in group plans
McConnell: “ObamaCare status quo is completely unsustainable” Black holes aren't sustainable? Who knew? Infographic: Ohio’s Obamacare “success”: Click to enlarge. Pretty grim.

Meanwhile the GOP Acknowledges It Won’t Meet Self-Imposed Deadline to Repeal Obamacare. Please take the time to do it right, unlike the Democrats. On his first day in office, Donald Trump signed an executive order not to enforce the individual mandate. It is no mere sop to his supporters nor is it a symbolic gesture.

The mostly sensible Megan McArdle debunks a favorite liberal meme,  The Myth of the Medical Bankruptcy

From WaPO, Judge says Aetna dropped out of some Obamacare markets to help win its merger fight. But, as cited by Wombat-socho in "In The Mailbox: 01.25.17" Megan explains how Aetna Threatened Obamacare, But Didn’t Start The Fight.

The Atlantic asks if  Republicans repeal Obamacare without imposing the greatest costs on the older, white, blue-collar voters who put Trump into office? in The Trumpcare Conundrum, while Dustbury explains Why there will be no TrumpCare. Report: 300,000 Small Business Jobs Lost Due to Obamacare - Over 10,000 small business establishments shut down due to health care law. Is that all? The STUMP explains that  If there’s one thing actuaries are really good at, it’s being annoying.
Richard Foster, former chief actuary of Medicare, managed to annoy both the Republicans and Democrats in exposing costs they didn’t want exposed. What I linked above has to do with Foster’s remarks on the Affordable Care Act and the claims being made about effects on Medicare and Medicaid.
For many, problems with Obamacare are personal, not partisan
“It’s worked out wonderfully for lots of people. I do feel it’s certainly a step in the right direction,” says Richards, a self-employed director and producer. “But at the same time, there’s terrible flaws in the system. Nobody should have to go through hell to get medical insurance.”
Yeah, you let the same people who run DMV regulate your health care. As Insty points out:
The Christian Science Monitor says for many folks the problems with ObamaCare are personal, not political. Well, of course. This article attempts to give pro and con positions a fair shake, but dances around the fact the government forced many citizens to buy a product they didn’t want.
My Lyft Ride with a Black Trump Supporter on MLK Day
What about Obamacare?


“Don’t get me started. My premiums are through the roof. I can’t afford it. Because I drive all day and night making money, I’m not poor enough to get any subsidies. So this year I’m going to have to pay $750 on my tax return because I can’t afford to buy insurance. But I can’t afford the health care either! And have you seen those deductibles? If anything should happen to you, you go bankrupt. I’ll tell you who benefited from Obamacare. Not the poor. It’s the insurance companies and the government.”

I pointed out that Hillary Clinton said she would try to improve it.

“You kidding? The whole campaign, she defended all this #@#$!. She is just like the rest of these people, all talk, no action, just like Trump said. She has been pushing a pen for 30 years. She is not affected by high premiums. Her health care is covered. She has no idea what the rest of us are going through.”
Tucker Carlson talks to Obamacare Architect Gruber, and elicits an admission: ‘This Law Was Never Supposed to Help Everybody’. Yep, somebody had to pay.

Reasons #5407 Through #5414 Trump Was Elected

Trump orders hiring freeze for much of Federal government
President Trump on Monday issued an executive order implementing a hiring freeze across the federal government, with exceptions only for military, national security or public safety personnel.

Trump had raised the possibility of a hiring freeze during the campaign. At a news conference Monday, Trump spokesman Sean Spicer said the freeze ensures taxpayers get effective and efficient government and said it "counters the dramatic expansion of the federal workforce in recent years."

“Some people are working two, three jobs just to get by. And to see money get wasted in Washington on a job that is duplicative is insulting to the hard work that they do to pay their taxes,” Spicer said.

The New York Times reported that Trump called it a stopgap way to control the growth of government until his administration comes up with a long-term solution
Oh, the tears of unfathomable sadness! Mmm yummy!
And that has EPA employees still ‘coming to work in tears’
At EPA headquarters, the mood remains dark. A longtime career communications employee said in a phone interview Tuesday that more than a few friends were “coming to work in tears” each morning as they grappled with balancing the practical need to keep their jobs with their concerns for the issues they work on.
This is not the first time EPA bureaucrats have been caught weeping at work because of their political concerns. A week after the election E&E News published a story on the scene at the EPA and Energy Department. Supervisors were said to be telling distraught employees to take sick leave and go home, something explicitly no allowed by the rules governing sick leave . . .
TransCanada has reapplying for Keystone XL pipeline permit
The new U.S. president signed an order on Tuesday that allowed TransCanada (TRP.TO) to reapply for a permit for Keystone XL, after it was rejected in 2015 by then-President Barack Obama on environmental concerns.

TransCanada Chief Executive Russ Girling said the firm was "diligently" preparing its application for the 1,179-mile (1,900 km) pipeline from Hardisty, Alberta, across the U.S. border to Steele City, Nebraska.
. . .
“But we haven’t engaged in direct conversation on that issue,” he said at an investors conference. “This wasn’t in our planning horizon in the middle of last year, so we’ve only just re-engaged with our shippers again.”
Trump Family Goes Bowling, Liberals Go Nuts
Anti-Trump Protestor lights a girl’s hair on fire

Watch the girl light the hair of the girl in the blue hat. This is you "occupy" democracy.

Women’s March Protesters Booed Trump Hotel Staffers Who Aided Woman Having Heart Attack
Hotel staffers who crossed protest barricades to treat a heart-attack victim outside the Trump International Hotel in Washington this weekend were treated to jeers and anti-Trump slogans by protesters.

Around 4 p.m. Saturday, a woman protester suffered a heart attack on the street outside the Trump hotel. The medical emergency sent a hotel staffer sprinting outside with an automated external defibrillator.

Protesters held back by crowd control barricades loudly booed the staffer before the man passed the defibrillator to law enforcement.
Illegal Immigrant Bites Ear Off of Roommate in Drunken Anti-Trump Rage Attack
Ortiz told Pittsburgh's Action News 4 that his roommate -- whose name has not been released by police -- was drunk, angry over repeatedly losing money on the lottery and worried about what Trump will do as president.

Ortiz said that he and his roommate are from Mexico, and that the roommate feared Trump would force him and other immigrants out of the United States.

"He is paying his money on lottery, and now Donald Trump say, anybody got to go," Ortiz said.
Trump to sign executive orders enabling construction of proposed border wall and targeting sanctuary cities

Trump can even accomplish the Herculean task  of teaching liberals basic economics.

USS Enterprise Encounters Alien Thinking

She has a talent for playing bug f*#% crazy characters. I wonder why? Swiped from Aces. Some NSFW below:

Wombat-socho has "Rule 5 Sunday: Making Anime Great Again" up and running at The Other McCain.

Thursday, January 26, 2017

Fish Food

Bay 101: Fish Food from Chesapeake Bay Program on Vimeo.

Reason #5406 We Elected Trump

An excerpt from a  classic rant from Ace: How Losing My Political Values Helped Me Gain My Freedom
. . . Because I voted for retribution.

"He's think-skinned and petty!" shrieks the left. "He takes everything personally!"

Good, I say. I want him to take attacks personally and deal out payback. I know I won't be the target, you will be.

"He's unpresidential! He'll destroy the integrity of the office!"

No, that's already happened. Remember, you elected a shit-talking jackass who takes selfies at state funerals when he's not giving stealth middle fingers to his opponents during debates. There is no dignity of the office, not after Clinton and Obama.

"He's a narcissist! He's got totalitarian impulses!"

Yes, he's basically a mirror version of Obama. Except now, he'll be working for what I want. The end justifies the means. You taught me that.

"A sitting president going after the media. OMG!"

Oh, like Obama trashing Rush Limbaugh and Fox News? How about when he sent his lackeys to berate news reporters for failure to flatter him at all times. Oh, and NSA spying on the press. That was pretty great, too.

"He won't show his taxes!"

Don't care. Where are Obama's college transcripts, by the way?

"He's a bully! Is this what you want? Someone who uses his power to bully other people?!!!"

And this is where everything funnels down to the very nexus of my change in attitude from "Do unto others" to "I will do unto you what you do unto me."

It's two words: Memories Pizza.

It was that moment that everything changed for me--not only the harassment, fake Yelp reviews and the death threats that forced them to temporarily close up shop--oh, that was bad enough, but the most powerful man on Earth bullying a couple of small town pizza owners from Indiana simply for expressing an opinion on a hypothetical asked of them by a reporter with a malicious agenda? That was when I snapped. . .
Uh huh!

Morning Music - "Deeper Well"


Wombat-socho has "Rule 5 Sunday: Making Anime Great Again" up and running at The Other McCain.

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

RIP: Mary Tyler Moore

A double celebrity death day. Mary Tyler Moore Dead at 80
Mary -- who battled diabetes and underwent brain surgery in 2011 -- became famous after starring on the "The Dick Van Dyke Show" from 1961 to 1966. She dazzled her way to 7 successful seasons on "The Mary Tyler Moore Show" from 1970 to 1977, decimating skeptics who viewed her show as destined to fail.

She earned an Oscar nomination for best actress after crushing it in the 1980 flick "Ordinary People."

The 7 time Emmy winner began her career modeling in a commercial for "Happy Hotpoint" as a tiny elf that danced on appliances.

Mary, who in 1986 was inducted into the Television Hall of Fame, starred in well over 10 films and wrote 2 memoirs. She married 3 times ... forming power couple status when she married TV exec Grant Tinker in 1962.
Decimating skeptics?  Killing one in ten? I'd have even more respect for her if she really had. Cute and funny, what's not to love?

Linked at GOODSTUFFs BLOGGING MAGAZINE (278th Issue). Wombat-socho has "Rule 5 Sunday: Making Anime Great Again" up and running at The Other McCain.

In Memory of Butch Trucks

Butch Trucks, Allman Brothers Band Drummer and Co-Founder, Dead at 69
Claude Hudson "Butch" Trucks was born in Jacksonville, Florida on May 11th, 1947. He started playing drums in the eighth grade and joined Jacksonville's Englewood High School band, according to Skydog: The Duane Allman Story. His parents were strict Baptists and refused to buy him a drum kit of his own until 11th grade when he promised never to play in an establishment that served liquor. Before graduating high school, he played in two bands – the Vikings and the Echoes – as well as the Jacksonville Symphony Orchestra and Jacksonville Symphonette, where he played tympani. He went on to attend Florida State University where, he once said, he "majored in staying out of Vietnam," and formed a group called the Bitter Ind.

It was at a Bitter Ind. gig in Daytona Beach where Trucks first encountered Gregg and Duane Allman. The latter would later call Trucks and ask him to play drums at a gig. Almost three years later, they would form the Allman Brothers Band.

Reason #5405 We Elected Trump

Trump Admin to hold EPA accountable for massive toxic river spill
Citizens of the Rocky Mountain state are relying on the incoming Trump administration to require that the EPA pay damages in the wake of a massive agency-caused toxic water spill in Colorado.

Republicans and Democrats have criticized the agency’s decision to ignore victims associated with the Gold King Mine spill, which released 3 million gallons of dangerous metals like lead, cadmium and arsenic into the Animas River.

Republican Sen. Cory Gardner of Colorado and his Democratic colleague Michael Bennett blasted the Obama administration Thursday for its refusal to help the spill victims.

“I applaud Attorney General Pruitt’s commitment to review the EPA’s decision to not process FTCA claims related to the Gold King Mine spill,” Gardner said Thursday in a statement, referring to the Federal Tort Claims Act (FTCA), a nearly 70-year-old law the EPA suggested gives them sovereign immunity from paying $1.2 billion in damages.

Bennett, meanwhile, chided the EPA for skirting its responsibilities.

“The record is clear that the Environmental Protection Agency was responsible for the spill. It is extremely disappointing that the EPA has categorically rejected every single claim filed under the Federal Tort Claims Act,” he said in a statement. “The agency has broken its promise to make our communities whole in the days after the spill.”
Navajo Nation President Russell Begaye, a tribe whose water supply was affected by spill, said he’s hoping Congress and the Trump administration will force the EPA to take responsibility.

“There is no reason our families on the front line of this spill should have to tighten their belts while the federal agencies responsible proceed along unaffected by their own actions,” Begaye said Thursday.
The EPA, and other agencies have acted as if they're above the laws for years. It's time to rein them in and make them accountable. In other news, Trump also told them to sit down and shut up for a while:

Trump Orders Media Blackout At EPA: Bans Use Of Social Media, Bars New Contracts

Emails sent to EPA staff since President Donald Trump's inauguration on Friday and reviewed by The Associated Press, detailed the specific prohibitions banning press releases, blog updates or posts to the agency's social media accounts. On Monday, the Huffington Post reported that EPA grants had been frozen, with agency employees barred from speaking of the matter. The memo ordering the social media blackout is shown below.

One Fish, Striped Fish, Red Fish, Few Fish

I took off exercise this morning to go fishing with Ron (One Fish, his internet moniker). There was almost no wind to start with, and though it was only 43 F, it was pretty nice out, with the right clothes.
The lack of wind initially set up conditions for a mirage. The Eastern Shore was stretched up into a "Bridge to Nowhere", technically a Fata Morgana mirage. The ducks in the foreground are Oldsquaws, also called the Long-tailed Duck for the PC.
There were quite a few other boats. When we arrived we made it nine, but as the day wore on, more left than stayed, and when we left there was only one other.
Fishing was slow, for four hours dedicated jigging, we only managed seven fish apiece, and none of them especially large. I did get this small Red Drum (aka Redfish or Channel Bass).  Pretty cold out there for Reds. It was a couple inches short of legal size so back it went.
 Look, there's one! Catch it.
A shot of the Gas Docks with the long lens. It got pretty windy from the south, and drove us home.

Reason #5404 Trump Was Elected

A massive group of violent demonstrators spat on, assaulted and screamed obscenities at a Gold Star widow and sister Friday outside an inaugural ball honoring the military, one of the women told “Fox & Friends” on Tuesday.

Amy Looney, who lost her husband Navy SEAL Lt. Brendan Looney in 2010, and Ryan Manion, whose brother Marine First Lt. Travis Manion died in 2007, said they were attacked as they tried to enter the American Legion’s tribute to Medal of Honor recipients at the Veterans Inaugural Ball.

“Unfortunately, as we got there we found ourselves separated from the rest of the group walking to the galas that night and were caught in between the entrance to the event and about 75 protesters that got very angry with us and really converged on us,” Manion said on “Fox & Friends.”
. . .
“We were pushed by a man in a mask hiding his face,” Manion wrote in The Philadelphia Inquirer. “Our clothes were drawn on with permanent marker by other ‘protesters.’ And we were called the most vile names I have ever heard as we entered and exited the venue.”

Manion said that she and Looney – who operate the Travis Manion Foundation – did not attend the ball for political reasons and that the pair support President Donald Trump just as they “supported the previous administration and just like we will support every future administration that the American people elect.”

Looney and Manion were initially late to the ball because they couldn’t get through “an angry mob in the street that was burning trash cans and smashing windows,” Manion wrote on Facebook. When they eventually got near the entrance a group of around 75 people tried separating them from the ball. It was as the two women walked through the crowd that people began pushing them and yelling insults.
 I'm so old I can remember when Gold Star families were respected:

SJW Attacks Taylor Swift for Being a Blonde

Because She Doesn’t Like Blondes? @ahzimm Attacks @taylorswift13
. . . Amy Zimmerman, is a recent graduate of Columbia University, so maybe she’s desperate to prove her traffic-generating prowess to her editors at The Daily Beast. Also — and there’s probably no delicate or politically correct way to say this — Amy Zimmerman is a swarthy Jew who seems obsessed with Taylor Swift’s gentile blondeness. This is not irrelevant to the content of Zimmerman’s attack:

As a pretty white girl who has written songs that rely heavily on fiddles, Swift undoubtedly counts a healthy handful of Trump supports among her fan base. In fact, the so-called alt-right has crowned Swift as the Aryan prom queen of their burgeoning neo-Nazi movement. The Daily Stormer—deemed a “neo-Nazi website” by The Southern Poverty Law Center—has published articles like “Taylor Swift, Avatar of European Imperialism,” “Aryan Goddess Taylor Swift: Nazi Avatar of the White European People,” and “Aryan Goddess Taylor Swift accused of Racism for Behaving Like an Ape in a Music Video.” Andrew Anglin, the site’s white supremacist founder, explained that, “Taylor Swift is a pure Aryan goddess, like something out of classical Greek poetry.” . . .
If you’re not overtly on board with the resistance, then you’re tacitly chill with being proclaimed an Aryan goddess. If you refuse to denounce your “alt-right” supporters, you risk alienating all of your queer, trans, black, Latino, undocumented, Muslim, and indigenous fans. Taylor Swift’s patriotic one-pieces might transition well to Donald Trump’s America, but her penchant for opting out of the political discourse is already passé.

Is it Taylor Swift’s fault she’s got neo-Nazi fanboys?

Or rather, is it Taylor Swift’s fault she’s a blue-eyed blonde?

These two phenomena are related, you see. The neo-Nazis like Taylor Swift for her blondeness, and it’s her blondness (“a pretty white girl”) that makes Taylor Swift suspect in the paranoid mind of Amy Zimmerman. Therefore, Taylor Swift must get “on board with the resistance,” or else she will stand accused of being pro-Nazi.
Or maybe she just prefers to shut up and sing, and not offend half her potential audience?

Linked in the weekly "Sorta Blogless Sunday Pinup" and links at Pirate's Cove. Wombat-socho has "Rule 5 Sunday: Making Anime Great Again" and "FMJRA 2.0: Late Night With Crazy Horse Edition" up and running at The Other McCain.

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Trump EPA Pick Promises to Stay on Bay Diet

Trump's EPA pick says he will support, enforce Chesapeake Bay cleanup, seek more funding
President Donald Trump's pick to head the powerful U.S. Environmental Protection Agency told confirmation hearing members he would seek federal funding to continue the long state-federal cleanup of the Chesapeake Bay.

As attorney general of Oklahoma, Scott Pruitt had joined an unsuccessful lawsuit by the Pennsylvania Farm Bureau and others that had claimed the agency did not have the power to order states to adopt cleanup limits as part of the bay cleanup.
. . .
But addressing senators before the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee Friday as part of his confirmation hearing, Pruitt said of the bay cleanup, "That process represents what should occur--for states to join together and enter into an agreement to address water quality issues. And as it relates to enforcing that (agreement), I can commit to you that, in fact, I will do so."
I think what he said is consistent. The EPA has no ability to force the states to adopt particular limits, but it does have a role in enforcing limits that states adopt among themselves. It's going to be an interesting 4-8 years/

Reason #5403 We Elected Trump

People in red states were tired of obstruction for the sake of symbolic environmentalism:Trump To Give Green Light To Keystone, Dakota Access Pipelines
President Trump on Tuesday is expected to give the go-ahead for construction of two controversial oil pipelines, the Keystone XL and the Dakota Access, a White House official tells NPR's Tamara Keith.

The pipelines had been stopped during the Obama administration. The State Department rejected a permit for the Keystone pipeline from Canada, and President Obama ordered work halted on the Dakota pipeline after Native American groups and other activists protested its route near culturally sensitive sites in North Dakota.
. . .
In remarks to automakers on Tuesday morning, Trump proclaimed himself an environmentalist, but added, "It's out of control, and we're going to make a very short process, and we're going to either give you your permits or we're not going to give you your permits, but you're going to know very quickly."

Reason #5402 Trump Was Elected

"Funny" girl Katie Rich
We were tired of the whiny "humorists" in the media. Ann Althouse writes: SNL writer Katie Rich is "so sorry" for her tweet about Barron Trump but we are told that she's been "suspended."
Whatever that means. Not fired, I take it. Suspended. It's a gesture to the public. I assume she will recover.

The objected-to tweet — so wrong on so many levels — was: "Barron will be this country’s first homeschool shooter."
As usual, the best stuff is in the comments. As Stephen Green at Instapundit reminds us:
GOP staffer Elizabeth Lauten resigned permanently from Congressman Steve Fincher’s staff after making fun of the Obamas’ daughters.
And who can feel sympathetic for Madonna (NSFW)  who, having said:
 ‘I have thought an awful lot about blowing up the White House’ 
at the Women's "March" in Washington, seemed put out by the idea of the Secret Service taking an interest in her, tweeting out:
"Fuck Donald Trump and fuck the Secret Service"
before deleting it. I mean it's not like a celebrity disgruntled with the election result has ever harmed the President before, Amiright?

Wombat-socho has "Rule 5 Sunday: Making Anime Great Again" and "FMJRA 2.0: Late Night With Crazy Horse Edition" up and running at The Other McCain.

This Azealia Ain't No Potted Plant

Azealia Banks Criticizes the Women's March; Warns Women About Mainstream Feminism
The controversial rapper went to Instagram on Sunday criticizing the recent demonstrations and the mission of mainstream feminism. Banks asked, “Why do women fall for these white feminist tricks all the time? Now that some white dude has taken office who simply said something silly about grabbing a p***y, they want to march in the streets under the guise of ‘standing up for human freedoms.’”

The 25-year-old then claimed these marchers did not express the same concern when police officers were gunning down black people last year. She went on to say that white feminists demand the world’s support, but does not give that same support back.
While I don't buy the "black live matter" BS seriously, I can see how she can fall for it. I'll let it pass for dissing white feminism and reflexive adherence to the democrats race baiting.
Banks, who has been a vocal supporter of President Donald Trump, said she has an optimistic outlook, and wants the country to “just chill.” She also used this opportunity to shamelessly plug her new music.

“Let’s just keep calm and wait for new [Azealia Banks] music lol,” she wrote. “Cause I’m coming. V soon”.
Wombat-socho has "Rule 5 Sunday: Making Anime Great Again" up and running at The Other McCain.

Monday, January 23, 2017

Chinese Buy Nutrient Indulgences in Virginia

New plant on James River to require 1st pollution trade of its kind in VA
A $2 billion paper and fertilizer plant under construction near Richmond is more than just the first U.S. venture for a Chinese company that claims to have revolutionized the papermaking process. It’s also the first project to test Virginia’s ability to add new industrial facilities to the Chesapeake Bay watershed while maintaining pollution caps set for the James River more than a decade ago.

Shandong Tranlin Paper Co., which is operating in the United States under the name Vastly, has more than 200 patents on its process to turn wheat straw from local farms into pulp for paper products and soil amendments that could then be sold to farmers.

Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe deemed the operation “the largest greenfield project ever done in the United States” when he announced last year that state officials had recruited the company to locate there.

But, for months before that announcement, according to emails obtained by the Bay Journal via a public-records request, the state’s environmental regulators were laboring to figure out how to accommodate a project like none they’d seen before. They expressed concern that it could undercut Virginia’s efforts to reduce nutrient pollution to the James River and the Chesapeake.
So, under Clinton protege McAuliffe, the Chinese are planning on putting a big polluting plant in Virginia. I wonder how many palms were greased for that to happen
The Department of Environmental Quality set pollution caps for the state’s largest dischargers in 2005 and 2006, determining how much nitrogen and phosphorus could be released by facilities on each waterway. Discharge limits on the James were set to be reduced over time as part of Virginia’s plan to improve the health of both the tributary and the Bay.

At the same time, a nutrient credit exchange program was established to give some flexibility to big dischargers — wastewater treatment plants, in particular — so they could meet tighter discharge limits without all of them having to make costly upgrades at the same time. But that program essentially gave existing facilities all of the nutrient loadings that officials believed the James River could handle, and many plants now have more credits than they actually need.

In theory, those plants could sell their excess nutrient discharge allowances or credits to other facilities. But the program was set up to only allow for trades among existing facilities and left little to no room for new businesses that might discharge a significant amount of pollutants. That wasn’t a problem for the state during the economic recession or the years that followed — but it is now
Of course not. Under Obama, there has been very little actual job growth (drops in jobless rate has been almost entirely due to a combination of people dropping out of the work force, and immigration.
When Vastly first approached other facilities on the James River about buying the excess credits, Burnley said, none wanted to sell. They preferred to keep their unused discharge capacity as a hedge against future growth or against future pollution reductions that might be required.

With Vastly unable to get the credits it needed, government officials who had recruited the company to the state realized the nutrient trading program they had created to accommodate new growth wasn’t working — at least not in the way they wanted it to. The McAuliffe administration had already heralded the arrival of the company, touting its multi-billion-dollar investment in the local economy and creation of 2,000 jobs by 2020. But behind the scenes, the state’s environmental agency was grappling with how to add a sizable new polluter to the substantial industrial activity already on the James River while continuing to improve water quality in the Bay tributary.
To make a long story short, eventually the McAuliffe administration eventually found a nutrient trading partner for Vastly:
Dominion’s Chesterfield plant, the likely partner in the Vastly deal, is downriver from the paper and fertilizer plant site.

Reason #5401 Trump Was Elected

Black clad, masked "Anarchists" throwing smoke bombs, rocks and bottles, trashing cars and storefronts. and attacking Trump supporters in cities: Some members of ‘The Resistance’ are behaving rather badly
On Friday, Gold Star families attending the Salute to Heroes Inaugural Gala, were greeted by protesters with spitting and name-calling. Ryan Manion, who lost her brother in Iraq, described the incident on her Facebook page:
Fox News analyst Frank Luntz described being hit in the face with paint and glitter at his hotel Saturday. . .
A CBS news radio correspondent was forced off the air Friday after protesters began throwing objects at her. This happened in the same area where a limousine was burned.
OK, CBS, maybe I can understand; they were abominable to Obama. . .
When a group of protesters lit a fire in the street Friday, a Trump supporter wearing a red “Make America Great Again” hat walked in an put it out with a fire extinguisher. As he calmly talked to the crowd one man with his face covered walked up and shook his hand while two men behind him pulled off his hat and punched him in the head:

Hundreds were arrested in the rioting, and word has it that many could be charged with felonies, which if it resulted in their losing the right to vote, would be a delicious irony.

And, while it's not strictly germane to the black clad rioters, this video of the nice old granny getting tossed off a plane for harassing a pro-Trump passenger is just too good not to pass on.

I like the cheer at the end.

A Waste of Perfectly Good Jade

No, Gwyneth Paltrow, women should not put jade eggs in their vaginas, gynecologist says
It wasn't that long ago when Gwyneth Paltrow raved about the benefits of vaginal steaming, a non-scientifically proven process of sitting over a hot pot of water filled with herbs for up to 45 minutes to “cleanse your uterus” and “balance female hormone levels,” as the actress had put it.
From Yam Lube to steamed hoo-hoos, Paltrow seems obsessed with hers.
Most recently, Paltrow's lifestyle website Goop, which promoted vaginal steaming, is at it again with another advice for women: putting a jade egg — yes, a solid object about the size of a golf ball — in your vagina, and keeping it there all day or while you're sleeping.
Sounds a bit uncomfortable, but I'm not really one to judge.
For $66 a piece, the jade eggs, once “the strictly guarded secret” of Chinese queens and concubines to please their emperors, would help boost your orgasm and “increase vaginal muscle tone, hormonal balance, and feminine energy in general,” reads the beginning of an article titled “Better Sex: Jade Eggs for Your Yoni.”

But a California gynecologist wasted no time letting Paltrow — and the rest of the world — know what she thinks of those jade eggs, which, according to the website, are already sold out.
 For a mere $55 dollars, you can settle for a rose quartz egg.

Dr. Jen Gunter, an OB/GYN for Kaiser Permanente in San Francisco, called the idea “the biggest load of garbage” she's read on Goop since vaginal steaming and worse than saying wearing bras is linked to cancer.

Jade is porous, she said, so leaving the egg in one's vagina during sleep “could allow bacteria to get inside” and cause bacterial vaginosis or even Toxic Shock Syndrome, a life-threatening complication caused by bacterial infections.

“This is not good, in case you are wondering,” Gunter wrote.
At this point, Gwen has said so many stupid things publicly, that I'm pretty sure she's just trolling. Or maybe she's selling used eggs for a premium. But if someone gets toxic shock syndrome from listening to her, do they get to sue?

Linked at GOODSTUFFs BLOGGING MAGAZINE (278th Issue). Wombat-socho has "Rule 5 Sunday: Making Anime Great Again" up and running at The Other McCain.